Lake County, Florida

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Coordinates: 28°46′N 81°43′W / 28.77°N 81.72°W / 28.77; -81.72

Lake County, Florida
N043762 lake cty crths.jpg
Lake County Courthouse
Flag of Lake County, Florida
Seal of Lake County, Florida
Logo of Lake County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Lake County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded May 27, 1887
Seat Tavares
Largest city Clermont
 • Total 1,156.40 sq mi (2,995 km2)
 • Land 953.15 sq mi (2,469 km2)
 • Water 203.25 sq mi (526 km2), 17.58%
 • (2010) 297,052
 • Density 312/sq mi (120.31/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 297,052. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2012 to be 303,186.1 Its county seat is Tavares2, and its largest city is Clermont. Lake County is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Lake County was created in 1887 from portions of Sumter County and Orange County. It was named for the numerous lakes in the area. There are approximately 1,400 named lakes.citation needed

Lake County is also home to Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida, at 312 feet (95 m) above sea level.citation needed

During the Great Depression, citrus became the leading industry in Lake County.citation needed The influence of the Ku Klux Klan rose in the county.citation needed

American heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads was killed in a plane crash in Leesburg on Friday March 19, 1982. Rhoads had played in the then nascent Ozzy Osbourne solo band following his tenure in Quiet Riot.

In 1949 the Groveland Four, Ernest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, were wrongly convicted of rape. The convictions were eventually overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court in a case argued by NAACP special counsel Thurgood Marshall. However, Ernest Thomas had already been killed by a lynch mob. Samuel Shepard and Walter Irvin were shot by Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall while being transferred, in handcuffs, to the Lake County jail. The descendants of the Groveland Four petitioned Florida governor Rick Scott in 2012 for an apology from the State of Florida, citing new evidence from an FBI file on the case that no rape ever occurred.3

On February 2, 2007, a series of early morning tornadoes killed at least 20 people in the area. Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency.4


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,156.40 square miles (2,995.1 km2), of which 953.15 square miles (2,468.6 km2) (or 82.42%) is land and 203.25 square miles (526.4 km2) (or 17.58%) is water.5

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 8,034
1900 7,467 −7.1%
1910 9,509 27.3%
1920 12,744 34.0%
1930 23,161 81.7%
1940 27,255 17.7%
1950 36,340 33.3%
1960 57,383 57.9%
1970 69,305 20.8%
1980 104,870 51.3%
1990 152,104 45.0%
2000 210,528 38.4%
2010 297,052 41.1%
Est. 2012 303,186 2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census6
2012 Estimate7

As of the census8 of 2000, there were 210,528 people, 88,413 households, and 62,507 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 102,830 housing units at an average density of 108 per square mile (42/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.46% White, 8.31% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.88% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 5.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 88,413 households out of which 23.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.30% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 26.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,903, and the median income for a family was $42,577. Males had a median income of $31,475 versus $23,545 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,199. About 6.90% of families and 9.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.





Lake County is represented by U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown (D-FL5), Alan Grayson (D-FL9), Daniel Webster (R-FL10), and Rich Nugent (R-FL11). In the Florida Senate, Lake County is represented by Senators Dorothy Hukill (R-FL8), and Alan Hays (R-FL11) . In the Florida House, Lake County is represented by Florida Representatives Bryan Nelson (R-FL31), Larry Metz (R-FL32), and H. Marlene O'Toole (R-FL33).

The Florida Department of Corrections has Region III Correctional Facility Office on the grounds of the Lake Correctional Institution in an unincorporated area in Lake County.910


The Lake County Public Library System consists of 15 branches. Minneola Schoolhouse Library, Umatilla Public Library, Paisley County Library, W.T. Bland Public Library, City of Tavares Public Library, Astor County Library, Cagan Crossings Community Library, Fruitland Park Library, Leesburg Public Library, Cooper Memorial Library, Helen Lehmann Memorial Library, Marianne Beck Memorial Library, East Lake County Library, Lady Lake Public Library, and Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library.


Lake County has voted Republican in U. S. Presidential races since 2000.11

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama 57.99% 87,643 40.89% 61,799 1.10% 1,621
2008 John McCain vs. Barack Obama 56.19% 82,802 42.71% 62,948 1.13% 1,702
2004 George W. Bush vs. John Kerry 60.02% 74,389 38.90% 48,221 1.08% 1,340
2000 George W. Bush vs. Al Gore 56.44% 50,010 41.27% 36,571 2.30% 2,030

Senate and House

Lake County last voted for a Democrat in a United States Senate race in 2006, when US Senator Bill Nelson won in Florida and won Lake County 55.57% to Katherine Harris's 42.79%. He lost the county in 2012, but won the election.

2012 general election results

For US President: Barack Obama (D) vs. Mitt Romney (R): 51.01% to 47.16%

For US Senator: Bill Nelson (D) vs. Connie Mack IV (R): 55.23% to 42.23%clarification needed

Corrine Brown (D) vs. LeAnne Kolb (R): 70.8% to 26.3%

Alan Grayson (D) vs. Todd Lond (R): 62.5% to 37.5%

Daniel Webster (R) vs. Val Demings (D): 51.7% to 48.3%

Richard Nugent (R) vs. David Werder (D): 64.5% to 35.5%

Dorothy Hukill (R) vs. Frank Bruno (D): 57.0% to 43.0%

Alan Hays (R) vs. John Iller (I): 71.6% to 28.4%

All three Florida House Representatives were not contested in 2012.

2010 general election results

Florida governor: Rick Scott (R) vs. Alex Sink (D): 48.87% to 47.72%

US Senator: Marco Rubio (R) vs. Charlie Crist (I) vs. Kendrick Meek (D): 48.89% to 29.71% to 20.20%12

Voter Registration

As of August 2, 2013, there were 196,907 registered voters. Of that, 65,605 were registered as Democrats, 87,097 were registered as Republicans, and 34,827 were not registered as any other party. There were 9,378 voters registered as other parties such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party.13


Elementary Schools

  • Astatula Elementary
  • Beverly Shores Elementary
  • Clermont Elementary
  • Cypress Ridge Elementary
  • Eustis Elementary
  • Fruitland Park Elementary
  • Grassy Lake Elementary
  • Groveland Elementary
  • Lake Hills School (Ages 2–22 with moderate to profound disabilities)
  • Leesburg Elementary
  • Lost Lake Elementary
  • Pine Ridge Elementary
  • Rimes Early Learning Center (Pre-K - 2nd grade)
  • Round Lake Elementary
  • Sawgrass Bay Elementary
  • Seminole Springs Elementary
  • Sorrento Elementary
  • Tavares Elementary
  • Treadway Elementary
  • Triangle Elementary
  • Umatilla Elementary
  • Villages Elementary

Middle Schools

  • Carver Middle
  • Clermont Middle
  • East Ridge Middle
  • Eustis Middle
  • Cecil E. Gray Middle
  • Mount Dora Middle
  • Umatilla Middle
  • Windy Hill Middle
  • Tavares Middle

High Schools

  • East Ridge High
  • Eustis High
  • Eustis High (Curtright Campus)
  • Lake Minneola High
  • Leesburg High
  • Mount Dora High
  • South Lake High
  • Tavares High
  • Umatilla High

Conversion Charters

  • Mascotte Elementary
  • Minneola Elementary
  • Round Lake Elementary
  • Lake Technical Center
  • Spring Creek Elementary

Charter Schools

  • Alee Academy
  • Altoona School
  • Humanities & Fine Arts Charter School
  • Milestones Charter School
  • Imagine South Lake Charter



The Tavares Seaplane Base14 is a city-owned, public-use seaplane base located on Lake Dora in Tavares.15

Panorama of the Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina on Lake Dora

The Leesburg International Airport is a former Army Airfield and municipal airport located along Lake Harris east of downtown Leesburg, Florida.

Mid Florida Air Service Airport is located on State Road 44 east of Eustis.16

Major roads

  • Florida's Turnpike shield.png Florida's Turnpike runs north and south from Southeastern and Central Florida. Three interechanges exist in the county; US 27/SR 19 (Exit 285), southbound US 27 (Exit 289) and the more recently built County Road 470 (Exit 296).
  • US 27.svg US 27 is the main local road through western Lake County, running south to north. It spans from Four Corners to The Villages.
  • US 441.svg US 441 is another south to north US highway running through Mount Dora from Orange County around Lake Dora, where it merges with SR 44, has a wrong-way concurrency with SR 19 in Tavares, and lets go of SR 44 in Leesburg only to join US 27 as they both head into Marion County.
  • Florida 19.svg SR 19 is a mostly scenic north and south road from SR 50 in Groveland through Tavares, Eustis, and Ocala National Forest.
  • Florida 33.svg SR 33 is the north-south road from Lakeland in Polk County to Groveland. A county extension exists as a hidden route along SR 50 to Mascotte, where it become an exposed county road leading to US 27 in Okahumpka.
  • Florida 40.svg SR 40 is the northernmost east-west route in Lake County, and runs through Ocala National Forest.
  • Florida 44.svg SR 44 runs east and west through Central Lake County from west of Leesburg where it joins southbound US 441 until it breaks away near Mount Dora and heads northeast into Volusia County.
  • Florida 46.svg SR 46 starts at an interchange with US 441 and County Road 46 in Mount Dora and through Sorrento and Mount Plymouth along the northern border of Orange County.
  • Florida 50.svg SR 50 is the main east-west road through southern Lake County.

Public transportation

LakeXpress is the public transportation agency that serves the Lake County, Florida area since 2007.

Notable people


  • [[Famed son of Paisley: Visionary and Creator Walt Disney had ties to the area. His parents, Flora Call and Elias Disney, were married here, in Lake County. Officially designated a county on May 27, 1887, Lake issued its first marriage license exactly seven months later, in December, for the Disney-Call union. The wedding took place Jan. 1, 1888, in the tiny Kismet church in the Paisley area of the county. The couple's famous son missed being a native Floridian by just a few years. The late Orlando Sentinel journalist Ormund Powers sketched out the story in a 1998 column, quoting from a history of the Paisley area. Fleeing the Kansas winters, Walt Disney's maternal grandparents, Charles and Henrietta Call, lived in Huron County, Ohio, in the 1860s, and moved to Ellis, Kan., in 1879, but after several harsh winters, they moved about 1884 to Lake County and became Florida pioneers. The Calls' Kansas neighbors, Kepple Disney and his son Elias (Walt's father), also made the journey south and settled in the Paisley area. The Calls acquired 80 acres about a mile north of the Paisley settlement. The Call children included a son, Charles Jr., and four daughters: Flora (Walt Disney's mother), Jessie, Grace Lila, and Julia. Kepple Disney returned to Kansas in 1887, but Elias stayed behind to wed Flora in that January 1888 ceremony in the little Kismet church. She was almost 20; Elias was almost 29.]] 18

See also


  1. ^ "Population Estimates" (CSV). 2008 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Groveland Four petitioned
  4. ^ At Least 19 Dead After Central Fla. Storms - Orlando Weather News Story - WKMG Orlando
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Region III - Correctional Facility Office." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  10. ^ "Lake Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Show, Christine (November 22, 2008). "Tavares keeps it simple in naming seaplane base". Orlando Sentinel. 
  15. ^ "Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina". City of Tavares. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Mid Florida Air Services Airport
  17. ^ "Walt Disney by Neal Gabler - eBook - Random House - Read an Excerpt". Random House. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  18. ^

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

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