The first commercial airline flight in the United States took off from St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1914.
Lake County, Florida has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Timucua and Seminole tribes. These indigenous peoples thrived off the land, utilizing the area's abundant resources for hunting, fishing, and farming.

European explorers began to arrive in the area in the 16th century, with Spanish explorers such as Juan Ponce de León exploring the region in search of the mythical Fountain of Youth. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that permanent settlements began to be established in Lake County. The area saw an influx of settlers, primarily from the northeastern United States, who were drawn to the region's fertile land and mild climate.

Lake County experienced significant growth and development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The citrus industry became a major economic driver, with vast groves of oranges and grapefruits being cultivated throughout the county. The railroad also played a crucial role in Lake County's development, connecting the area to larger cities and facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

In the mid-20th century, Lake County began to transition from primarily agricultural to a more diverse economy. Due to its scenic landscapes and natural attractions, tourism became a major industry in the area. The opening of theme parks such as Disney World in nearby Orange County also brought an influx of visitors to Lake County, leading to further economic growth and development.

Today, Lake County continues to grow and evolve, balancing its agricultural heritage with modern industries and a thriving tourism sector. With its abundance of lakes, scenic landscapes, and charming small towns, Lake County remains a popular destination for those seeking natural beauty and a rich cultural history.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lake County, Florida.

  • 1837 - Lake County is established as a county in the state of Florida.
  • 1844 - The first permanent settler, Aaron Jernigan, arrives in the area now known as Tavares.
  • 1868 - The Florida Central and Peninsula Railroad is built, connecting Lake County to the rest of Florida.
  • 1883 - The first citrus groves are planted in Lake County, marking the beginning of the region's citrus industry.
  • 1887 - The town of Eustis is incorporated.
  • 1892 - The town of Clermont is incorporated.
  • 1906 - The first public library in Lake County is established in Tavares.
  • 1923 - The Florida State Legislature designates Tavares as the county seat.
  • 1944 - The U.S. Army establishes Camp Howze in Tavares as a training facility during World War II.
  • 1971 - The first edition of the Lake County Fair is held.
  • 1997 - The Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards opens, becoming the largest winery in Florida.
  • 2004 - Lake County experiences significant damage from four hurricanes: Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.
  • 2014 - The first SunRail train service begins operating in Lake County, connecting the region to the greater Orlando area.