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  • Cypress Gardens

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    The Gazebo and a Southern belle of Cypress GardensCypress Gardens was a botanical garden and theme park near Winter Haven, Florida that operated from 1936 to 2009. As of 2011, the botanical garden portion had been preserved inside the newly formed Legoland Florida.

  • The Villages, Florida

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    The Villages is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sumter County, Florida, United States. It shares its name with a broader master-planned age-restricted community that spreads into portions of Lake and Marion counties. The Villages consistently ranks as a very high growth area. The U.S. Census ranked The Villages as the fastest-growing U.S. city for the second year in a row (during the 12 months ending in July 2014); As of August 2017, the total population of The Villages reached 115,000 people, due to new areas stretching from Fruitland Park to CR 470. The Villages is made up of 17 special purpose Community Development Districts (CDD), which are controlled by a board of supervisors (BoS), five individuals elected by the landowners of the district. H. Gary Morse, the son of the original owner and who was responsible for turning The Villages into one of the most well-known and fastest-growing retirement communities, transferred most direct ownership in the company to his three children in 2006; Morse died in 2014. The overall development lies in central Florida, approximately south of Ocala and approximately northwest of Orlando. Between 2010 and 2017, the population of The Villages area grew almost 33 percent, from 94,279 in 2010 to 125,165 in 2017. According to U.S. Census data released in March 2018, The Villages was the 10th in the annual list of fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. The community is the center of The Villages, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of all of Sumter County; Lake County is included in the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area; and Marion County is included in the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2017 Forbes magazine named The Villages to the list of The 25 Best Places To Retire in the United States for the second time. Also in 2017, 55Places.com rated The Villages was the number one spot in the list of most popular active adult communities for the fifth year in a row.

  • Jacob Summerlin

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    Jacob Summerlin.Jacob Summerlin (February 20, 1820 – November 4, 1893), aka the King of the Crackers and King of the Cracker Cow Hunters, was reputed to be the first child born in Florida after the land was ceded by Spain. He is known for his contributions to the early settlement of Florida, and especially for founding the county seats of Orange and Polk counties, which are Orlando and Bartow, respectively. In the years prior to the Civil War, he was a slaveowner.

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