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Saint Cloud, Florida
Covering a total area of about 9 square miles, St. Cloud is a peaceful city in northern Osceola County in the central part of the state of Florida. It is sited around 26 miles to the southeast of Orlando, on the southern edge of the amazing East Lake Tohopekaliga. The medium-sized city and has more than 40,000 residents. It is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Area.
The history of St. Cloud is traced to the Seminole Land and Investment Company, which acquired 35,000 acres of land in the area in 1909. The company had the intention of creating a colony for the Grand Army of the Republic veterans. The first permanent settler was William G. King, a real estate manager charged with the development of the town. Its founding as a retirement town for Civil War veterans inspired St. Cloud’s nickname of “The Friendly Soldier City.” It is said that many of the streets in St. Cloud were named after veterans of the Civil War. St. Cloud was incorporated as a city on June 1, 1915.
St. Cloud had a population of 35,183 people as of 2010 census. The number has since risen to more than 45,000 - precisely 45,298 by 2015 estimates. There were more than 12,500 households in St. Cloud as of 2010. The median age of residents is about 37 years. Per capital income in the city was $20,522 in 2010, with this falling in the lower middle income category in both Florida and the United States.
St. Cloud is commonly associated with Orlando and Kissimmee, especially the latter. But it has been making efforts in recent years to reduce its dependence on more-popular neighboring cities, promoting its small-town appeal. The compact city has particularly worked to reduce its economic dependence on Kissimmee.
U.S. Route 192 is the major highway in St. Cloud. This runs east and west alongside U.S Route 441. The six-lane road has several avenues - a number of which have US state names - running across it north and south. These avenues, which include Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts avenues, have many unique storefronts.
The historic Main Street of St. Cloud features landmarks that give visitors and new residents ideas of the city's past. The downtown features several historic buildings, mostly in Spanish Revival architectural style. A good number of these buildings are credited to the Orlando architectural partnership Ryan & Roberts made up of two women.
East Lake Tohopekaliga, or simply East Lake Toho, is one of the natural beauties of St. Cloud. The circular lake, which is a good example of a "dish-pan" lake, boasts of amazing visibility up to depths of 9 feet. The rare and protected Florida sandhill crane is a popular sight along the shores of the lake that is noted for its high bass population.
Points of interests in the city include Reptile World Serpentarium and St. Cloud Heritage Museum. St. Cloud has multiple elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and multi-level schools.
All in all, St. Cloud is a city that would appeal to people who love a quiet environment. It is somewhat diverse and accommodates people of diverse professions.