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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Ferndale in Lake County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Lake Apopka Through the Years

 
 
Lake Apopka Through the Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, January 21, 2021
1. Lake Apopka Through the Years Marker
Inscription.  Lake Apopka has been home to generations of people who settled in this area. Over the years, the Lake has thrived and fallen into decline. It is now in recovery and revival since the 1990s, and is central to the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.

Beginnings
The area was originally the home of a large population of Native Americans. The Acuera tribe of the Timucua confederation were living here when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th Century.

Agriculture
Cotton, the primary crop before the Civil War, was replaced by vegetables after the war. Slow transportation via wagon on sandy trails prompted construction of the Apopka-Beauclair Canal in 1879.

The railroad arrived before the canal could be completed in 1888, and citrus eclipsed vegetables.

Decline
Around the time of WWII, a levee was built to drain water from 20,000 acres along the Lake's north shore for vegetable farming. Thirty years of seasonal flooding and draining dumped phosphorus and pesticides into the Lake. Effluents from Winter Garden's sewer plant and the Winter Garden Citrus Products plant contributed to the rapid
Marker detail: Regional Farming (circa 1920) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
2. Marker detail: Regional Farming (circa 1920)
decline in the lake's water quality.

Tourism & Fishing
Lake Apopka was one of Central Florida's main attractions during and after WWII. The region was widely known as "the large-mouth bass capital" during that time period, attracting the rich and famous for outdoor fun.

Lake Apopka Today
Restoration of the lake began in the 1990s, and measures to protect the recovering ecosystem continue today. The region surrounding Lake Apopka is thriving, drawing a variety of visitors: cyclists, birdwatchers, fishing enthusiasts, hikers, joggers and eco-tourists.

Birding & Wildlife Festivals
The Lake draws thousands to the area annually. Birdapalooza is a highlight each January, as is the Wings & Wildflower festival every October. Both are great times to introduce children to the splendid natural diversity of Lake Apopka.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
The wildlife drive showcases the majestic return of a stunning bird and wildlife population. This new attraction on the north shore of Lake Apopka has been open since 2014. An average of 3000 to 8000 people visit the wildlife drive per month as of 2016.

[photo captions]
• Photographers and birders are drawn to the North Shore of Lake Apopka, a major birding destination. The Purple Gallinule represents the gorgeous bird population.
• Green Mountain Overlook on
Marker detail: “Dipper” (circa 1940) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
3. Marker detail: “Dipper” (circa 1940)
the Lake Apopka Loop Trail
• An alligator relaxes along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Photographers enjoy the ease of spotting a variety of species along the North Shore of Lake Apopka, from frogs to rabbits, birds and alligators.
 
Erected by Green Mountain Scenic Byway.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 28° 38.866′ N, 81° 42.539′ W. Marker is near Ferndale, Florida, in Lake County. Marker can be reached from Wolfs Head Road half a mile north of County Road 455. Marker is located on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail (Wolfs Head Road), below the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook Trailhead. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20700 County Road 455, Clermont FL 34715, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Montverde Academy (approx. 4 miles away); Harper House (approx. 4.2 miles away); Town of Astatula Cemetery (approx. 4˝ miles away); Lake Apopka North Shore (approx. 7.1 miles away); Farm Workers Enrich the Cultural History of Lake Apopka (approx. 7.1 miles away); Brick Road (approx. 8.7 miles away); Villa City (approx. 8.8 miles away); Pounds Motor Company (approx. 9.3 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
Marker detail: Tourist Postcard image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
4. Marker detail: Tourist Postcard
 Green Mountain Byway History. The Green Mountain Byway tells the story of Florida itself, the story of change. In the space of less than one hundred years the landscape of the corridor has changed completely, not once, but many times. Throughout history people from the Native Americans to citrus and railroad pioneers to modern sports champions have been drawn to this region for for its unique lake and topography. (Submitted on January 21, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: In 1922 this man caught 38 Large-Mouth Bass in one hour at Lake Apopka image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
5. Marker detail: In 1922 this man caught 38 Large-Mouth Bass in one hour at Lake Apopka
Marker detail: Pump House at Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area along the Wildlife Drive image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: Pump House at Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area along the Wildlife Drive
Lake Apopka Through the Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, January 21, 2021
7. Lake Apopka Through the Years Marker
Green Mountain Scenic Overlook Trailhead image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, January 21, 2021
8. Green Mountain Scenic Overlook Trailhead
(turn off County Road 455 here to access marker)
Green Mountain Overlook Trailhead Observation Platform image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, January 21, 2021
9. Green Mountain Overlook Trailhead Observation Platform
(marker is on Apopka Lake Loop Trail, below this overlook platform)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 21, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 2, 2021