To the right are some pictures from around town. Clockwise from the top are Lakeside Inn, the town trolley, the park across from the Inn, the Donnelly house, the track used several times a day, the old train tressel, and the depot. The center shows the town square at Christmas. To the left is the front of Lakeside Inn, the most famous landmark in town. You can read more about the Inn below in the History Section.
Every month in Mount Dora is rich with activities. Select a month below to see for yourself. These listings are courtesy of the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce. Visit their site for a variety of information about our community.
The City of Mount Dora was established in 1880. It was first named Royellou after one of the City's pioneers. Lake Dora was named for a local resident who provided camping hospitality to Federal surveyors in 1883. The town was later renamed after the lake. The "mount" refers to the fact that the city sits on a plateau 266 feet above sea level. Incorporated as a town on March 25, 1910 with 370 residents, it was later incorporated as a city on April 23, 1953. Mount Dora now boasts a population of approximately 10,364
Located approximately 25 miles northwest of Orlando, the City retains the flavor of a small town with hilly terrain, several lakes, large canopy oak trees and historic buildings. Mount Dora was recently recognized by the readers of Florida Living Magazine as Florida's friendliest small town and as having the best antique shopping area in the state.
The City has a viable downtown with a variety of antique and specialty shops and restaurants. There is limited light industrial business. One of the goals for the newly-approved Economic Development Coordinator will be to find ways to attract clean, light industry to the City.
The Festival City hosts eight major annual events beginning with the Mount Dora Arts Festival. This popular event attracts over 150,000 people each year and has been ranked among the top 200 arts shows in the country. Other events include an antique boat show, antique car show, sailing regatta, golf tournament, bicycle festival, crafts fair and the Christmas lighting festival.
The City Limits abut Lake Dora and encompass over 8.1 square miles. The service area for water, sewer and planning purposes encompasses 16.14 square miles.
The fascinating history of this area begins with the county northwest of Orlando where Mount Dora resides. The town's past is then explored. Finally, comes the story
From the 1840s when Capt. Melton Haynes trekked through Central Florida to settle in the heart of Lake County, many of those who have visited Lake County since have decided to stay -- and for good reason.
Lake County was formed from a portion of Orange and Sumter counties in 1887. Many called for the 1,156-square-mile county to be named after one of its founding fathers, H.H. Duncan, a former state representative and County Clerk of the Court. However, with hundreds of pristine lakes gracing its countryside, Lake was the natural choice.
Lake County is known for its diverse landscape and terrain ranging from 0 to 315 feet above sea level. With rolling hills dotted by orange groves in the south to the pristine flora of "Old Florida" in the north, the striking physical beauty of Lake County has captured the hearts and imagination of many. With an array of dynamic features that includes more than 1,000 lakes and rivers, Lake County continues to attract visitors for many of the same reasons that captivated Capt. Haynes.
In Lake County's earliest beginnings, pioneers looked to the earth for their livelihood. It grew into a place rich in agriculture. The County was home to Florida's largest peach orchard in the 1920s and was second in the world for citrus production in the 1960s. Mother Nature took a toll on those citrus crops during a series of freezes in the 1980s. Because of the permanent damage to many citrus groves, the growers moved south.
Today, Lake County is a different place. Expansive parks and recreational facilities, and higher paying jobs are the key reasons. A booming population has led to a surge of new housing construction. Tourism is at an all-time high. Visitors flock to antique shopping areas and cruise on the many lakes. Sports enthusiasts experience the adrenaline rush found at several competition water-ski schools and a nationally recognized triathlon training center.
For all these reasons, Lake County is a different kind of community. County government working hand in hand with businesses, civic groups, organizations and city leaders resulted in these positive changes. Quality customer service is the County government's number one priority. Together, the leaders of the community and its citizens are continuously striving to make Lake County a wonderful place to live, work and play.