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Situated just about 8 miles north of Orlando, Longwood is a relatively small city in Seminole County, Florida. Part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area, the community is a destination for tourists and provides easy access to many major attractions. It lies on a total land area of just over 5 square miles.
Settlers started arriving in the area where Longwood stands today in the period between the conclusion of the Seminole Wars and the onset of the American Civil War. Edward Warren Henck, a railroad officer and real estate promoter, arrived in the 1870s when the community was just starting to grow. In 1876, he established a post office and named it Longwood after a Boston suburb he had helped lay out as a young engineer. Henck, who was the town's first postmaster, and some other businessmen in the area were instrumental in bringing the South Florida Railroad to the region. The presence of railroad contributed in driving up the number of residents to 1,000 by 1886.
There was a significant decline in the number of residents following the Great Freeze of December 1894 through January 1895. But more people started coming here from 1910 and the area's population reportedly reached its peak at the time by the mid-1920s. Longwood was incorporated as a town in 1923. Military presence began to build in the city with the commencement of the Second World War. This saw the number of residents starting to rise again as more military families moved to the community.
Today, Longwood is home to more than 14,000 people, significantly up from less than 1,700 as of 1960 census. The 2015 population estimate came in at 14,085. Median age of residents as of 2010 census was 38 years. The city boasts a high number of well-educated individuals. The proportion of adults here with at least a Bachelor's degree is higher than the national average.
The local economy was given a massive boost in the 1960s and 1970s by the military and space industry in the area. Many of those who came to live in Longwood around that period were employed by Martin-Marietta at the new missile plant built in Orlando and by the NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center as well as several military bases around. In recent years, Longwood has increasingly become a residential community for people working in other places. South Seminole Hospital, UPS and D&A Building Services were the top three employers here as of 2014, according to the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Longwood is served by about a dozen schools, including Woodlands Elementary School, Sabal Point Elementary School, Rock Lake Middle School, Milwee Middle School and Lyman High School, which was founded as Lyman School, a grades 1-12 facility, in 1924. Public education is administered by Seminole County Public Schools.
This city is a destination for travelers in Florida. Until 2012, it had The Senator, a bald cypress, which at supposed more than 3,000 years old was undoubtedly the oldest tourist attraction in Central Florida. It also has within its limits Lady Liberty, another tree which is classified among the oldest in the United States.
Longwood is a family-friendly community and has several upscale neighborhoods using its address. It has a good school district and is perfect for people working in bigger cities around such as Orlando.