From the 1840s when Capt. Melton Haynes trekked through Central Florida to settle in the heart of Lake County, many of those who have visited Lake County since have decided to stay — and for good reason.
Lake County was formed from a portion of Orange and Sumter counties in 1887. Many called for the 1,156-square-mile county to be named after one of its founding fathers, H.H. Duncan, a former state representative and County Clerk of the Court. However, with hundreds of pristine lakes gracing its countryside, Lake was the natural choice.
Lake County is known for its diverse landscape and terrain ranging from 0 to 315 feet above sea level. With rolling hills dotted by orange groves in the south to the pristine flora of “Old Florida” in the north, the striking physical beauty of Lake County has captured the hearts and imagination of many. With an array of dynamic features that includes more than 1,000 lakes and rivers, Lake County continues to attract visitors for many of the same reasons that captivated Capt. Haynes.
In Lake County’s earliest beginnings, pioneers looked to the earth for their livelihood. It grew into a place rich in agriculture. The County was home to Florida’s largest peach orchard in the 1920s and was second in the world for citrus production in the 1960s. Mother Nature took a toll on those citrus crops during a series of freezes in the 1980s. Because of the permanent damage to many citrus groves, the growers moved south.
Today, Lake County is a different place. Expansive parks and recreational facilities, and higher paying jobs are the key reasons. A booming population has led to a surge of new housing construction. Tourism is at an all-time high. Visitors flock to antique shopping areas and cruise on the many lakes. Sports enthusiasts experience the adrenaline rush found at several competition water-ski schools and a nationally recognized triathlon training center.
For all these reasons, Lake County is a different kind of community. County government working hand in hand with businesses, civic groups, organizations and city leaders resulted in these positive changes. Quality customer service is the County government’s number one priority. Together, the leaders of the community and its citizens are continuously striving to make Lake County a wonderful place to live, work and play.