History of the Lake Mary Trailblazers
The Trailblazers organization began in 2001 with Homeowner Associations of Timacuan, Manderly and Woodbridge Lakes along Rinehart Road leading the way.
The "To Be A Trailblazer, Inc. was incorporated in the State of Florida
in September 2002.
The organizaiton became a Not For Profit, IRS approved
entity 501(c)(3) in July 2003.
The Rinehart Road trail project was started in 2002 and
finished in 2005 with $235,000 raised and invested in the
The Lake Mary Playground and Splash Park was started in 2005 and
finished in 2008. $750,000 was raised by the Trailblazers, City of
Lake Mary, and a grant from the State of Florida.
The Lake Mary Historical Museum project began in 2008 and finished in 2011, with some of the Trailblazers continuing to volunteer at the museum.
The Lake Mary Cemetery project began in 2009 and was completed in 2011. Most, if not all, funds were provided by the City.
The Community Center started in 2012 and was finished in 2015. Funds provided by the City.
The Lake Mary Trailblazer 5K was first run in 2005 and has continued through 2018 and is scheduled for April, 2019. The 5K has raised any where from $1,500 up to $5,000 per race.
The Trailblazers are continuing in 2018 to with the Heritage Park project known as the Veterans/Heroes Memorial. The Memorial is in honor of all Veterans and First Responders. Our first fundraiser will be our brick sales (see Project Fundraisers tab in the menu.
Timeline Highlights in Lake Mary's History
1800's - In The Beginning
What was to become Lake Mary began life in the 1800s as two small villages, Belle Fontaine and Bents Station. The opening of the railroad between Sanford and Orlando in the late 1800s gave new life to the region, then a citrus based community with orange groves covering the acres around the villages.
In 1896, a freeze destroyed most of the groves, leaving residents without a source of income. the region was saved by the opening of the Planters factory and the farming of the Cassava plant used to make starch. The area became formally known as Lake Mary in 1899, named after the wife of Reverend John Frederick Sundell who established his first Presbyterian congregation on the north shore of what was to become Lake Mary.
1920's -- The Village Becomes A Town
In the 1920s Lake Mary's downtown started to grow, beginning with the development of the Crystal Lake Winter Homes by A. E. Sjoblom, who marketed the residences as vacation homes to travelers from up north. Many of these homes still stand today, located in the downtown area off North Country Club Road. The development of the Winter Homes helped Lake Mary evolve from a village to a town.
A second development, Evansdale, by Frank Evans, later expanded the town south of Lake Mary Boulevard. These homes are located off South Country Club Road. Many of the streets off North Country Club are named after the Sjoblom family and those off South Country Club after the Evans family.
1924 -- School Days
In the early days of the settlement, Lake Mary built a small one-room schoolhouse on a wooded lot at the northwest corner of Country Club Road and Lake Mary Boulevard where City Hall is located today. Its use fluctuated with the rise and fall of Lake Mary's population.
In the 1920s, when the Florida land boom was at its peak, families started coming south to take advantage of the opportunities the state had to offer. As a result, Lake Mary needed a new school. In 1924 plans were drawn up for a new school building, which cost $20,000 to construct. The new school opened its doors in 1925 with an enrollment of 89 pupils and three classrooms. By the 1927-28 school year, the community had grown to the point where three additional classrooms were needed. A ninth grade was added, two additional teachers were hired, a basketball court was built and a student lunch program was started. Although the original building is no longer there, the schools's stellar reputation and commitment to excellence in education remains unblemished..
1926 -- Life In Lake Mary
While it was a small town, life in early lake Mary included plays, dances and concerts by the town orchestra and many other activities that brought the community together. A community center built in 1926 by Frank Evans was used by the Chamber of Commerce and the community for social gatherings. Over the years, the building served many different purposes, including at one time a general store and City Hall. The building still stands today on the northwest corner of North Country Club Road and Lakeview Avenue and now houses the Lake Mary Museum.
Other examples of the city's early history are located in the same area and include the two story brick building directly across from the museum. The building was also constructed in 1926, and at different times was home to Miller's Drug Store (the best place in town to get an ice cream soda), the Lake Mary Post Office and an IGA. Just north of the museum, the two buildings currently occupied by a music store and a tile retailer were originally the gas station and garage that served Lake Mary residents for many years.
1933 -- The Girl & Boy Scouts
In 1933, Lake Mary's Girl Scout Troop became the first troop registered in Seminole County. The troop met in a small house across the street from the Chamber of Commerce building (now the Lake Mary Museum) on North Country Club Road. The structure was nicknamed "The Little House" and was host to many activities. One such activity was the Girl Scout's annual "Silver Tea". A fundraiser, this event would be in a formal setting and would teach the young girls about proper etiquette and table arrangements. The Silver Tea derived its name not from the beautiful silver on display, but from the silver coins that each girl would drop into a silver bowl as they arrived at the event.
Also founded in the early 1900s, the Boy Scouts were started by the First Presbyterian Church, still in existence today on North Country Club Road. Dues were 50 cents for each boy. The church would pay 25 cents toward the dues and each boy would pay the other half. In later years, the Chamber of Commerce took over the sponsorship of the scouts and paid the electric bill at the Boy Scout Hut on Crystal Lake Avenue, where meetings and activities were held through the 1960s.
1940's -- The War Years
Lake Mary was not immune to the effects of World War II. Patriotism was always present and American pride seemed to permeate the very air the citizens breathed. Every yard had a victory garden and school children showed their support by wearing a "V" for victory on their shirt sleeves. Rationing meant things like sugar, coffee and chocolate were difficult to come by. Ladies stockings were scarce and many women would use makeup on their legs, complete with a line up the back imitating the seam.
Many young women met their future husbands here. Dances were held at the community building and the Chamber of Commerce would host picnics at Evansdale Park. Invariably someone would invite the enlisted men from the nearby Sanford Naval Base. The Army Air Corps from Orlando would run military maneuvers on the southern shore of Lake Mary, and the military personnel stationed in the area often came to town for rest and relaxation, so love and romance were never far away.
1956 -- The Volunteer Fire Department
Lake Mary's first all-volunteer Fire Department was established in 1956. A local resident donated an old flatbed truck to the department, and the City of Altamonte Springs gave them a 500 gallon tank that was no longer needed, along with four sections of hose. The city of Sanford donated an extension ladder to complete the package. The volunteer Fire Department was ready to go.
The volunteer firefighters protected Lake Mary and the surrounding areas until January 6, 1990, when the volunteer structure was replaced with full-time, salaried personnel.
1967 -- The End Of A Century, A Time Of change
The last quarter of the 20th century brought both changes and growth to Lake Mary. The I-4 interchange, made possible only by the persistent efforts of the area's influential citizens, opened in 1967. The exit brought new opportunities for growth, and some of Lake Mary's residents decided the time had come to incorporate. An attempt had been made to do so back in 1925, but was met with such resistance that the idea was discarded for almost 50 years.
The new attempt was not without opposition, but with the cities of both Sanford and Longwood aggressively expanding their borders north and south of the town through annexation, the referendum passed, 369 to 128. Lake Mary became a city on August 7, 1973. Don Jackson was the first appointed Mayor.