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Clewiston, Florida

Clewiston is a city in Hendry County, Florida. The population was 6,460 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2005, the city had a population of 7,173. Clewiston is home to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and the Clewiston Museum.

History

The area beside Lake Okeechobee was once used as a fishing camp by the Seminole Indians. The first permanent settlement began in 1920, when John O'Brien of Philadelphia and Alonzo Clewis of Tampa purchased a large tract of land to establish a town. They commissioned a town plan and built the Moore Haven & Clewiston Railroad to connect the community to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad at Moore Haven. Incorporated as a city in 1925, Clewiston would become noted for its sport fishing, particularly of largemouth bass.

Large sugar plantations were established around Lake Okeechobee. By the 1950s and 1960s, the cultivation of citrus, vegetables and cattle were also important to the economy. United States Sugar, however, remained the dominant manufacturer in Clewiston, which became known as "America's Sweetest Town." On June 24, 2008, however, Governor Charlie Crist announced that the state of Florida has arranged to buy for $1.75 billion the company's 187,000 acres (75,680 hectares), including the refinery in Clewiston. The farmland will be converted into reservoirs and water-filtering areas as part of the ongoing restoration of the Everglades ecosystem. United States Sugar will lease its former facilities from the state for about five years to help defray the cost, and then cease to exist.

Notable residents

Geography

Clewiston is located at (26.753399, -80.933600).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 km² (4.7 sq mi). 4.7 square miles (12.1 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.43%) is water. Located in the Florida Heartland, Clewiston is on the southwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee.

The city is crossed by U. S. Route 27 and state routes 80 and 835.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,460 people, 2,174 households, and 1,632 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,381.0 people per square mile (533.0/km²). There were 2,434 housing units at an average density of 520.3/sq mi (200.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.79% White, 10.93% African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 9.64% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40.94% of the population.

There were 2,174 households out of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 103.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,143, and the median income for a family was $38,652. Males had a median income of $31,139 versus $21,049 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,527. About 14.8% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.9% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Libraries

The Hendry County Library Cooperative in Florida includes the Clewiston Library, Barron Library (located in LaBelle, the county seat) and the Harlem Library.

All three libraries provide Hendry County residents with materials and general information, and each library has a secondary individualized area of focus. The Clewiston Library has a Florida room to house historical reference material and books pertinent to local and state history. The Harlem Community Library is located in a former school building which also houses the Harlem Academy daycare center and its specialty is a growing African American collection. The Barron Library collects genealogical materials.

The Clewiston Library also recently sought and received an LSTA grant to digitize their local newspaper, The Clewiston News and have the digital versions added to the free, open access Florida Digital Newspaper Library.

Sites of interest

References

External links


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