A History of Lady Lake

Lady Lake, the northernmost town in the area that became Lake County, owes its existence to the railroad which was completed by Tropical Railroad, a branch of the Florida Southern Railroad, in August of 1883. The railroad authorities wanted to name the new town Cooper but the residents insisted on it being called Lady Lake after a lake east of town. As legend has it the lake was named by Indians for an unknown white woman they found drowned in the lake. It is also said from the air, the lake resembles a woman's head.

Conditions were right for the Town of Lady Lake to flourish. Settlers who had been living in Slighville on Lake Griffin, soon moved to Lady Lake. The first store was built and operated by John Biles in 1885. A small section of the store was used as a post office and B. H. Boyd became the first postmaster. Sam Sligh erected a large three-story hotel in 1885, and that was the beginning of a story of growth and development in the area.

Dr. Stevens became very interested Lady Lake and planted many of the oak trees you see today. During 1886-87, an effort was made to beautify the town, trees were planted along the sides of the streets. These trees grew into the massive oak trees that characterize the streets of Lady Lake. The nationally known Cathedral Arch formed by the massive oak trees, overhung with moss along Lady Lake Boulevard was pictured in the Saturday Evening Post in 1929. The Arch is one of the earliest works of the settlers who were men of great vision. Through their efforts, Lady Lake was incorporated in 1925. The log cabin in Log Cabin Park was built in 1935 as the original Town Hall.

From 1925 until 1980, the population of the town increased by 811 from 382 to 1,193 residents. Today the population is over 13,000.

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Store attached to back of the Lady Lake Hotel in 1902.



Lady Lake Boulevard showing Cathedral Arch


Lady Lake Chamber

 Original Town Hall - Now
 Chamber of Commerce