By Marjorie F. Jacob, Town Clerk - September 19, 2001, with updates
“Pomona” was incorporated more than 25 years after a group of settlers moved here after the Civil war. Many of those settlers were Union soldiers who had served in the area during the war.
In the late 19th century, Pomona (Park), a small settlement of about 75 families, was noted for its citrus, grape vineyards, farm produce and long leaf yellow pine. The combination of the fertile soil and year-round warm temperatures produced abundant fruit-bearing groves. In 1887, there were 85 orange groves with more than 14,000 bearing trees and 27,250 nursery stock. There were 2,000 peach trees and 651 acres in cultivation. After the freeze of 1895 many grove owners moved away, leaving their homes, barns and farming equipment behind.
Incorporated in 1889 - Recorded in the Incorporation Book, pages 7, 8, and 9, in the Putnam County Courthouse, Palatka, Florida as town of POMONA. (Filed for record on May 24, 1894, recorded on May 26, 1894.)
“Pomona” was named after the Roman Goddess of fruit trees, usually depicted as holding fruit and a pruning knife. In the first half of the 20th Century there were many citrus groves here. Today, Produce Farm & Groves is located inside the Town limits. They are the largest commercial citrus grove this far north in Florida. They provide fresh fruit to public school students in 3 counties. They also grow and market vegetables, persimmons and peaches. The town’s original seal depicted a mature fruit-bearing tree, with the date of 1894 under it and surrounded by a double circle with the words within the circle: “Town of Pomona” at the top and “Deo Duce” at the bottom. (Deo Duce is Latin for “God our Leader”.)
The old packing house on the north end of town was opened in 1913 by W.S. Middleton, for packing citrus for shipping. In 1945, Clyde D. Middleton was one of the pioneers in the development of frozen orange juice concentrate.
In 1945, the Town’s name was officially changed to POMONA PARK (the “Park” was added because mail addressed to “Pomona”, Florida and the mail addressed to “Pompano”, Florida were often incorrectly delivered; however, this name change did not solve the problem, because about that same time Pompano changed its name to Pompano Beach, and postal workers seeing the added names for each town, still resulted in improperly sorted mail. It helped some when zip codes were added to the mailing address, but the mail once in a while still gets missent between these two towns). The Governor approved this name change on May 17, 1945, filed in the Office of the Secretary of State on May 17, 1945. Chapter 23496 - No. 981 - Laws of Florida. (House Bill No. 423.)
In 1963, the Town’s name was officially changed to TOWN OF POMONA PARK and became a law without the Governor’s approval. Filed in the Office of the Secretary of State on July 10, 1963. Chapter 63-1825 Laws of Florida. (House Bill No. 2435.)
The most recent Charter revision was adopted at the local poll during the April 24, 2001 Town Election (there was not a name change this time). Since our 1963 Charter was adopted, many laws and changes have occurred. Our new Charter better enables us to go forward into this century.
An old (1890’s) two-story schoolhouse was deeded to Pomona near the end of the 19th Century. The building was donated to The Town of Pomona Park from the trustees of the Pomona School House of Pomona (Warranty Deed filed and recorded December 30, 1899 in Deed Book 37, page 137). About 1939 the building was renovated by the WPA, making it a one-story structure. Since 1939, the building was no longer used as a school and became the “Town Hall” which was used for many years for family gatherings, local organizational meetings and for the Town Council Meetings. The Schoolhouse/Town Hall/Community Center building is still being used for family gatherings, local organizations, etc. But, since 1984 the Town Council Meetings have been held in the renovated “old” Pomona Park Volunteer Fire Station #10 (the VFD was replaced/relocated in new quarters nearby). On December 9, 1986 the name changes were officially made to change the old “Town Hall” to the “Community Center” and the old “Volunteer Fire Station” became the “Town Hall.”
The Town of Pomona Park has a Mayor/Council form of government. Pomona Park has the distinction of being the first Florida town to have a woman elected as Mayor. Eula E. Dunn was duly elected and sworn into the office of mayor in 1928, serving until 1933.
Within the Town of Pomona Park’s 3+ square miles lies a portion of Lake Broward, a large and beautiful lake. According to information made available to the Town in 2014, Lake Broward has fissures that supply water from the aquifer. Sometimes the lake water is much cooler than other nearby lakes due to the depth of the lake. Lake Broward is classified by Florida LAKEWATCH (1-800-525-3928) as a clear, acid, oligotrophic lake of low mineral content because it receives the majority of its water from direct rainfall and surface/subsurface inflow through well-drained soils.
The population has remained steady over the years near 900 residents. The town is home to three Churches, a Head Start School, a Community Center, a Post Office and four public parks.