This is one of Floridas most scenic counties, founded in 1887 and featuring over 500 lakes from George in the north to Louisa in the south. The county seat, Tavares, was founded in 1880 by Major Alexander St. Clair Abrams, and named for a Spanish ancestor, Lopez Paco y Tavares. Tavares is the home town of Polk Circuit Judge Mike Hunter, whose grandfather was state attorney for that circuit.
St. Clair Abrams built Lake Countys first courthouse in 1888, a yellow brick churchlike structure later used as the Tavares fire station. This building was replaced by a four-story brick courthouse, which in turn was supplemented by a distinctive circular structure on an adjoining lot. The latter is now the county administration building, while a new judicial complex has recently opened two blocks away.
One of the distinctive features of Lake Countys historic courthouse is the monument which holds the flagpole. The base is composed of stones from several states and foreign countries, some highly ornate in design.
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Page Updated 10/17/2003