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

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

There are some awful names Lakeland almost got stuck with -- plus a worldwide royal tale behind the city's iconic swans.

We took The Morning Show LIVE to Common Ground Park in Lakeland on Wednesday, November 10th!

Two high school drumlines, a jet-powered car, military families, a live swan, and more joined us to show off why they love living in Lakeland and Polk County.

Check out the videos to the right of this article to catch some of our favorite moments from the "Why do they call it that?" road show in Lakeland.

Thank you to the City of LakelandLakeland High School, George Jenkins High School, Publix, Fantasy of Flight, LEGOLAND Florida, businesses from Downtown Lakeland, the Lakeland Rotary Club, the Eric Michaels Morning Show on MAX 98.3, and lots of other folks for their support!

Why do they call it Lakeland?

Swans are the symbols of this Polk County city.

They're soaring on signs and swimming in the 13 named, natural lakes that dot this town.

Lakeland's first swans were noted in the 1920s. They were probably pets, which had been set free. By the 1950s, they had all died off.

So a woman who missed the silent, soothing sight of the swans wrote to Queen Elizabeth II.

Apparently, the queen owns all of the swans on certain sections of the Thames River in London.

With royal permission, the woman -- Mrs. Robert Pickardt -- raised the money to ship a pair of the queen's swans from England to Lakeland. Their descendants still float serenely on the city's lakes.

Those lakes are obviously what give Lakeland its name. But "Lakeland" beat out some ugly ducklings before it was chosen.

Among rejected names for the city:

Munnville was considered, but town founder Abraham Munn said no thanks.

Red Bug was also in the running, but that insect-inspired option was overruled, and Lakeland was incorporated in 1885.

Several of the city's lakes also got their names in interesting ways.

Lake Mirror
Was called Deep Lake, then Bushy Lake. Finally settled on Lake Mirror for the obvious reason: it's reflective, like a mirror.

Lake Bonnet
Named for water lilies in the lake, which are also called "bonnets."

Lake Bonny
Was originally Lake Boney, named for David Boney who fought against the Seminole Indians.

Lake Wire
Originally had a weird name: Israel's Dish. Was renamed Lake Wire after a telegraph wire had to be routed around the lake instead of across it.

Why do they call it that? Now you know.

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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