Lake Co. Communities and Settlements
Mt. Dora, located on a hill high above Lake Dora, is known as a little bit
of New England. Many antique shops and restaurants comprise the downtown area.
Lake Dora was so named after Mrs. James (Dora Ann) Drawdy who,
with her husband, settled near Mt. Dora in 1845. That
same year government surveyors camped in the Drawdy's
yard. She was such a gracious hostess they vowed to name
the body of water after her. Two years later, when the
government map was published, Lake Dora was on it.
The David Simpson family was the first to
homestead in what is now Mt. Dora,
followed the next year by the Stones.
The Stones divorced and in 1879, J.P.
Donnelly became her
neighbor. Two years later they
were married, joining their land
holdings, which now constitutes
the land the downtown is situated on.
In 1880 a post office was obtained, but the town had no name as
yet. The town was named Royellou after Roy, Ella and Louis,
the 3 children of the first postmaster.
On February 12, 1883, the name was official changed to Mt. Dora.
Mt. Dora is host of the annual Mt. Dora Art Festival which
draws several thousand people during the weekend. Other
shows and festivals include a Sailboat Regatta, Power
Boat Regatta, Antique Boat Show, Antique Car Show,
Bicycle Festival, Arts and Crafts Show, and art showings at
the Mt. Dora Center for the Arts.
Several area buildings have been rejuvenated
including The Donnelly House, home for
the Masonic Lodge, and an older home, the Unity House, is now the home of the
Along Lake Dora is plenty to keep the outdoors enthusiast busy.
Gilbert Park has a great playground for children, a large boat landing
with an islet jutting in the midst leading
to a miature lighthouse on it's
point. Also available is a nature boardwalk constructed over the water.
Many of the downtown buildings house Antique stores. The old
Jail has been cleverly turned in to a Museum. The Cells work
well for display areas. The old movie Theatre downtown has several
small shops in it.
For a treat of Yesteryear one can take a train ride.
Other pages about Mt. Dora History:
This page is maintained by
a volunteer of the
The Florida GenWeb Project, Inc.
Comments and suggestions will be welcomed.
This page last updated May 21, 2011
FLGenWeb Project, Inc.| AUP
© 2009-2011 by Fran Smith
|Lake County Communities