Lake County Florida

Lake County Information

Lake County is a United States county located in the state of Florida. Clermont is the largest city in Lake County while its county seat is situated in Tavares.

Lake County is home to over 1,000 freshwater lakes and, according to the most recent census, has a population of approximately 297,052.

Lake County Florida Service Areas

History

Lake County was formed in 1887. Its name was derived from the many bodies of water found within its borders. The border of Lake County was derived from parts of Orange and Sumter counties.

The land has been inhabited for thousands of years and was the homeland of the Timucuan Indians.

During the 1500’s, the area was subject to both French and Spanish occupation.

In 1774, British Royal botanist named William Bartram landed on its shores and made the first sighting of a Royal-Palm Tree. During the American Revolution, the entirety of Florida belonged to the British and so its residents were loyal to the Kingdom. At the time, it’s inhabitants were made up of runaway slaves and wild hunters.

Spain would re-occupy Florida again in 1784. Moses Levy built a plantation there to repatriate Jews as part of a land grant pact from the Spanish. This would be burnt down by the Indians during the Seminole wars. Forts were built throughout the county to defend against more attacks from the Seminole Indians.

At the close of the Seminole War in 1842, Congress passed the Armed-Occupation Act. This offered land to men who would, in exchange, live, protect and cultivate the land.

Florida became one of the first states to secede from the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. At the time, Lake Country was home to several large plantations and many small farms. During the war, white males between the ages of 18 and 35 were conscripted into service for the confederacy.

By the end of the Civil War in 1865, another homesteading act was in place, again offering 160 acres of land to settlers who would live on the land for five years and improve it.

The Second World-War again forced many men around the area into war. Civilians of Lake County were diligent in their support of the war effort. Lake County was famous for the number of war bonds sold here with the first one in the entire country being sold in Leesburg.

On February 2, 2007, a state of emergency was declared when a series of tornadoes killed 21 people in the area.

Famous Attractions

Landmarks

Lake Country is home to 31 listing on the National-Register of Historic Places in the United States. Sugerloaf Mountain, near the town of Clermont, is 5th highest point in Florida and the highest point on the geographic Florida Peninsula.

The county is also home to numerous Museums such as the Mount Dora Museum of Speed. There are also cultural landmarks such as the Clermont Historic Village, situated in the counties capital.

Natural Attractions

The county is famous for its bodies of fresh water. 250 named lakes and 1,735 other bodies of water in total with Lake Dora, situated in Mount Dora, being one of the most popular.

Geography and Demographics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,157 square miles. The breakdown of which is 938 square miles of land and 219 square miles or 18.9% of total area being water.

The last in-depth census conducted in 2000, showed a population of roughly 210,528. Of that population, the census revealed that approximately 46% of them were White, 8.3% were African American, 5.6% comprised of the Hispanic population and 0.3%. There were also Native American, 0.8% are Asian, 0.04% were made up of the Pacific Islanders, and finally 1.9% from other races. 1.2% identified as being from two or more races.

In Popular Culture

Lake County was the setting of the arrests of the Groveland Four, in 1949. The Groveland Four was the case of the four men, namely, Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee, and Walter Irvin, who were wrongly convicted of rape.

The U.S Supreme Court eventually overturned the decisions but not before 3 of the 4 men were murdered by mobs or police brutality.

Lake County Florida Fame

Lake County, more specifically Leesburg was the scene of the plane crash that killed American heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads in 1982. On Friday 19 March, the morning after a performance alongside British Rocker, Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne got on board a plane flown by private pilot Andrew Aycock, which crashed into a pine tree before bursting into flames.

References

https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_County,_Florida

https://www.visitlakefl.com/

http://www.floridacountiesmap.com/lake_county.shtml

https://www.lakecountyclerk.org/

 

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