Mount Dora, Florida

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Mount Dora, Florida
City
City hall
City hall
Location in Lake County and the state of Florida
Location in Lake County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°48′23″N 81°38′35″W / 28.80639°N 81.64306°W / 28.80639; -81.64306Coordinates: 28°48′23″N 81°38′35″W / 28.80639°N 81.64306°W / 28.80639; -81.64306
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Lake
Area
 • Total 5.7 sq mi (14.9 km2)
 • Land 4.9 sq mi (12.7 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
Elevation 184 ft (56 m)
Population (2011)
 • Total 12,534
 • Density 1,542.0/sq mi (632.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 32756-32757
Area code(s) 352
FIPS code 12-47050[1]
GNIS feature ID 0287215[2]
Website www.ci.mount-dora.fl.us
Railroad Station in c. 1920

Mount Dora is a U.S. city in Lake County, Florida. As of 2011, the United States Census Bureau estimates the Mount Dora population at 12,534.[3] It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The Central Florida town was settled in 1874 by David M. Simpson, his wife and 2 children. In 1880, it was named "Royellou" by the postmaster, Ross Tremain, after his children Roy, Ella and Louis. In 1883, The Alexander House opened, a 2 story hotel with 10 rooms, and the community was renamed "Mount Dora." It took the name of Lake Dora, which had been named by surveyors in 1846 for Dora Ann Drawdy, who lived with her husband 2 miles south of Mount Dora. The arrival of the railroad in 1887 stimulated the economy, carrying tourists and freight. A popular winter retreat for hunting, fishing and boating, The Alexander House was renamed The Lake House in 1893. Mount Dora was incorporated in 1910, with a railway depot built in 1915.

R.C. Tremain & Son built the first orange packing house in 1891, although surrounding groves would be destroyed by the great freezes of 1894 and 1895. Box and fertilizer factories were established, as well as a cannery. In 1903, The Lake House was renamed Lakeside Inn, and remains in operation. Visitors included President Calvin Coolidge, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The John P. Donnelly House, a Queen Anne style landmark built in 1893 by the first mayor, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. In 1898, Witherspoon Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, No.111,Prince Hall Affiliate, The Witherspoon Lodge was founded in Mount Dora, and is one of the oldest still active African-American Masonic Lodges in FL. Also on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1902 the members of the Witherspoon Lodge bought the two story frame building at 1470 Clayton St. Mount Dora, FL. 32757, and the Masonic Lodge meetings have been held there since. In the early 1920s the members made the 1st floor of the building as a classroom for the black children of Mount Dora. In 1926 Milner - Rosenwald Academy was built at 1560 Highland Street. It is named after Julius Rosenwald, Chicago (1862-1932), President of Sears and Roebuck. He befriended Booker T. Washington, who made him aware of the deplorable conditions of black schools in the South. Rosenwald contributed money to over 5000 schools in eleven southern states and Mount Dora's Milner-Rosenwald was just one of the other contributions given to Lake County, FL. This money established a foundation to build newer and better schools. A substantial amount of the money contributed was also given by a retired Mount Dora Presbyterian Minister, Rev. Duncan C. Milner (1841-1928). A committed foe of racial discrimination, Milner was a Civil War Veteran who fought in the Battle of Chickamauga, in Georgia. The Academy succeeded in producing many successful alumni. The town today is noted for its crafts and antique shops, historical buildings, and beautiful scenery. The 1981 movie Honky Tonk Freeway was filmed here with the Historical Lakeside Inn which was painted pink for the film, and an Indian Elephant was shipped in and taught to water ski on Lake Dora.

Historic sites[edit]

The following are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Geography[edit]

Mount Dora is located at 28°48′23″N 81°38′35″W / 28.806519°N 81.642996°W / 28.806519; -81.642996.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.8 square miles (15 km2). 4.9 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (14.58%) is water. Overlooking lakes Dora, Gertrude and Beauclair, Mount Dora is situated on a plateau 184 feet (56 m) above sea level.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 9,039 households, and 5,236 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,542.0 inhabitants per square mile (739.1/km²). There were 6,942 housing units at an average density of 941.6 per square mile (363.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.3% White, 19.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.7% of the population.

There were 4,123 households out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 27.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,364, and the median income for a family was $46,394. Males had a median income of $30,993 versus $24,259 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21.724. About 8.8% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Events[edit]

Mount Dora Center for the Arts hosts the Mount Dora Arts Festival, a juried fine arts festival, on the first full weekend of February.

A bicycle festival is held annually in early October.

The Mount Dora Ghost Walk is a theatrical tour of the city.

Mount Dora hosts a craft show every Fall near the end of October.

In fiction[edit]

It is also the setting for the classic post-apocalyptic novel, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, under the fictitious name of Fort Repose.

The buildings in downtown Mount Dora were painted pink for the feature film, Honky Tonk Freeway.

Twin towns[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ U.S. Census Bureau
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.