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FlGenWeb Project


Jul 27, 1887

Painting done on the fireplace at the Fountain Inn Hotel, Eustis, Lake FL. 1923
Painting was hung over the fireplace in the lobby at the Fountain Inn Hotel in  Eustis, Lake, Fl. around 1923.
                                               Mural Painting by Marie Pratt, Presented to Fountain Inn by its Board of Directors                  
 LANDING 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 from 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 by the Seminoles, the native  Indians.  It was not until the 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 Leon was wounded in the knee by a Seminole arrow and died from the wound before reaching Porto Rico.  The atrist has taken for her subject the arrival of 
the Spaniards  in Charlotte's Harbor at sunrise.  A party of 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 with his chief.  He fears the strangers and is not disposed to join in welcoming them.  Miss Pratt has successfully put upon the canvas her imporssions of a sunrise on the Florida coast.  The soft mist of early morning rests upon the land.  The light of the rising sun 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 open sea.  The effect of great distance is cleverly handled.  The 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, Fran Smith.  Glorianne Fahs is the assistant county coordinator.   If you are interested only in what might appear in the Lake Co. site  you may use the Lake Co. Search engine below for Lake Co FLGenWeb. Your search results will appear under the search box.

The FLGenWeb has become Inc. Be sure to bookmark the new site for Lake Co.

The FLGenWeb is proud of our ability to provide you with this FREE site.  It is our hope that if you have information about Lake County, you will contact me
.   I will be happy to add your information.  Because people are willing to help people and share their information we are able to maintain our status of the largest FREE internet genealogy group of websites.  Pictures, bios, articles of interest, etc. make interesting reading for others.  A new section is being added for those whose family members were cremated.  This is the only way future generations will find where our loved ones are if they are not listed in a cemetery.  If your loved one was born in Lake, lived, died or was interred here, email me with the information.  

search engine.  Just choose a state and enter the name to see where it appears in that state. Search the Whole USGenWeb.

A Brief History of Lake County

Lake County became a legal entity on July 27, 1887. It was carved out 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 Harris.

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 very low that tend to flood with heavy rains.  A major recharge area for the state is in our south end named the Green Swamp.
 What's New This Month   

Early 1900 Voter Info and Registration Lists

Recent Additions


Pioneer Family Certification

Are you a descendent of a Leesburg (and vicinity) pioneer family? If so, we're looking for you. In fact, we're hoping to reach all of Leesburg's Pioneer Descendant families, so we can honor them in our celebration of Leesburg's Sesquicentennial.

The Leesburg Pioneer Certification, sponsored by the Leesburg Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, honors Leesburg pioneers and their descendants who arrived by the time Leesburg was chartered  July 12, 1875.
Applications and instructions are available at Leesburg Heritage Society, South 6th Street, and Leesburg Public Library, North 5th Street, or by email at
F150cert@aol.comHelp with your application is available at Leesburg Public Library each Monday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment with the Adult 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
Certificates will be awarded all during the Sesquicentennial Year as your application is approved.

Leesburg Scanning Project
The Leesburg 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 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.

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Lake County Home Page
Where is Lake County
Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates
Lake County Libraries
Post Offices est. 1845-1961
Lake County Funeral Homes

Towns in Brief and links

Mt. Dora
Vanished Towns
        Villa City

Other Florida Resources

Florida Facts and History
Migrations (add your ancestors here)
Origin of Florida Place Names
List of Florida Family History Centers
Florida War History
Cyndi's List of Florida Genealogy Web Sites
Where To Write for Vital Records - Florida
ROOTS-L U.S. Resources: Florida
Census Project
Census Project
Florida Tombstone Project
Florida African American Roots
Florida Digital Library and Archives

Textual Collections of Florida
USGenWeb Florida Archives

Genealogist's Index to the World Wide Web

Links are provided for Genealogy research, not to benefit the advertisers appearing on those pages.

If you would like to become a part of this project, please contact
Fran Smith
Florida State Coordinator, for more information.
Florida Counties


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Comments and suggestions
will be welcomed.

Last updated August 14, 2015
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Copyright 1998 - Fran Smith