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One family lived on Lumsden Road // And that's how today's busy thoroughfare got its name

Thousands of Brandon residents travel busy Lumsden Road daily, but there was a time when it was a dirt trail known only to a few. The dirt trail was called Eucalyptus Avenue, and for Charlie Lumsden and his family, it was the service road for their orange grove.

Now known more for cars than orange trees, the name of the trail was changed to Lumsden Road when power lines were installed for the groves' irrigation system.

Because Lumsden happened to be the only person living on the road, it was named after his family, said Jack Lumsden, his brother.

"A Mr. Davis from Tampa Electric told my brother, since he had the only house on the road, it would be called Lumsden Road," Jack Lumsden said. Charlie Lumsden died in 1982.

At the time, Lumsden Road extended from Mount Carmel Road to Kings Avenue. It now connects east Brandon to the Crosstown Expressway. And to rename a road requires a vote by the Hillsborough County Commission, not just the power company's say-so.

The name isn't the only thing about the road that has changed.

"I used to stop my work in the garden and speak to the people as they drove by, but now I wouldn't be able to get anything done if I tried to do that," said Lumsden, whose property used to occupy the corner of Lumsden and Valrico roads.

Since then, he has sold off the portion facing Lumsden Road. So now the Lumsdens live on Valrico Road.

Lumsden and his wife Nellie moved to Brandon from Alabama in 1944 to help Charlie work his 80-acre citrus grove and to build their home on Valrico Road. They've had little difficulty adjusting to the many changes in the 46 years they have lived here.

"We just grew into the changes," said Lumsden, who is 78 years old.

Huge eucalyptus trees lined both sides of Valrico Road, also a dirt trail, when they built their wood frame house in 1948.

"Before the county would come in and maintain Valrico Road, they said we would have to clear out the eucalyptus trees," Lumsden said. "Myself and the neighbors got together and cleared them out. (The county) finally paved it in 1957."

The Lumsdens' two sons, James and Leroy, hunted gophers, squirrels and possums where children now play in their manicured back yards.

Mrs. Lumsden still stocks her shelves and freezer with the corn, peas, tomatoes, watermelon and other fresh vegetables the couple grows in their 12-acre garden.

For decades, Lumsden has been a familiar figure to passing motorists, working his garden on his big red tractor. Mrs. Lumsden, 78, can't keep up with her husband as she once did, but still can be seen in her sunbonnet, picking vegetables.

Doing things together has been one of the cornerstones to the success of the marriage.

The Lumsdens, who recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary, are a living Valentine story.

"Loving each other and knowing we couldn't get along without each other helped keep us together," said Mrs. Lumsden, who met her husband as a child.

"We have the 'till death do us part' belief for our marriage," Lumsden said. "Knowing you have to work things out is my belief. We grew up together, went to school together and are friends and companions."