Orlando Reeves

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According to one tale on the origin of the name of Orlando, Florida, Sentinel Orlando Reeves was an American soldier who was killed during the Seminole War, when he was about to fire a warning shot to his fellow soldiers.

The real namesake was a man named Orlando Reeves, who operated a sugar mill and plantation about thirty miles north of the modern city at Spring Garden in modern Volusia County. He carved his name in a tree near what is now Lake Eola, which later settlers assumed was a grave marker. Their speculations as to the carving's origin led to the various accounts of Seminole War battles, and the area around the tree became known as "Orlando's Grave" or simply "Orlando."

There were no reported skirmishes with Seminoles in the area. The closest was at Hatcheelustee, on what is now Walt Disney World property several miles south of the city. No federal or state muster rolls list any soldier with a name similar to Orlando Reeves or Rees.

An alternative explanation for the name is that one of the founders of the city was enamoured with Shakespeare, and named the city for the hero of As You Like It. Rosalind Avenue runs though downtown, as Rosalind ran through Orlando's heart.




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