LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA
Jul 27, 1887
Painting was hung over the fireplace in the lobby at the
Hotel in Eustis, Lake, Fl. around 1923.
Mural Painting by Marie Pratt,
Presented to Fountain Inn by its Board of Directors
OF PONCE DE LEON
In the early morning of April 8, 1521, Juan Ponce de Leon, then
Governor of the Island of Porto Rico, made his second landing on the
coast of Florida, casting anchor in Charlotte's Harbor.Eight years
previously the seeker after the Fountain of Perpetual Youth had first
set foot upon the shores of the Land of Flowers. His second
coming was for the purpose of carrying out the commands of the Spanish
sovereign to conquer and colonize Florida, which then was believed to
be an island. With two ships and two hundred men he sailed
Porto Rico and after a quick and pleasant voyage once more reached the
Florida coast. It is a matter of history that he was welcomed
the Seminoles, the native Indians. It was not until
Spaniards began to build a settlement on the shores of what is now
Charlotte's Harbor that the Indians rebelled against this seizure of
their land by the white visitors. They attacked the Spaniards fiercely
and drove them back to their ships. In the fight Ponce de
was wounded in the knee by a Seminole arrow and died from the wound
before reaching Porto Rico. The atrist has taken for her
the arrival of
the Spaniards in Charlotte's Harbor at sunrise. A
Seminoles has gathered on the shore. Their chief is giving the
traditional Indian sign of friendship, the right hand raised high.
A huge, young warrior stands with his back half turned to the
Spanish ship. It is evident tht he is not in thorough accord
his chief. He fears the strangers and is not disposed to join
welcoming them. Miss Pratt has successfully put upon the
her imporssions of a sunrise on the Florida coast. The soft
of early morning rests upon the land. The light of the rising
tinges the tall palms and other semi-tropical verdure, and touches with
rosy hues the stalwart bodies of the savages and the sails of the
galleon with the crimson cross of Spain on its bellying canvas.
The ship is just rounding to, preparatory to dropping anchor.
The second ship is seen on the horizon, coming in from the
sea. The effect of great distance is cleverly handled.
mural is painted in the modern purist style, the pastel colors being
preserved in all their simplicity while giving the impression of
warmth and life.
I am your county coordinator, Ray Richard
is the assistant county coordinator. If you
interested only in what might appear in the Lake Co. site
use the Lake Co. Search engine below for Lake Co
FLGenWeb. Your search results will appear under the search
The FLGenWeb has become Inc. Be
sure to bookmark the new site for Lake Co.
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will contact me.
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A Brief History of
Lake County became a legal entity on July 27, 1887. It was
of portions of Orange and Sumter counties. The first County Commission
meeting was held in Yalaha at Mendenhall's store and the board rented a
two story house as a courthouse in Bloomfield on the south side of Lake
It was named Lake County because there were over 1400 lakes within its
proposed boundaries. Tavares became the county seat after 3 elections
that included political maneuvering and outright corruption.
As a part of his effort to have Tavares named as County Seat, Major St.
Clair Abrams, who founded Tavares, borrowed $10,000 and built a
courthouse, which later
was known as the Pioneer Building. In 1922 the county floated a
$250,000 Bond Issue and built a new courthouse which is now known as
the Historic Courthouse.
The first Post Office was established in Okahumpka on January 2, 1845
when Florida was still a territory. Chetwynd, north of Fruitland Park,
was the first Post
Office after the county was formed but was discontinued in 1891 and
taken over by Fruitland Park.
In 1890, the first census was formed and there were 8,034 people in the
county. As of the 1990 census, there were approximately 140,000 people.
Agriculture was the main industry until the freezes of 1983, 1985, and
1989. The agribusiness figure reached $101 Million dollars.
Walt Disney's parents were married in a small town named Kismet, which
no longer exists, on December 27, 1887. As a child, Walt used to spend
vacations visiting his Aunt Jessie Perkins in Paisley.
With our 1400 named
lakes, the roads
take interesting ways. We have nice high spots as well as
low that tend to flood with heavy rains. A major recharge
for the state is in our south end named the Green Swamp.
you a descendent of a Leesburg (and vicinity) pioneer
family? If so, we're looking for you. In fact, we're hoping to reach
Leesburg's Pioneer Descendant families, so we can honor them in our
of Leesburg's Sesquicentennial.
The Leesburg Pioneer Certification, sponsored by the Leesburg
Celebration Committee, honors Leesburg pioneers and their descendants
arrived by the time Leesburg was chartered
Applications and instructions are available at Leesburg Heritage
and Leesburg Public Library, North 5th Street,
or by email at F150cert@aol.com.
Help with your
application is available at Leesburg
Public Library each Monday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment with the
Services Librarian, Carol Anderson, at 352-728-9790. Or
by contacting the Pioneer Certification Chairman, Glorianne
Fahs, by phone
at 787-5969 or email at F150cert@aol.com.
Certificates will be awarded all during the
Sesquicentennial Year as your application
Leesburg Scanning Project
Heritage Society has been scanning old pictures of Leesburg and
vicinity as part of the city’s 150th birthday
(2007). As well as becoming part of Leesburg Heritage
Society’s permanent collection, most of these pictures will
be placed in the Florida Photographic Collection at http://www.floridamemory.com/PhotographicCollection/
Original pictures will
be returned after they are scanned. This is an ongoing
project. Please contact Glorianne to arrange a time to meet
to have your pictures scanned.
County Home Page
Where is Lake
Offices est. 1845-1961
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(add your ancestors here)
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