Charlotte County is celebrating its Centennial Birthday on Friday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a proclamation honoring the county and its 100 years and Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as Rep. Greg Steube are also recognizing the day of celebration.
Meanwhile, one family, the Desguins, have been there the entire time.
Frank Desguin has had a front-row to the change for nearly seven decades of growth in Charlotte County.
“It’s really changed dramatically,” Desguin said. “Someone that grew up here. It’s a little scary sometimes when you see what’s going on.”
His family ties to Charlotte date back generations.
The roads weren’t congested and neighborhoods weren’t developed.
Charlotte County was created on April 23, 1921 when then-Governor Cary Hardee signed a bill that split DeSoto County into five counties: DeSoto, Charlotte, Hardee, Highlands and Glades.
At the time, Charlotte County had a population of 4,000 people, said Jennifer Zoebelein, a historian with Charlotte County.
Today, “Charlotte county has a population of around 200,000 people,” Zoebelein said.
There’s been an explosion of growth and a massive Category Four hurricane.
“As devastating as Charlie was, there was a lot of rebuilding,” Zoebelein said.
Desguin said the growth is unbelievable.
“When I was in high school, in the 60s, there was one house on Midway Boulevard north on 41,” Desguin said. “And then Murdock, there was a general store at a fruit stand.”
“It is just a nice mixture of a lot of different uses and a lot of different folks,” he added.