Find Businesses and Services in Lake Wales, Florida
The City of Lake Wales Florida is located in Polk County and lies among rolling hills on the highest ground in peninsular Florida. In the valleys around Lake Wales, there are many clear lakes that furnish year-round recreational opportunities. The city is located in the geographical center of the Florida peninsula, and is accessible by U.S. Hwy. 27 (north/south) and State Hwy 60 (east/west). Interstate 4 crosses the state 25 miles north of Lake Wales, and both the Tampa and Orlando International Airports are approximately one hour's drive away. Because of the region's rich soil and warm climate, citrus has been a major contributor to the local economy since the earliest days of Lake Wales. Recently, the area has been successful in attracting light manufacturing, construction and electronics firms. A regional mall opened in February 1996 which provides employment opportunities for an estimated 1,200 persons. In December 1997, the City acquired land on U.S. Hwy. 27, approximately 1.5 miles south of State Hwy. 60, for development of a the Longleaf Business Park. The stated goal of the City Commission and the city administration is to encourage and facilitate quality growth and economic development without compromising the vintage charm that is so important to the residents of the community. Lake Wales, Florida was founded in 1911 by the Lake Wales Land Company, a group of businessmen who purchased 5,000 acres in the hilly wilderness around Lake Wailes --a pristine lake named after Sydney Wailes, a land agent employed by the State of Florida after the Civil War. The men of the Lake Wales Land Company believed that the plentiful pine forests would form the basis of a thriving turpentine and lumber industry, the sandy soil would be ideal for growing grapefruit, oranges and other citrus, and the rolling hills would be the perfect site for a town.
<p>The first settlers arrived in 1911, the town was incorporated in 1917, and the City of Lake Wales was granted its municipal charter in 1921. Lake Wales Public Library, the Depot Museum, and the Lake Wales Arts Council provide programs in the arts and local history which supplement programs offered by the public school system. In addition to a 2.25 mile bike/hike path along the shores of Lake Wailes, there are more than 250 acres of public parks and athletic fields within the city limits which are maintained by the Parks & Recreation departments. The City offers a variety of year-round recreational programs. Additional organized leisure activities are sponsored by community groups which include the Lake Wales Little League, Little Theater, Children's Theater, YMCA, Tourist Club and Senior Center. At Spook Hill objects appear to defy the laws of gravity and physics as they roll uphill. This mysterious phenomenon has become a major attraction for visitors to Central Florida.</p>
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