9 facts about the city of Ocoee

OCOEE, Fla. — Below are nine facts about the city of Ocoee (Source 1-8

1. The town was named Ocoee in 1886. Ocoee means "apricot vine" in Cherokee. Apricot vine is now called the passion flower. The city logo is inspired by the flower.
2. The town of Ocoee was recognized as a municipality by the Florida legislature in 1923 and became the City of Ocoee in May 1925.
3. The first school in Ocoee was established in 1880. It was a three-sided hut located on Floral Street, which was later replaced by a two-story wooden structure built on Bluford Avenue. That structure was replaced in the early 1920s with a brick building.
4. William Blakely arrived in Ocoee in 1881 and became school principal and teacher. He also was postmaster and justice of the peace.
5. In 1913, Blakely bought a home on West Oakland Avenue and converted one of the rooms into a library which he allowed the community to use. Blakely would devote more than 50 years to teaching, running a general store and promoting Ocoee as a desirable place to live.
6. State Road 50 was constructed south of downtown Ocoee in 1959 and provided a direct east-west connection between the city and Orlando.
7. Florida’s Turnpike was the next major roadway constructed through Ocoee. The 309-mile-long freeway was extended through West Orange County in 1964, just south of the Ocoee downtown area, and provided Ocoee with north-south access.
8. In late 1990, the connection between Ocoee and Orlando was further secured when the western extension of State Road 408 was completed.
9. In 1920, Election Day turned bloody when some black residents were lynched and others were run out of town when trying to vote. In 2019, almost 100 years after July Perry was lynched, a historical marker was unveiled in downtown Orlando to honor him and the dozens of victims one of the nation's worst massacres of African Americans. A bill introduced by state Rep. Randolph Bracy was introduced. If approved, the bill would split $10 million among descendants of the Ocoee massacre victims.