Walt Disney’s parents, Elias and Flora, were married on Jan. 1, 1888 in Kismet, on the east shore of Lake Dorr in the Ocala National Forest. Kismet is long gone, but the once fledgling community boasted one of the largest hotels in the county with 50 rooms. But the burning of the town’s sawmill, the devastating freezes of 1894-95 and the railroad not passing through Kismet all led to the town’s demise. The hotel — 22 feet by 68 feet — was purchased by R.I. Collins and Dr. A.J. Hannah in 1910, dismantled board by board and reassembled in Eustis as the Grandview Hotel. The hotel was enlarged over the years but was later torn down, and a bank was built on the site.

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Villa City’s last original house, the Gano House, was demolished in 1968.The Gano name has played an important part in south Lake history over the years. Archibald Gano owned the grist and sawmill at Millford, which was later known as Villa City. According to the "Gem of the Hills," the crate industry was a spinoff of the tomato industry, where Gano invented the crate and built a mill on the shore of Lake Minneola in Clermont.

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Did you know that the Second Seminole War began just outside of Bushnell? The Seminoles suffered just a few causalities while the U.S. troops had loses in the triple digits. The Second Seminole War was the most expensive Native American war fought by the United States. Also called the Florida War, it lasted longer than any war involving the United States from the time between the American Revolution and the Vietnam War.

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Whitney, a community near Leesburg, was home to the Keystone Brick Company, which was started in 1889 by men who owned a plant in Palatka.