Maitland is one of the oldest incorporated suburban municipalities in central Florida. The area was previously inhabited by Timucuan Native Americans. The town was originally named for a nearby Lake, which honored Captain William Seton Maitland, who fought in the Second Seminole Indian War, and was slain in the battle of Wahoo Swamp. A small military outpost was built in 1838 on the western shore of Lake Fumecheliga (later Lake Maitland) during the Second Seminole War. After the Civil War, new residents arrived in the area. Christopher Columbus Beasley, perhaps the first permanent settler, arrived at Lake Maitland in 1871. A post office opened on January 2 of the next year and operated in his home. Around this post office, a small town grew. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, the area was put into extensive citrus production.
Lake Maitland was incorporated as a town in 1885, the third such town in Orange County to do so. In its infancy, Lake Maitland was often characterized as a rural village, with streets lined with large oak trees planted by early town aldermen. However, the old town began to rapidly modernize as Orlando’s suburban sprawl reached the town in the mid-1920s.
During this period the town grew rapidly as new houses and roads were built. In 1959, Maitland was incorporated as a city.
Maitland is a suburb of Orlando. The town’s “historical corridor” encompasses old residences still standing and occupied in the Lake Lily-Lake Catherine area and extends through the central portion of the city. Examples of these century-old structures include the “Church of the Good Shepherd” (1883); the “William H. Waterhouse House” (1884); and the “Maitland Art Center” (1937). The area has always been a vacation spot because of its climate, location to theme parks, and people. Maitland has many picturesque parks along lakes, which attract many boaters.
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