National Register Listings in
Hardee County, Florida

The Florida Keys, a chain of islands off the southern coast of Florida, were once a notorious pirate haven. Many famous pirates, including Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, are said to have frequented the area.
Hardee County, Florida, located in the southern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history. Originally, the area was inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Seminole tribe. European settlers, mainly from the United States, began to arrive in the early 19th century, seeking fertile land and opportunities for farming and ranching.

The area was officially established as a county in 1921 and was named after Cary Hardee, the governor of Florida at the time. Throughout the 20th century, Hardee County witnessed significant growth in the agricultural industry, with citrus farming and cattle ranching being the dominant economic activities. The growth of the railroad system in the early 1900s also played a crucial role in opening up the area for trade and development.

During the mid-20th century, Hardee County experienced socio-economic changes, as the agricultural industry began to face challenges, such as disease outbreaks and market fluctuations. This led to the diversification of the county's economy, with the expansion of industries such as manufacturing and construction. The construction of Interstate 75 in the 1970s also brought increased accessibility and tourism to the area.

Today, Hardee County continues to evolve and thrive, balancing agricultural traditions with modern economic development. The county's unique history is celebrated through various heritage festivals and events, showcasing the diverse cultural heritage of its residents. With its natural beauty, vibrant communities, and rich history, Hardee County remains a significant part of Florida's heritage.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Hardee County, Florida.

  • 1887 - Hardee County is founded and named after Cary A. Hardee, a governor of Florida.
  • 1905 - The city of Wauchula becomes the county seat.
  • 1921 - The first courthouse in Hardee County is constructed.
  • 1934 - Hardee County High School is established.
  • 1940 - Hardee County's population reaches over 12,000.
  • 1960 - Agriculture becomes a major industry in the county.
  • 1974 - Hardee County's first hospital, Hardee Memorial Hospital, is opened.
  • 1992 - Hurricane Andrew causes significant damage to the county.
  • 2010 - The population of Hardee County is over 27,000.
  • 2018 - Hardee County celebrates its 130th anniversary.