World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida
City of Kissimmee
The Osceola County courthouse in October 2009
The Osceola County courthouse in October 2009
Flag of Kissimmee, Florida
Official seal of Kissimmee, Florida
Motto: "A community of neighborhoods for families!"
Location in Osceola County and the state of Florida
Location in Osceola County and the state of Florida
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Osceola
Incorporated 1883
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor Jim Swan
 • City Manager (1984-2010) Mark Durbin
 • City Manager (2010-present) Mike Steigerwald
 • City Attorney Don Smallwood
 • City 17.32 sq mi (44.8 km2)
 • Land 16.68 sq mi (43.2 km2)
 • Water .64 sq mi (1.6 km2)  3.7%
Elevation[2] 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2012)[3]
 • City 63,369
 • Density 3,700/sq mi (1,400/km2)
 • Metro 2,267,846
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 34741-34747, 34758-34759
Area code(s) 321, 407
FIPS code 12-36950
GNIS feature ID 0285145[4]

Kissimmee ( ) is a city in Osceola County, Florida. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 59,682.[3] It is the county seat of Osceola County.[5] Kissimmee is a Principal City of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2010 population of 2,134,411.[3]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Transportation 4
  • Sites of interest 5
  • Sports 6
  • Recreation 7
  • Economy 8
    • Top employers 8.1
  • Education 9
    • Public schools 9.1
    • Private schools 9.2
    • Institutions of higher education 9.3
      • State colleges 9.3.1
      • Private universities, colleges, and others 9.3.2
    • Public libraries 9.4
    • Weekend education 9.5
  • Notable people 10
  • Climate 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Broadway Avenue in c. 1912

The area was originally named Allendale, after Confederate Major J.H. Allen who operated the first cargo steamboat along the Kissimmee River - the Mary Belle.[6] It was renamed Kissimmee when incorporated as a city in 1883. The name, Kissimmee, came from 'Cacema', a Native American name meaning 'long water'.[7] Its growth can be credited to Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia, who based his four-million acre[8] (8,000 km2) drainage operation out of the small town. Disston had contracted with the financially wobbly state of Florida to drain its southern lands, for which he would own half of all he successfully drained. This deal made Disston the largest single landowner in the United States.

Disston's dredging and land speculation required a small steamboat industry to transport people and goods along the new waterway. The Kissimmee shipyard was responsible for building most of these large steamships, which were just one jump ahead of civilization—with Kissimmee as the jumping off point. Concurrently, the South Florida Railroad was growing and extended the end of its line from Sanford down to Kissimmee, making the town on Lake Tohopekaliga a transportation hub for Central Florida. On February 12, 1885, the Florida Legislature incorporated the Kissimmee City Street Railway.

Kissimmee Automobile Company, 1910s

But the heyday of Kissimmee was short-lived. Expanding railroads began to challenge the steamships for carrying freight and passengers. By 1884, the South Florida Railroad, now part of the Plant System, had extended its tracks to Tampa. The Panic of 1893 was the worst depression the U.S. had experienced up to that time, crushing land speculation and unsound debt. Hamilton Disston closed his Kissimmee land operation. Consecutive freezes in 1894 and 1895 wiped out the citrus industry. The freezes, combined with South Florida's growth and the relocation of steamship operations to Lake Okeechobee, left Kissimmee dependent on cattle raising.

Kissimmee had a population of 4,310 in 1950. At that point there was some citrus packing as well as the ranching.[9]

Ranching remained an important part of the local economy until the opening of nearby Walt Disney World in 1971. After that, tourism and development supplanted cattle ranching to a large measure; however, cattle ranches still operate nearby, particularly in the southern part of Osceola County.

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley passed through Kissimmee with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour, damaging homes and buildings, toppling trees and cutting electrical power to the entire city. Kissimmee Utility Authority restored power to 54 percent of the residents in the first 72 hours; 85 percent were restored within one week. Service was restored to all customers on August 28. Three weeks after Hurricane Charley, the area was struck by Hurricane Frances, followed by Hurricane Jeanne three weeks after Frances.


Kissimmee is located at (28.303988, -81.412867).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.32 square miles (44.9 km2), of which 16.7 square miles (43 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (2 km2) is water (3.7%).[1] Kissimmee and the city of St. Cloud are the only incorporated settlements in the county. The cities lie in close proximity to each other along U.S. Highways 192 and 441.

A large geographical area of unincorporated Osceola County also refers to their area as Kissimmee. This includes most of the 192 corridor west of the city border to Highway 27, areas north of the city to Hunters Creek, and areas south of the city to Poinciana.

City water resources

Drained by the Kissimmee River, the city is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (locally called Lake Toho, West Lake Toho, or simply West Lake) in central Florida. Shingle Creek, largely considered the headwaters of the Everglades, also runs through the city. Shingle Creek features a popular canoe/kayak trail that runs from Steffe Landing on US 192 and ends in Lake Tohopekaliga.


The downtown area lies near the intersection of U.S. Highway 17/92 and U.S. Highway 192. The downtown of Kissimmee does not possess any big skyscrapers; most of the buildings are two or three stories high. The biggest and the tallest building in the downtown is the Osceola County courthouse. The main thoroughfare follows along Highway 17/Highway 92 through the city's center and is a combination of three streets: Main Street, Broadway Street, and Emmett Street. The downtown area consists largely of restaurants, small shops, and historic residences. The University of Central Florida has a business incubator located in the area that is an important part of the economic engine downtown.[11]


As of the census of 2000, there were 47,814 people, 17,121 households, and 11,813 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,866.6 per square mile (1,106.8/km2). There were 19,642 housing units at an average density of 1,177.6 per square mile (454.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.22% White, 9.99% African American, 0.52% Native American, 3.38% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 14.15% from other races, and 4.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 41.73% of the population. The majority of Hispanics residing in the city are Puerto Ricans. There are also small Colombian, Cuban, Dominican and Mexican communities residing in and/or around the city.

There were 17,121 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,949, and the median income for a family was $36,361. Males had a median income of $25,851 versus $21,025 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,071. About 12.3% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.

In 2010 Kissimmee had a population of 59,682. The racial and ethnic composition was 58.9% Hispanic (33.1% Puerto Rican, 5.1% Dominican, 4.0% Colombian, 3.9% Mexican, 2.6% Cuban, 1.4% Venezuelan, 0.9% Ecuadorian, 0.7% Salvadoran, 0.7% Peruvian, 0.6% Honduran, 0.6% Nicaraguan) or Latino, 26.2% non-Hispanic White, 9.6% non-Hispanic African American, 2.8% Hispanic black, 0.6% Native American, 3.4% Asian (1.1% Asian Indian, 0.8% Filipino), 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% Non-Hispanic from some other race and 4.7% two or more races.[14]


Kissimmee features a Multi Modal Transportation Hub located between Neptune Road and Monument Streets. This hub includes the Amtrak train station, which will be a station stop on the SunRail commuter rail system. There is also a Greyhound bus station. The hub also features a bus terminal providing service by the Lynx network.

Kissimmee Gateway Airport has four fixed-based operators that provide service to the area. Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) accommodates general aviation air service 24 hours a day with two paved airport runways—respectively 5,000 and 6,000 feet.[15] There are also two flight training schools, and a museum at the airport. Orlando International Airport can be reached from Kissimmee in 15 minutes by car.

The major land transportation arteries are the Florida's Turnpike, Interstate 4, Osceola Parkway, and US 192. Among other important routes are US 17/92 that join with US 441 into the Orange Blossom Trail (OBT) and State Route 423 also known as the John Young Parkway.

Sites of interest

Monument of States
Former Sites of Interest
  • Watermania
  • Xanadu - House of the Future
  • Splendid China
  • Jungleland
  • Osceola square mall
  • Jungle land zoo. The world's second largest Aligator was demolished as of late 2014. Building still for sale.


The Houston Astros conduct spring training in Kissimmee, at Osceola County Stadium. The stadium also hosts numerous amateur baseball events throughout the remainder of the year in conjunction with; USSSA, Triple Crown Sports, World Baseball Federation and Promotion Sports. The Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring has also called Osceola County Stadium home since 1994.

Osceola County Softball Complex

The Osceola County Softball Complex is a facility of five softball fields which are host to a variety of amateur sports events. It is the home of the USSSA 2005 Complex of the Year Award, the Rebel Spring Games, and numerous other fast-pitch softball, slow-pitch softball, and youth baseball events.

Austin-Tindall Regional Park is an athletic facility in the area that is host to a variety of annual events.

The city is also home to the annual NCCAA men's soccer National Championship Tournament.



Osceola Heritage Park is an event facility featuring a concert arena (Silver Spurs Arena) and professional sports stadium (Osceola County Stadium). The Silver Spurs Arena has been host to many acts, ranging from Hilary Duff and Bob Dylan to an annual rodeo event. Jehovah's Witnesses also use The Silver Spurs Arena for their annual District Conventions. In 2008, a number of English and Spanish conventions were held by the Witnesses, bringing thousands of delegates to the Kissimmee area for the three-day events.

Public parks

Kissimmee has a number of public parks including:

  • Kissimmee Lakefront Park - A $20 million public works project.
  • Makinson Island Park
  • Babb Park at Shingle Creek
  • Steffe Landing at Shingle Creek
  • Twin Oaks Conservation Area - A popular place with locals for sunset.
  • Scotty's Landing - A canoe launch/landing featuring an educational area and exercise trail.

The Shingle Creek Regional Trail (SCRT) is an inter-governmental project that will eventually connect Kissimmee to Orlando through a 32-mile bicycle trail. It runs along the environmentally sensitive Shingle Creek, and was included on President Obama's America's Great Outdoors list.[16] Various parts of the trail are currently open, with many parts to be completed by 2016. It will be 12 feet wide, composed variously of bridges and paved roadway, and travel through mostly undeveloped area.


Kissimmee is home to a number of golf courses and mini-golf courses.


Kissimmee is also home to the Loop, a large outdoor shopping mall at John Young and Osceola Parkways on the Orange/Osceola County line. It features stores such as American Eagle, Kohls, and Best Buy. There is also a multi-plex theater.

Kissimmee also features a unique transformation of the former Osceola Square Mall into a Spanish-style marketplace called Plaza Del Sol.


Kissimmee is near Orlando, home to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, and Lake Buena Vista/Bay Lake Walt Disney World Resort, allowing tourists to access the parks through the city.


Top employers

According to Kissimmee's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[17] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 School District of Osceola County, Florida 6,425
2 The Walt Disney Company 3,700
3 Walmart 2,730
4 Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center 1,445
5 Osceola County 1,604
6 Osceola Regional Medical Center 1,357
7 Publix 1,350
8 Florida Hospital Celebration Health 1,300
9 McLane 900
10 City of Kissimmee 646


The School District of Osceola County, Florida serves Kissimmee.

Public schools

The following Osceola County public schools are located in Kissimmee:

Elementary schools

  • Boggy Creek Elementary
  • Central Avenue Elementary
  • Chestnut Elementary School
  • Cypress Elementary
  • Deerwood Elementary
  • Highlands Elementary
  • Kissimmee Elementary
  • Kissimmee Charter Academy
  • Mill Creek Elementary
  • Partin Settlement Elementary
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary
  • Reedy Creek Elementary
  • Bellalago Academy Charter School
  • Sunrise Elementary School
  • Thacker Avenue Elementary
  • Ventura Elementary
  • Kissimmee Charter Academy
  • Westside K-8 School
  • Flora Ridge Elementary
  • Koa Elementary

Middle schools

High schools

Private schools

  • Freedomland Christian Academy (K3-12th Grade)
  • Heritage Christian School K3-12 grade (Ministry of Bible Baptist Church)
  • Shady Oaks Private School, founded 1969, PK-5.
  • North Kissimmee Christian School, founded 1995, k3-12th grade
  • Holy Redeemer Catholic School (Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade)
  • Osceola Adventist Christian School (Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade)
  • Poinciana Academy
  • City Of Life, founded 1994, k3-12th grade (formerly known as Heartland Christian academy [formerly known as Heartland Preparatory])

Southland Christian School, K3-12 grade. "House of Flame"

Institutions of higher education

State colleges

Private universities, colleges, and others

Public libraries

Hart Memorial Central Library

Osceola Library System operates the Hart Memorial Central Library in Kissimmee.[18]

Weekend education

Previously the Orlando Hoshuko, a weekend Japanese educational program, held its classes in a Kissimmee church,[19] Trinity Lutheran Church.[20][21]

Notable people


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Kissimmee has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Florida by place Population, Housing Units, Area and Density:2000".  
  2. ^ "Kissimmee, United States Page". Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Kissimmee city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Brief History of Osceola County: The History of Kissimmee". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Katherine Long November 16, 1986.
  8. ^ Hamilton Disston
  9. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer, p. 956
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ Kissimmee
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ 2010 census figures for Kissimmee
  15. ^ Kissimmee Gateway Airport - Providing safe and efficient airport facilities for the economic benefit of our community Kissimmee Gateway Airport
  16. ^
  17. ^ City of Kissimmee CAFR
  18. ^ "Hours & Locations." Osceola Library System. Retrieved on December 29, 2010. Click map link, and "211 E Dakin Ave. Kissimmee, FL 34741" will be displayed
  19. ^ Persaud, Babita. "Japanese residents in Central Florida strive to keep their children's legacy alive with Japanese culture and language courses at Orlando Hoshuko school" (Archive). Orlando Sentinel. December 16, 2007. Retrieved on February 16, 2015.
  20. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧" (Archive). MEXT. September 15, 2005. Retrieved on April 6, 2015. "オーランド Japanese Language School of Orlando 3016 W. Vine St., Kissimmee, FL34741"
  21. ^ "Home." Trinity Lutheran Church and School (Kissimmee, Florida). Retrieved on April 8, 2015. "3016 West Vine Street Kissimmee, FL 34741"
  22. ^ Climate Summary for Kissimmee, Florida Retrieved December 3, 2013.

External links

  • Official website
  • Experience Kissimmee, Osceola County's tourism website
  • Kissimmee travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Osceola Library System
  • Kissimmee Downtown District Preservation
  • Kissimmee Utility Authority, municipal utility serving Kissimmee and surrounding area since 1901
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.