Fun and Interesting Facts About Tavares

Tavares, Florida is 27 miles northwest of Orlando, Florida (center to center) and 74 miles northeast of Tampa, Florida. It is located in Lake County, and is part of the Orlando metro area. The population is 9,700.

  • Tavares History: The city of Tavares was founded in 1880 by Alexander St. Clair-Abrams and was incorporated in the same year. He named the city after a Portuguese ancestor. Clair-Abrams’s dream of the city becoming the capital of Florida was not fulfilled, but the city became the seat of Lake County in 1887.
  • Lake Dora is named after Dora Ann Drawdy who settled here in 1846 with her husband, James Drawdy.
  • The Dora Canal was actually the Elfin River.  It was widened in 1880 by Alexander St. Claire Abrams to make room for small steamboats.  At that time, the name was changed from Elfin River to Dora Canal.


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