The Forgotten History of Mosquito County, Florida

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Deep within Florida’s history lies a county that time has all but forgotten: Mosquito County. Born in the early 1800s, well before Florida became a state, Mosquito County sprawled across 11,400 square miles of what is now a patchwork of counties including Brevard, Indian River, and Orange.

Its name, evoking the relentless pests that thrive in Florida’s subtropical climate, was not a beloved one. Despite its unappealing moniker, Mosquito County persisted, moving its administrative heart from New Smyrna to Enterprise as discontent simmered among its residents.

In 1842, a glimmer of hope emerged for a name change. Leigh Read County, proposed in honor of a respected legislator, stirred excitement but ultimately met disappointment. Further attempts, such as the petition for Harrison County in 1844, faced similar fates.

Yet, the winds of change blew in 1845, as Mosquito County shed its old identity and emerged anew as Orange County, a nod to one of Florida’s prized agricultural treasures. Though Mosquito County now exists only in memory, its spirit lives on in the vibrant tapestry of Orange County’s attractions and innovations, etching a captivating chapter in Florida’s storied past.

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