Palmdale is an unincorporated community in Glades County, Florida, United States, located on US 27 just north of the junction with State Road 29.
Originally part of DeSoto County, Palmdale's land was pioneered by Florida Fruit Farm Corporation, selling the land to the Palmdale Land Company, which sold the land to five-hundred settlers, creating the first community in 1911. Many farmers were "discouraged" by the lack of transportation, prompting them to move out of the area. Many of these farmers left their homes behind, along with their personal belongings and furniture. New farmers and pioneers to the area would take up residence in the abandoned homesteads. Eventually, wildfires destroyed many of the original homesteads.
The "Tin Lizzie Trail," two dirt roads connected Arcadia and Lakeport. During rainy season, the longer "high road" of the trail was used while the more direct "low road" of the trail was used during the dry season.
Most people moved to Palmdale to farm the land and sell livestock. Adrian M. Link grew "several large citrus groves" and was a poultry farmer. "Mr. Fogg" described Palmdale as "The Garden of Eden." Fog covered his land with blueberries, which were completely eaten by the birds.
Palmdale's original settlers were the Rean family, H.L. Delaney family, Ross family, Hart family, Snell family, Arnold family, Lanier family, Weinser family, A.Z. Hogan family, Wibb family, Streety Whidden family, Hendry family, Jones family, Cobb family, Willie Williams family, Norman Milton, Emery Nickelson, Lacy Raulerson and Joe Peeples, Sr. There was also "a Mr. Thompson who ran a store at the railroad camp."
The original teachers were Mr. Locke, Arthur HIlton, Mary Clark, Maud Allison, Alton P. Gaines, Hilda Yeomans, Edith Pervis, Edith Daughtery and Rual Haskew.
There were not any churches built in Palmdale until the Baptist church, in the 1950s. Until then, church was held in people's homes.
H.C. Delaney operated the first general store and post office, followed by J.W. Snell, L.E. Guess and Peck Stalls. For thirty-six years, Peck Stalls held the office of postmaster. The post office moved to its own building after Stalls sold the general store. Mrs. Willie Powers then took over as "postmistress."
At some time, Palmdale also featured a photo studio.
Oil drilling began in 1921 by the Palmdale Land Company under the supervision of company president "Mr. Marcus" and vice-president E.F. Caldwell. Through invitation of Caldwell, the Brewton Oil Company began drilling under the guidance of Robert J. Brewton due to the fact that Caldwell was "positive oil would be found."
It is home to Gatorama, self-proclaimed to feature "some of the largest Crocodiles and Alligators in Florida." One of the state's first alligator attractions, it also has the largest captive breeding colony of American crocodiles in North America (opened in 1957).
On October 21, 2016, a fire destroyed the historic Palmdale Cracker, a restaurant recently re-opened the year before. The owner, Larry Taylor, described the restaurant and general store as the "only nucleus that held these people together." The 1930s era house featuring a large porch and was a gathering place for both residents and wayfarers on 27. The building was one of the few historic landmarks in that part of Glades County.
* Description and images provided by
CC-BY-SA 3.0 license