History of Winter Park lakes

WINTER PARK — Florida may be renowned to tourists and snow birds for its gorgeous beaches, but Central Florida does have something else that’s a natural beauty: plentiful lakes.

People interested in boating, fishing and the splendor that nature provides have been enjoying the lakes in Orlando and Winter Park for decades. The picturesque lakes in Winter Park — which include Lake Maitland, Lake Osceola, Lake Virginia and others — add considerably to the city’s charm and appeal with tourists and residents alike.

Anyone interested in learning more about Winter Park’s lakes will have an opportunity on Friday, when the Winter Park History Museum will host a special lecture program, “Naming The Lakes of Winter Park.”

What is the History Museum’s Speaker Series?

As part of the History Museum’s ongoing Speaker Series focused on the rich history of Winter Park, historian Richard Cronin will discuss his book Orlando Lakes, Homesteaders & Namesakes (2019), which profiles  300 historic lakes across Central Florida, including in Eustis, Mount Dora and Tavares in Lake County, Sanford and Altamonte Springs in Seminole County and Kissimmee in Osceola County. The book actually begins all the way back in the 1880s, when Central Florida came to be thought of as “America’s Paradise.”

“Join us as we learn the hidden history of how the lakes of Winter Park’s got their names,” the History Museum noted in its online newsletter. “Where was Lake Mayo? Where was John’s Hole – and how did that name come about? Was Virginia a lady or a place? The pioneers that settled this area are long gone, but Rick has kept their stories alive in his book.”

Cronin, a noted history, has already published 12 books on that topics that include the history of Orlando and the history of the region’s railroads.

“His work has become a valued tool for people researching their community’s history,” the museum noted.

Where Will this Presentation Be Held?

Copies of Cronin’s books will be available to purchase at this event, which is being held at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Community Room, 151 W. Lyman Ave., at noon on Friday, March 3.

The Winter Park History Museum is a block away at 200 W. New England Ave. To learn more about this program or the museum itself, call 407-647-2330 or visit museum@wphistory.org.

The Winter Park History Museum works to research and preserve the history of Winter Park and its surrounding area, and tell the town’s unique story through free educational exhibits, lecture series and outreach programs.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *