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Lake County, Florida

Lake County, Florida
Old 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 1,157 sq mi (2,997 km2)
 • Land 938 sq mi (2,429 km2)
 • Water 219 sq mi (567 km2), 18.9%
 • (2013) 308,034
 • Density 317/sq mi (122/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .gov.lakecountyflwww

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,052.[1] Its county seat is Tavares,[2] and its largest city is Clermont.

Lake County is included in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • National protected areas 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
    • Libraries 4.1
    • Elections 4.2
    • Senate and House 4.3
      • 2012 general election results 4.3.1
      • 2010 general election results 4.3.2
    • Voter Registration 4.4
  • Education 5
    • Colleges 5.1
  • Transportation 6
    • Aviation 6.1
    • Major highways 6.2
    • Public transportation 6.3
  • Communities 7
    • Cities 7.1
    • Towns 7.2
    • Unincorporated communities 7.3
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11
    • Government links/Constitutional offices 11.1
      • Special districts 11.1.1
      • Judicial branch 11.1.2
    • Miscellaneous links 11.2


Lake County was created in 1887 from portions of Sumter County and Orange County. It was named for the many lakes contained within its borders.[3]

During the Great Depression, citrus became the leading industry in Lake County.

The influence of the Ku Klux Klan rose in the county.

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 posse. 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.[4] The 2012 book Devil in the Grove documents this episode.[5]

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.

On February 2, 2007, a series of early morning tornadoes killed 21 people in the area.[6] Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,157 square miles (3,000 km2), of which 938 square miles (2,430 km2) is land and 219 square miles (570 km2) (18.9%) is water.[8]

Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida, at 312 feet (95 m) above sea level.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the census[14] 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.[15][16]


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.[17]

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
John Kerry 60.02% 74,389 38.90% 48,221 1.08% 1,340
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%

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

Alan Grayson (D) vs. Todd Long (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%[18]

Voter Registration

As of June 1, 2014, there were 204,137 registered voters. Of that, 67,404 were registered as Democrats, 88,976 were registered as Republicans, and 39,392 were not registered as any other party. There were 8,365 voters registered as other parties such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party.[19]


There are a number of public schools in the county.


The following colleges are located in the county:



The Tavares Seaplane Base[20] is a city-owned, public-use seaplane base located on Lake Dora in Tavares.[21]

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.[22]

Major highways

  • 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 is the main local road through western Lake County, running south to north. It spans from Four Corners to The Villages.
  • 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.
  • SR 19 is a mostly scenic north and south road from SR 50 in Groveland through Tavares, Eustis, and Ocala National Forest.
  • 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.
  • SR 40 is the northernmost east-west route in Lake County, and runs through Ocala National Forest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.




Unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 32. 
  4. ^ Groveland Four petitioned
  5. ^ Gilbert King (6 March 2012). Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. HarperCollins.  
  6. ^ Bonanno, Chris (January 31, 2015). "Severe weather awareness week well-timed". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 3A, 8A. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ At Least 19 Dead After Central Fla. Storms - Orlando Weather News Story - WKMG Orlando
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ "Region III - Correctional Facility Office." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  16. ^ "Lake Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Show, Christine (November 22, 2008). "Tavares keeps it simple in naming seaplane base". Orlando Sentinel. 
  21. ^ "Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina". City of Tavares. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  22. ^ Mid Florida Air Services Airport
  23. ^ "Walt Disney by Neal Gabler - eBook - Random House - Read an Excerpt". Random House. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  24. ^

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

  • Lake County Board of County Commissioners
  • Lake County Supervisor of Elections
  • Lake County Property Appraiser
  • Lake County Sheriff's Office
  • Lake County Tax Collector

Special districts

  • Lake County School Board
  • Project Student Safety
  • St. Johns River Water Management District
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District

Judicial branch

  • Lake County Clerk of Circuit and County Courts
  • Public Defender, 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida serving Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties
  • Office of the State Attorney, 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Miscellaneous links

  • Photographs From the State Library & Archives of Florida.
  • Workforce Central Florida
  • Lake County Collection on RICHES Mosaic Interface

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