Well, you did it, you survived another “harsh” Florida winter! Now is the perfect time to spend a relaxing afternoon finding out some interesting facts about the history of Clermont. All you have to do is visit the Historic Village located at 419 West Ave., Clermont—not far from the Historic Downtown shopping district on the shores of beautiful Lake Minneola. Come enjoy cooling lake effect breezes, learn about the people who settled our community, have a great lunch at one of Clermont’s fine eating establishments, and get in some shopping at the unique stores in town.
This Village is a collection of buildings from Clermont’s past as well as two replicas of buildings. The oldest building is the stately Kern House that was built in the 1880’s by the Alexander Kern family after they relocated to Lake County from New Jersey. The newest (non-replica) building is a World War II Quonset Hut that was constructed in 1943 by the U.S. Army to house soldiers assigned to this area to search the skies each night for German aircraft. Other buildings include the home of Clermont’s first permanent African-American family, James & Sallie Townsend; the original Cooper Memorial Library and a 1924 train depot. The replicas are a school house and an outhouse. With such a variety of buildings; it is easy for visitors to learn new & interesting facts, to see many different types of artifacts, and to find something unusual to talk about with friends & family after the visit.
The Village is open to the public every Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 PM and every Saturday & Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Admission is free but a $2.00 donation per person is requested. Group tours at times other than the posted operating hours can be arranged by contacting the Village Manager at 352-593-8496.
If you are interested in knowing more about the history of South Lake County in particular or history in general, contact the Historical Society by going to our website, ClermontVillage.org; by calling Roxanne Brown, Village Manager, at 352-593-8496; or by attending our monthly meetings which are held on the second Monday of the month (except July & August) at 7:00 PM in the Train Depot on the grounds of the Historic Village (490 West Ave., Clermont). The next meeting is June 12th.