Welcome to DeSoto County!

Strolling the sidewalks of historic downtown Arcadia, Florida, the seat of DeSoto County, it is impossible to know that the city nearly ended on Thanksgiving Day in 1905.

What the pedestrian-friendly streets donít tell you, what you canít see with a look at the courthouse pillars looming over Volusia Avenue, is evidence of the fire that rampaged through the communityís downtown, taking out 43 buildings and several homes before finally exhausting itself as dawn struck.

You canít see it because itís all gone. It was gone the next day.

If anything demonstrates the community spirit and resilience of the people of DeSoto County and Arcadia, it is the nearly century-old story of the populace gathering together and rebuilding its decimated city just days later.

The resulting resolution that all future downtown buildings be constructed from brick continues to lend the area a unique ambiance that has made Arcadia and DeSoto County favorite destinations among visitors. More importantly, however, they serve as testaments to the communityís hidden – but proud – heritage.

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