This city turns 100 years old this week, and it almost got stuck with a strange Spanish name. Instead, it wound up with one of the most beautiful names in the Bay area.
Why do they call it Auburndale?
When you see the still waters and rolling hills around Lake Ariana, you think of calming, soothing words like "sanitarium," right?
No? Well, that's what makes you different from Dr. John Patterson.
In the 1880's when there was no road and hardly another soul here, he saw this Polk County place as the dream spot for a sanitarium -- a health resort.
And so the area near what's now the city's high school caught the questionable name Sanitaria -- Spanish for "health-related" or "sanitary."
A couple of miles down the road from Sanitaria, some settlers pitched in to build a railroad depot. Almost overnight, Sanitaria faded and this new neighborhood took off.
A settler decided to lay out a city here, wrapping around a lake and park, with big brick buildings. For city planning advice, he talked to his buddy Ralph Pulsifer, editor of the Boston Herald.
Ralph's wife Louisa got a look at the plans for the growing town and said it looked a whole lot like the town where she grew up. Mrs. Pulsifer was from Auburndale, Massachusetts.
The name stuck.
Why do they call it that? Now you know.
Auburndale is holding its big 100th Anniversary celebration this week!
The Centennial Celebration starts downtown at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25th and goes on all day, each day from Wednesday through Saturday.
Downtown, expect a model train exhibit, kids' train rides, a historic depot display, and activities at the Baynard House.
There are special events at City Hall Plaza where folks can watch the live casting of the city's Centennial Bell, Thursday at 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Friday at noon. The bell will be unveiled in a grand ceremony at City Hall starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Then Saturday at Lake Myrtle Park, there's a touch-a-truck event for kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus a barbecue cookoff, car show, and at 7:30 p.m. a concert with country artist Lee Ann Womack. Fireworks finish off the day at 9 p.m. Admission and parking at all events are free!
Wednesday, May 25 - 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thursday, May 26 - 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday, May 27 - 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Lake Myrtle Park Events
Saturday, May 28 - 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
For even more details, visit the City of Auburndale website.
And thank you to Billy in Auburndale for suggesting the city for "Why do they call it that?"
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Grayson Kamm, 10 News