Lake County Courthouse

This is one of Florida’s 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 County’s first courthouse in 1888, a yellowPostcard view of the Historic Lake County Courthouse (Anne Kaylor Collection) 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 County’s 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.


Historic Lake County Courthouse (Anne Kaylor Collection) Current Lake County Courthouse (Keith Vincent Collection) jLake County Courthouse (Jared Anton Collection)

Photo of the Lake County Courthouse circa 1910 (Florida Archives Collection)

World War 1 Monument at the Lake County Courthouse (Digital photo by Anne Kaylor)

A photo of the Lake County Courthouse circa 1920 (Florida Archives Collection)

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Page Updated 10/17/2003