DeSoto County (pop. 34,862) is east of Sarasota County. It was named for Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto – as was Hernando County, farther north in Florida.
The only other DeSoto County is in Mississippi. Its county seat is the city of Hernando.
The county seat of DeSoto County, Florida, is the city of Arcadia (pop. 7,636).
The Arcadia Opera House (1906) is now one of downtown DeSoto’s many antique stores.
The Opera House was built after a fire destroyed most of Arcadia’s business district in 1905.
Hurricane Charley in 2004 did extensive damage to Arcadia and DeSoto County. About 95% of downtown buildings were damaged.
Carlstrom Field was a military airfield, southwest of Arcadia, that trained pilots from 1917 to 1945.
DeSoto County has the second-most acres in citrus trees (after Polk County) of any county in Florida.
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