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Lake Tohopekaliga south of St. Cloud
|Location||Osceola County, Florida|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||22,700 acres (91.86 km2)|
|Location||Osceola County, Florida, United States|
|Nearest city||Kissimmee, Florida|
|Area||22,700 acres (91.86 km2)|
Lake Tohopekaliga Tohopeka ([from tohopke /(i)to-hó:pk-i/ fence, fort]); Tohopekaliga [from tohopke /(i)to-hó:pk-i/ fence, fort + likv /léyk-a/ site], also referred to as Lake Toho, West Lake, or simply Toho, native name meaning "we will gather together here", is the largest lake located in Osceola County, Florida, United States. It is the primary inflow of Shingle Creek, which rises in Orlando. It covers 22,700 acres (91.86 km2), and spans 42 miles (68 km) in circumference. It is linked to East Lake Tohopekaliga by Canal 31 (St. Cloud Canal). The canal is 3 miles (5 km) long and runs through western St. Cloud. South Port canal is located at the southern tip of the lake and links it to Cypress Lake. It is 4 miles (6 km) long. Lake Toho is bordered on the northern shore by Kissimmee, on the eastern shore by Kissimmee Park, and South Port on the southern shore. Lake Tohopekaliga is known for its bass fishing and birdwatching. Lakefront Park is located at the South end of the lake and borders Lakeshore Blvd. Lakefront Park has a scenic walking path with benches where visitors may view the area's wide array of waterfowl, alligators, turtles and others. Lakefront park also has a miniature lighthouse, a children's playground area, and is bordered on its west end by Big Toho Marina.
Tohopeka [from tohopke /(i)to-hó:pk-i/ fence, fort]
Tohopekaliga [from tohopke /(i)to-hó:pk-i/ fence, fort + likv /léyk-a/ site]
The Seminole Tribune 2 March 23, 2001 On Misinformation
- James E. Billie
The Partin Ranch borders Lake Tohopeliga (we will gather together here) and gives birth to the great Kissimmee. The name Kissimmee originated between the 1750s and 1850s when soldiers were pursuing Seminoles along the shore of Lake Tohopekaliga and commenced to massacre the Indians when a brave Seminole woman began screaming “Kish-a-me. No kill. Kish-a-me. No kill!” Miraculously, the soldiers did heed to her offer and this lady sacrificed herself to save the remaining Seminoles who escaped to the wild lands along the shores of what is now known as “kish-a-me” or Kissimmee River. This lake is also the origin of the Seminole’s legend of the Kissimmee River. It is about a man who eats a fish found in a hollow log away from the water. Though he is warned never to eat anything out of place, he eats the fish and turns into a huge snake. He crawls down to Okeechobee Lake and then to the Gulf, leaving a winding river in his path. The towns known as Orlando, Hollywood, Apopka, Leesburg, Ocala, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Winter Park, Mount Dora, Avon Park, all the way up to Gainesville are all areas where people known as Seminoles and Miccosukees and Tequestas – and many other groups of indigenous peoples – used to inhabit.
— James E. Billie has been publisher of the Seminole Tribune and chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 1979.
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