From the start, Lake Mary was quiet and friendly, with a quality of life that attracted people of various backgrounds and origins wanting a break from hectic city life. The founding families described their initial experience as heaven, with men on horseback clomping over dirt roads, dogs running free, ospreys perched in silence, and the echoes of children playing nearby. Underneath the cool shade of Florida oaks and swaying palmettos, women rocked and knitted while men gathered on benches and told valiant stories of catching fish. Since its inception, the Lake Mary City Commission has embraced the so-called total quality of life, providing homes and work opportunities in close proximity to reduce daily commutes and solidify the sense of community. This led the way to Money magazine naming Lake Mary in 1997 the fourth best place to live and work in the United States.