The public is invited to visit “The Story of Lake County,” historical exhibit in the Lake County Administration Building, 315 W. Main St. Tavares. The Lake County Library System and the Lake County Historical Society are sponsoring this unique “Viva Florida 500” display, which features items from the Lake County Historical Museum. The exhibit spotlights the Industry, Community, and Spirit of our county’s pioneers. The display will be available for viewing October 22 through January 2014, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
The “Industry” display, titled “Where Success Means More” contains memorabilia of Lake’s agricultural and citrus beginnings, with recollections of Capt. Melton Haynes, who was instrumental in its birth. Also featured is Lake’s rise as a steamboat and railroad hub. Florida’s Cracker Cowboys are pictured with their famous whip that created the distinctive “crack” sound that gave the cattlemen their nickname.
To highlight our impressive “Community” display are photographs of local “movers and shakers” including the 1954 Founders of the Lake County Historical Society, Maj. Alexander St. Clair Abrams, Edward Mote, and William J. Howey. The exhibit includes the history of Tavares Troop No. 1; Florida’s first Boy Scout troop, Eustis’ annual George Washington parade, and Lake County’s fishing attraction.
Our “Spirit” is reflected in our military veterans, such as Medal of Honor recipient, Robert McTureous, and Leesburg native, Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer, with photos and decorations of their remarkable service to our country. Also included in the “Spirit” display is the history of Lake’s churches and schools.www.vivaflorida.org.
The “Ghost Towns of Lake County” display depicts the many settlements that once existed in Lake County, such as Kismet, where Walt Disney’s parents were married. Other displays include a large Lake County map that spotlights the famous homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Places and an impressive “timeline” recounting Lake County’s history from 1845 through 2013. Many vintage paintings and photographs cover the walls of the building’s rotunda.
Historian, author, and Past President of the Lake County Historical Society, Bob Grenier, created and mounted this exhibit with assistance from the Viva Florida 500 Committee, Carol Anderson, Judy Buckland, JoAnn Glendinning, Stephanie Haimes, Cathy Haines, Marli Lopez, Helena Osborne-Ponsi and Katherine Spurgeon, and the Lake County Communications Department, Director Kelly LaFollette and Graphic Artist Paul Long.
For more information about the exhibit, call 352-253-6167. The Florida Department of State has been coordinating “Viva Florida 500”, a statewide, year-long, multicultural commemoration to provide a unique opportunity to educate the world about Florida’s communities. For information about the Viva Florida 500 initiatives, visit www.vivaflorida.org.