Business View Magazine | December 2018

302 303 ECCENTRIC, INNOVATIVE, CHARMING AT A GLANCE MOUNT DORA, FLORIDA WHAT: Historic lakeside city; population 13,916 WHERE: Lake County, Central Florida WEBSITE: Florida MOUNTDORA, I n 1846, according to local legend, federal surveyors named the beautiful Lake Dora for Ms. Dora Ann Drawdy, a homesteader who befriended themwith her warm hospi- tality.Years later, in 1883, the small but grow- ing town was named after the lake. Research has shown that the first surveymaps were published in 1848 with the name “Lake Dora.” However,Ms. Drawdy’s family was shown elsewhere on the census around that time, so there’s a bit of a mystery as to the true identity of the namesake Dora. But there is no disputing that, three years later, the town’s name was officially changed to Mount Dora to reflect that the settlement rests upon a plateau 184 feet above sea level–an unusu- al feature in central Florida. By the early 1920s, residential growth and business development were booming, and Mount Dora was on its way to becoming a city. Investments were made in public infra- structure; streetlights, a water system, curbs, and paved roads were installed.The town’s first two public parks were created along Lake Dora’s shore.Today, the City of Mount Dora is home to just under 14,000 residents. It retains the flavor of a small town with