Dunedin is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The population was 35,321 at the 2010 census.
Dunedin is home to several beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, which is consistently rated among the best beaches in the world. Dunedin is one of the few open waterfront communities from Sarasota to Cedar Key where buildings do not completely obscure the view of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico beyond; a stretch of Edgewater Drive (also known as Alternate US 19) south of downtown offers views of St. Joseph Sound, Clearwater Beach, and Caladesi Island. Downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach are a drive south on Edgewater.
The downtown business district is notable for its absence of large commercial signage, corporate franchise restaurants or chain retail stores. The Pinellas Trail, a bicycle and pedestrian trail that traverses all of Pinellas County, bisects downtown Dunedin.
Since 1977, Dunedin is the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League. Dunedin is one of the smallest communities used by Major League spring training teams. Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is situated next to the Dunedin Public Library a few blocks south of downtown on Douglas Avenue, and is just two blocks east of Edgewater Drive. The stadium was built as a replacement to Grant Field, the Blue Jays' first spring training ball park.
Scottish families originally settled Dunedin in the nineteenth century. Two Scotsmen, J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville, named the settlement Dunedin, the original name of Edinburgh, their hometown in Scotland. Dunedin has the distinction of being the oldest town south of Cedar Key, Florida. With a dock built to accommodate larger sailing vessels, Dunedin became one of Florida's chief seaport and trading centers and at one time it had the largest fleet of sailing vessels in the state.
Dunedin became incorporated as a town in 1899 in part as a response to numerous complaints about pigs running rampant in the settlement, leading to a still-standing ban on livestock within city limits. By 1913, the town had a population of only 350. It became incorporated as the City of Dunedin in 1925.
Dunedin and the Roebling Alligator
During and shortly before World War II the Food Machinery Corporation factory in Dunedin (now demolished) was the primary site for the production of the Landing Vehicle Tracked developed by FMC Dunedin's Engineers and Donald Roebling of Clearwater from Roebling's own Alligator.
Initial training on the LVTs was done at the FMC factory under the auspices of the first Amphibian Tractor School, led by Major William W. Davies. Until barracks and maintenance facilities were completed, the school and its students were housed in the Hotel Dunedin. After training, the Marines from the first Amphibian Tractor School were sent to flesh out the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, which has served with distinction since. In mid-1944, the Marine unit in Dunedin was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California.