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To Clermont

History of Clermont

How a small town filled with orange groves became the choice of champions.

Clermont has something in common with many other small towns and cities in Florida. In other words, to discover the real town you have to get away from the main highways.

The main highways in the Clermont area are US-27 and State Road 50. Downtown Clermont is west of the intersection of these two highways.
Over the years, major commercial and residential development has occurred around this intersection. Most of the town’s 30,000 people live in this new development.

In historic downtown Clermont the renovated buildings give the impression of having stepped back into Old Florida. Besides a great city park on the south shore of Lake Minneola (Waterfront Park), Clermont boasts a historic village that has preserved some of the city’s old houses and buildings.

Founded in 1884 and incorporated in 1916, Clermont was platted and laid out on the rolling hills between Lake Minneola to the north and Lake Minnehaha to the south.

Old photo of Clermont Florida.

Intersection of 27 and 50 taken in 1955

Old photo of Clermont Florida.
Old photo of Clermont Florida.
Old photo of the tower in Clermont Florida.
Downtown Clermont Florida.

In 1922, a developer named Edward Denslow organized The Postal Colony Company when he bought 1,000 acres of land and planted citrus groves. The groves were owned and tended by retired post office employees. Clermont then became one of the foremost citrus-growing towns in the United States.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Central Florida was built in Clermont in 1956. The Florida Citrus Tower, situated on a hill northeast of town, took visitors by elevator to the top of the tower. From the top, visitors could view hundreds of thousands of acres of citrus groves all the way to Orlando, even before the construction of Disney World.

In the early 1980s a serious freeze destroyed most of the groves in Clermont. Since the Orlando metro area at that time was booming, Clermont property was more valuable as residential property than as groves. As a result the groves were not re-planted. Instead the area grew into the developed city that exists today.