Lake County Florida was once the hotspot for the citrus industry and this tower was built in 1956 as a monument to the growers.
Owner Greg Homan said, “The idea was conceived and built mainly through the efforts of Mr. A.W. Thacker and Mr. F. J. Toole.”
“Over 240 stockholders from 22 states who had faith in the future of Central Florida financed the citrus Tower. They believed that the natural and manmade beauty of the area would bring hundreds of thousands of visitors. The tower after 15 months of construction was opened on July 14, 1056 as Florida’s highest observation point. It is built of 5 million pounds of concrete and 149,000 pounds of reinforced steel.”
Greg added at the time this was built that the view from the top covered 17 million citrus trees in a 2,000 square mile area. In its heyday, the tower’s grounds once boasted candy and jelly factories, a restaurant, a citrus packing house, and about 70 acres of groves.
Today the tower offers a history of the grove industry and the view is more of a suburban one, but still emphasizes the beauty of Florida’s rolling hills and spring fed lakes.
The day I went to see the 360 degree view sadly the elevator was down and Greg was at the Florida Flywheelers with his beautiful Farmall tractors. I want to go back and take a gander from what is said to be the highest or one of the highest points in Florida.
The history of the citrus industry and the tower in its glory years is quite fascinating in the lobby of the tower.
For more information about the Citrus Tower, log onto http://www.citrustower.com. The Florida Citrus Tower is located at 141 North US Highway 27, Clermont, Florida 34711. Telephone: 352-394-4061.