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Where’s Waldo? A Brief History of Waldo, Florida

An integral part of Florida history, the city of Waldo – once considered one of Florida’s safest early settlements – was born out of necessity. The region surrounding Waldo was a particularly high area and, subsequently, often devoid of hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather. 

The Waldo House, built in 1869, catered to railroad workers. In the 1870’s, Waldo was marketed to tourists who arrived by railroad as a winter playground with an opera house, baseball, cruises on Lake Alto and grand lunches at the hotel. Business began to boom, and the Enteza Cigar Factory became one of Florida’s largest employers at the time. Waldo was also an imperative part of the growth of education in Florida. In 1893, Alachua County established the only county high school in Waldo.

Now a quiet, little town located at the junction of State Road 24 (Waldo Road) and U.S. Route 301, Waldo offers a country-style atmosphere with historic homes and antique shops. Today, tourists opt for fishing, sailing and water-skiing on its nearby lakes. 

Waldo is also home to a terrific, old fashioned flea market touting everything from green beans to blue jeans…and Discount Housewares – America’s leading kitchen product wholesaler. Discount Houseware shoppers can find great deals on anything from innovative kitchen gadgets, to decorative kitchen items, to quality cookware, bake-ware, and everything in between!

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