Oct. 6, 2022

Did Sanford saloon owners burn down the town?

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In 1887, the city of Sanford was a bustling hub of commerce. Founded just 10 years prior, Sanford had become the gateway for goods and materials coming into Central Florida and Tampa. The city was also the main distribution point that allowed nearly all of Central Florida’s citrus and produce to reach Northern markets.

But on the morning of Sept. 22, the city’s saloon owners, most likely drunk from an all-night binge  of whiskey and rum, burned the town to the ground. It became known as the Great Fire of 1887.


If you’re a sports fan, You probably no that Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees broke Roger Maris‘s home run milestone by hitting 62 home runs in a season.  I like to brag that just about anything that happens in the world has some sort of connection to Sanford. 

In the case of Aaron Judge it really does. Roger Maris set the Record for home runs in a season on Oct. 1, 1961. And it was Sanford‘s very own Red Barber who made the historic call as the Yankees play by play announcer.  

Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Red Barber calling Maris’s 61st home run. And if you want to know more about Red Barber here’s a link to episode 8 of Celery City Stories titled “A good wife and a strong martini helped change history.”