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Yeehaw Junction, Florida
—  Unincorporated area  —
Desert Inn
Location of Yeehaw Junction, Florida
Coordinates: 28°19′51″N 81°21′6″W / 28.33083°N 81.35167°W / 28.33083; -81.35167
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Osceola
Area
 - Total 5.6 sq mi (14.6 km2)
 - Land 5.6 sq mi (14.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 12-78975[1]
GNIS feature ID 0295717[2]

Yeehaw Junction is an unincorporated community in Osceola County, Florida, United States. This area was confused with Lake Buenaventura (Buenaventura Lakes) CDP (census designated place) in the 2000 census. The correct data for this area was not recorded.[3]

Yeehaw Junction is part of the OrlandoKissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Yeehaw Junction is located at 27°42′00″N 80°54′16″W / 27.7°N 80.90444°W / 27.7; -80.90444 (27.7, -80.90444). It is located at the intersection of US 441/SR 15, SR 60 and Florida's Turnpike (SR 91), approximately 30 miles (50 km) west of Vero Beach and 30 miles north of Lake Okeechobee, Florida. The nearest incorporated area is the ghost town of Kenansville some fifteen miles north on U.S. 441 at the junction of Canoe Creek Road (Osceola County Road 523) The location was named after the Yeehaw station on the Florida East Coast Railway, several miles to the east on SR 60.

History

The word "Yeehaw" is Seminole in origin and means "wolf" referring to wolves that inhabited the area. According to town historians and several original newspaper articles that are displayed at the Desert Inn and Restaurant National Historical site, the town was originally named "Jackass Junction". This name was given to the four corner site back in the early 1930s, when local ranchers rode on burros to visit the Desert Inn (then the local brothel). As the 1950s approached, the Florida legislature felt that a name change was due-the construction of Florida's Turnpike through the center of the community in 1957 demanded such a change- and "Yeehaw Junction" was selected.

According to paleontologist Ed Petuch of the Pangea Institute, the last known dire wolf in the State of Florida was killed near Yeehaw Junction, Florida in the 1920s. Fossils of the animal are found here once in a while, demonstrating that they were in these parts for quite some time. This would be quite astounding since the species has supposedly been extinct for several thousand years.

Yeehaw Junction today

Today, Yeehaw Junction is known as a major stopping point for tourists on the Florida's Turnpike who want to purchase conditional discount tickets for various tourist attractions in the Orlando area. The Turnpike exit links with Florida State Road 60, an important traffic route going from Vero Beach on the Atlantic to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida on the Gulf Coast.

Because the population is not large enough to support its own schools, children in the community may choose to attend Osceola County School District which may be over an hour bus ride for students (nearest Osceola public school is in St. Cloud), or be bused to closer schools in Indian River County or Okeechobee County.

References

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ ERRATA FOR THE CENSUS 2000 TIGER/LINE(R) FILES, United States Census Bureau, October 2001. Accessed 2008-02-11.
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