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Why do they call it that? Largo LIVE on the road! | Community Spirit

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Why do they call it that? Largo LIVE on the road!
Why do they call it that? Largo LIVE on the road!

A disappearing lake, a violin, and a bad Spanish translation -- all three may have helped give Largo its name.  

We took The Morning Show LIVE to Ulmer Park in Downtown Largo on Wednesday, November 3rd!

An excited crowd of folks came to show their spirit for their city. Check out the videos to the right of this article to catch some of our favorite moments from "Why do they call it that?" Live! in Largo.

Thank you to the City of Largo and several businesses in Largo's Old Northwest neighborhood and other areas for their support!

Why do they call it Largo?

This city in central Pinellas County was named for Lake Largo.

But, umm, look around. There's no Lake Largo here.

Are you confused yet? Well, confused is how you might describe the guy who named Lake Largo in the first place.

"The guy who developed that area was a guy named Livingston. And initially the lake was called Big Lake 'cause it's a big lake," said Rodney Kite-Powell, the curator of history at the Tampa Bay History Center.

"And he thought he'd add a little kind of a fancier name to it. And he thought the Spanish word for big was 'largo' -- and so he named Big Lake -- Largo Lake."

Grande, amplio, voluminoso -- there are plenty of Spanish words for large -- but largo isn't one of them. Largo means long.

Want to visit Lake Largo? Too bad.

A canal was dug across Pinellas County in 1916. Its goal was to stop flooding and open up more land for farming. Yes, farming -- in Pinellas County.

The canal sure worked. Except for a few remaining ponds scattered across the city, Lake Largo was drained dry.

When stories get more than 100 years old like this one, it can be hard to tell fact from fable. And 10 News viewer Edna Falck suggests a different origin for the name Largo.

Falck's version came from a member of the McMullen family, which settled Pinellas County in the 1800's. Falck says one of the old McMullens -- Rufus, to be specific -- used to love playing his violin.

His passion was for pieces played in a slow, dignified way -- in musical terms, that's called playing a song "largo," from the Italian word for "broad." According to Falck, Rufus McMullen "felt that it suited this slow, rural area," and gave the place the name Largo.

Why do they call it that? Now you know.

On Wednesday, November 10th, join us for "Why do they call it that?" Live! in Lakeland! Come out to cheer for our 10 News cameras as we broadcast The Morning Show live from Common Ground Park at 1000 E. Edgewood Dr. from 5-7 a.m.

If you want to ask "Why do they call it that?" send an e-mail with a name that has you curious to Grayson Kamm using this link.

We'll be featuring new places and stories each Wednesday on 10 News. Watch them on The Morning Show from 5-7 a.m. and on 10 News at 5 p.m.

Check out previous editions of "Why do they call it that?" plus links to photos and maps from Tampa Bay's past at our "Why do they call it that?" website: wtsp.com/callitthat.



Connect with 10 News multi-media journalist Grayson Kamm
twitter @graysonkamm | e-mail at this link | or on Facebook

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