Established in 1883, Floral City is one of the oldest communities in Citrus County. Today, it is the only surviving town in the county's southeastern quadrant and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its appearance today is deceiving, however, because this tiny, quiet, laid-back village was once a sprawling, dynamic town. Floral City grew as the main commercial center of Citrus County during the Florida hard-rock phosphate boom of the early 20th century and was known for its beautiful homes, commerce, and state-of-the-art technology, including electricity and telephone service. With a population of nearly 10,000 people in 1914, it was one of the largest towns in Florida until the phosphate industry collapsed as World War I disrupted exports to Europe. Floral City never recovered economically and reverted to its original small-town ambience.