In order to understand the origins of the city’s name, it is essential to know the important role that citrus production plays in the economy of Central Florida, the area that Frostproof calls home. The impact of citrus on Florida’s economy today is an approximate $8.6 billion per year, and it has always played an essential role in generating economic activity and growth in the state.
So it was a marketing ploy to attract citrus growers that led the leaders to re-brand their town, then known as Keystone City, as Frostproof. The idea was that the name would signal to potential citrus growers and developers (who would likely be buying plots of land for big bucks and contributing a great deal to the local economy) that they would have nothing to fear from the weather for their crops if they chose to settle in Frostproof.
The scheme worked. Citrus developers moved in, and for a while, the city was spared any citrus-killing frosts. But a few years later in 1894, agricultural tragedy struck. A frost hit Frostproof, killing off some of the citrus crops.
Luckily for the city, not being able to live down its name didn’t do too much damage to the town or its reputation for citrus-friendly warm weather. Average temperatures in the city are extremely mild in the winter and humid in the summer, which is ideal for growing citrus.
But while Frostproof may not have to deal with snow or cold wrecking havoc on its crops very often, the city does have another weather demon to contend with—hurricanes. The city is frequently hit by multiple hurricanes in a row in late August, and 2004 set a world record for having three hurricanes in the same year.
So while the city may be Frostproof (at least most of the time), Florida’s most unusually named city can’t say they are immune to the vagaries of catastrophic weather—or that the citrus crops are ever absolutely safe.