Preserve America Community:
Dunedin (pop. 35,691) is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico between Tampa and Clearwater. It is the oldest town south of Cedar Key, which is about 75 miles north on the Gulf coast.
Early in its history, thanks to a dock built to accommodate schooners and sloops and the ingenuity of pioneers from as near as Georgia and as far as Scotland, Dunedin became one of Florida's chief seaport and trading centers. At one time Dunedin had the largest fleet of sailing vessels in Florida. Early settlers were primarily cotton and citrus growers.
The first land deed was recorded in 1852 by Richard L. Garrison. Although it was George L. Jones who put up a sign over his General Store in 1870 that read "Jonesboro," a petition in 1882 by two Scottish merchants. J.O. Douglas and James Somerville, officially named the Post Office, then the town itself, Dunedin, meaning "Castle on the Rock."
The town became incorporated in 1899, and a city in 1925. Dunedin soon became a winter resort area (the Yacht Club formed in 1903) and a center for the surrounding citrus and cotton industries.
Dunedin also reflects the rich American and Scottish heritage of its founding fathers. Today, the town commemorates its Scottish ancestry in various ways, through the annual Scottish Highland Games, its school and amateur pipe bands and dancers, and through the choice of Stirling, Scotland, as its sister city.
A master computer at A.C. Nielsen Company, one of the town's largest employers, is responsible for the Nielsen television ratings. Dunedin is also the winter home of the Toronto Blue Jays major league baseball team.
The historic Atlantic Coast Line Depot on Main Street houses the Dunedin Historical Society and Museum, which offers two walking tours of historic sites, and there are many National Register properties and local landmarks protected through overlay zoning and a Historic Preservation Ordinance.
In 2003, the town became one of eight Florida communities selected to co-host the Florida Humanities Council's 30th-annual Chautauqua Tour that included living history, literary presentations, and other programs revolving around well-known State and national writers, thinkers, and leaders.
For further information
City of Dunedin: www.dunedingov.com
Dunedin Chamber of Commerce: www.dunedin-fl.com
Posted April 13, 2009