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Dr. Phillip Phillips’ first visit to Central Florida was in 1894 but it was short lived. Freezing temperatures that year destroyed his newly purchased orange grove only to have him return to his Tennessee home. His return to Florida in 1897 to his 5,000 acres he purchased in Osceola County led to an empire of citrus groves and two packing houses.
In 1905, Dr. Phillips, nicknamed “Doc Phillips” purchased a grove on the south side of Sand Lake. Ultimately, this land would become the site of the Orlando Regional Sand Lake Hospital, which was renamed in 2006 as The Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. It wasn’t just the value of the 5,000 acres of citrus groves that led to Doc Phillips success but the innovations that the company incorporated in the packaging and processing of orange juice.