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Why a road on Florida’s Gulf Coast is named after the Toledo Blade

From Poynter

A peculiar sight greets travelers moving up or down I-75 on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Not the Ellenton Premium Outlets mall, with its parking lots full of Canadian license plates over a thousand miles from the nearest northern border. Not the multiple indoor ice rinks in a state that almost never sees the stuff naturally.

I’m talking about Toledo Blade Boulevard, an 8.4-mile thoroughfare in North Port, Florida, named after a newspaper some 1,200 miles away.

Just as retirees and sun-seekers from New England often follow I-95 to Florida’s east coast, I-75 tends to siphon folks from the Great Lakes region to the western side of the Sunshine State. But for someone to enshrine the name of a newspaper as a road, especially when the news media isn’t exactly the country’s most popular thing? That seems a little more notable.

It all started with a reporter.

Thomas A. Ferris worked at the Toledo Blade in the 1930s — an archived December 19, 2010 article from the actual Toledo Blade reports — but by the 1950s was working for a developer called Mackle Co. in Florida.

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