When Florida was a comparatively young state, people traveled from the north to the area now known as Ocoee. In the mid 1850s, Dr. J.D. Starke established a village known as Starke Lake situated on the body of water of the same name. After the Civil War, confederate soldiers and their families founded the town of Ocoee. Captain Bluford Sims and General William Temple Withers were some of the first to settle in the area. It was Captain Sims who gave the town its Indian name, Ocoee, which means ''wild apricot vine place, later known as the passion flower place.''
Captain Sims acquired a 74-acre parcel of land in what is now considered downtown Ocoee. Since then, Ocoee has been inviting people to share in its beauty and good fortune and now is home to more than 37,000 people with their own passion for life.
With the Florida Turnpike, the East/West Expressway, State Road 50 and the new Western Beltway all leading to or passing through Ocoee, residents can reach downtown Orlando, the airport and all of the major attractions within 30 minutes Ocoee is a shining example of the notion that growth and history can be successfully blended. The Ocoee Christian Church and the Withers-Maguire House and Museum are locations where Ocoee?s history is faithfully preserved for future generations. The city?s past culture is observed in the beautiful parks, brick roads and historic buildings. This past intertwined with the growth and expansion of businesses including Manheim Orlando, Health Central Hospital, West Oaks Mall and Sysco Foods make Ocoee the ?Center of Good Living.?
Ocoee is strategically located at the heart of all three of central Florida?s major expressways (408 East/West Expressway, 429 Western Beltway, Florida Turnpike)