If you're lucky enough to live in central Florida, then you've more than likely heard of, or been through, Lake County. The name suits the county well as it is home to over 1,000 lakes, most of them being named. We're going to dive into the crisp, refreshing history of some of Lake County's more well-known bodies of water.
The first known named lake in Lake County is Lake Eustis which is dated back to 1823. The lakes were so plentiful that some confused another lake, later known as Lake Harris, as part of Lake Eustis - combining the two as one. This was printed on maps in 1823 and was only corrected decades years later in 1850 when the governor received a complaint that it was, in fact, TWO lakes and not one. The person who sent the complaint was a Mr. Ebeneezer J. Harris who informed the governor he had traveled this lake in a canoe and suggested the lake than being named after him.
Lake Dora is another famous lake located in Lake County. This is a popular tourist spot because it's home to one of only three freshwater lighthouses in all of Florida. The lake was named after one of the early settlers of the town, Dora Ann Drawdy. The town then followed suit and changed from a barely heard of "Royellou" to what locals all know now as Mount Dora.
Another well-known lake is Lake Apopka. This one is a bit tricky as it's in more than one county, Lake and Orange County. It's so big that is easy takes up space in the two counties, covering roughly 31,000 acres. It's also considered to be the 4th largest lake in Florida! Lake Apopka was a bustling spot for fishers in the late 1930s/early 1940s. But this all came to a stop when a levee was built early in 1941 that significantly dropped the amount of game fish in the lake. Decades later, in 1980, Lake Apopka came victim to pollutants being dumped in the water by Tower Chemical Company (TCC), a local pesticide manufacturer. Thankfully, since the early 1990s, there have been many efforts put into place to bring Lake Apopka back to its true beauty. It's taken decades, and will more than likely take a couple more, but soon the natural wonder of Lake Apopka should someday be restored.
This is just a short history on a mere handful of lakes in the Lake County area! There are many more to discover, some of which may still need to be named. Who knows, you could be the next Mr. Harris and write in your query to the governor next! What is known though, is that these lakes do more than make up a county and they should be kept up and kept clean as to not have another mistake like with Lake Apopka. Keep the history alive by preserving the lakes today, tomorrow, and the next day!