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Lantana is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 10,423 at the 2010 United States Census.
The first settlers came to the area after Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 at the end of the Seminole Wars during the Administration of President John Tyler. The M.B. Lyman family is credited with founding the town. Lyman arrived with his family in 1888 and within a year started several enterprises including a general store, Indian Trading Post and a post office. As postmaster, Lyman named the post office – Lantana Point – for the wild Lantana plants that grew in abundance in the area. The word Point was later dropped.
One of the other Lyman businesses was the Lantana Fish Company. In the early 1900s the gathering and marketing of oysters became the town's leading industry. The Town of Lantana was incorporated in 1921 with 22 residents voting in the first election. At the time of incorporation, the area of Lantana was one square mile with a population of 100 residents.
After World War II, Lantana, like the rest of South Florida experienced a tremendous building boom which continues to this day. Interstate 95, which was completed through Lantana in the mid-1970s, brought a surge of commercial development to the town.
Since 1950, the town was the home of the A. G. Holley Hospital the last of the old state-run sanitariums for patients with tuberculosis. The facility treated about fifty patients at a time, those with the most obdurate forms of the disease. The facility was demolished in November 2014. It is now a vacant lot.
From 1974 until 1988, Lantana was home to the tradition of hosting the largest decorated Christmas Tree in the world. Every year, a huge tree would be shipped from the Pacific Northwest to Lantana by rail to the grounds of the National Enquirer, adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. The event would attract many visitors every night, and grew to be one of the most spectacular and celebrated holiday events in South Florida. This annual festivity ended in 1989 due to the sale of the National Enquirer following the death of its founder Generoso Pope Jr. at age of 61 in October 1988.
Today, Lantana covers 2.25 square miles (5.8 km2) and boasts a year-round population of about 10,000 residents. During the winter, the population swells to around 14,000 residents.
Lantana is located at 26°34′58″N 80°3′27″W (26.582797, -80.057587).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), of which 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (21.31%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,423 people and 4164 households in the town. The population density was 4,547.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 5,186 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 69.3% White (56.3% were Non-Hispanic White,) 22.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.6% of the population. Of the population 6.1% was under the age of 5, 21.4% was under the age of 18, and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median income for a household in the town was $41,624. About 17.4% of the population was below the poverty line.
As of 2000, English as a first language accounted for 73.24% of all residents, while Spanish was found to be the first language of 13.95%, French Creole made up 6.82%, and Finnish was the mother tongue of 5.01% of the population (the highest percentage in Florida.) Also, French was spoken by 0.62% of residents and German was spoken by 0.34% of the populace.
As of 2000, Lantana had the 111th highest percentage of Finns in the US, which accounted for 5.4% of all residents (tied with two US areas in Michigan,) while Haitians had the thirty-fifth highest percentage, with 5.20% of the population.
Lantana has a public library, with a collection of 19,376 volumes, as of 2005. In the same year, the library circulated 16,920 items, and it served a population of 9,574 residents.
Lantana was the publishing headquarters of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper during the 1970s and much of the 1980s.
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