Ribbons of metal eventually replaced ribbons of water as the mode of travel in Lake County and much of Florida in the late 1800s and early 1900s. But before trains, steamboats transported people and supplies to Lake County through the winding Ocklawaha and the Harris Chain of Lakes. The steamers had colorful names such as The Three Kids, Hiawatha, Helen Denham, Tuskawilla, Okeehumkee and Alligator among many others.

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In April 1994, about 250 people witnessed the demolition of the Floridan Hotel in Howey-in-the-Hills when an explosion caused a huge fireball. In addition to the explosives, technicians also placed 300 gallons of gasoline inside the deteriorating building to enhance the dramatic effect of the blast. The blast’s boom was heard as far as 10 miles away as the denotation shook the ground and broke some windows in the school district building on the south side of State Road 19. Many people visited the old hotel during its last weeks. The 70-year-old landmark played a part in wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan’s television movie “Thunder in Paradise.” It was also an elite boarding school and the headquarters for William Howey’s once large citrus empire, as well as the being the hub of the quaint hamlet’s social life.

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Edward C. Harrington was only 14 when he made his first trip to the Lake Region with his father. The beauty of the land must have made quite an impression on the young man because he later returned and eventually extolled the virtues of area into a 32-page booklet that was a combination calendar and brochure. The year was 1915 and the calendar included a picturesque narration of Lake County, coupled with 27 photos — including one color photograph.

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In 1914, the Golden Triangle of Eustis, Tavares and Mount Dora was made up of up-and-coming communities for tourists and year-round residents. That’s what a reader would have deduced after perusing a trio of articles in the 1914 "Semi-Tropic Florida Development Year Book," published annually by the Tampa Tribune. “Linked together by splendid motor roads, enjoying the same public service utilities and lying so close that it is but a few minutes’ ride from one to the other, Eustis, Tavares and Mount Dora, from the standpoint of the tourist, are almost one,” began the second paragraph in the article detailing the benefits of Eustis. “In fact, it is a happy circumstance that there are three of these towns instead of one, for one of the chief pleasures of the season is the frequent trips from one to the other, all picturesque, all lake girdled and all as neat and clean as towns can be kept.”