This week, The East County Observer honors SMR, Lakewood Ranch and its residents with this special commemorative edition in celebration of this anniversary. In this 40-page, two-section edition, we hope to both honor Lakewood Ranch’s past as well as offer a glimpse into its future.
Inside, you can learn about Schroeder-Manatee Ranch and the families behind it. Lakewood Ranch founders John Clarke and Mary Fran Carroll also give exclusive interviews about the early days, and some of the community’s founding families share their memories of early life on the Ranch.
We also examine the community’s polo tradition, the economic impact Lakewood Ranch has had on Manatee and Sarasota counties and the company’s agriculture division, SMR Farms. In addition, Rex Jensen shares just how he came to lead SMR as well as his plans for the next 15 years. And Lakewood Ranch students share their feelings about their home in our essay contest.
Finally, we take a trip into the archives to chronicle the past 15 years in our special Scrapbook: 15 Years of Lakewood Ranch, which features photos chronicling The East County Observer’s coverage of Lakewood Ranch.
We hope this edition gives you more insight into and appreciation for SMR and its masterful community. And please join us as we raise our glasses to help celebrate this special anniversary.
Happy 15th, Lakewood Ranch. Here’s to 15 more!