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Main Image for the Lake House 1884

A Timeline of Important Dates, People and Events in the More Than 135 Year History of Mount Dora’s Lakeside Inn 

There have been a number of noteworthy dates, people and events for Lakeside Inn and Mount Dora since the establishment of this Historic Hotel more than 135 years ago.


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1882 – Several leading citizens, John Alexander, John and Annie Donnelly and Colonel John McDonald, feeling Mount Dora needed a hotel in order to attract visitors and facilitate the growth of the community, formed a partnership for the purpose of building such a facility.

1883 – The partners opened the new, two-story, ten-room hotel and named it the Alexander House, a simple design with a large veranda and constructed with termite resistant Georgia pine.

1884 – Miss Emma Boone, an experienced hotel operator and a bundle of energy, arrived from Boston to take charge of the Alexander House.

1887 – Train service was established into Mount Dora by the Sanford and Lake Eustis Railroad Company, in affiliation with the Seaboard Coast Railroad Network.

1893 – The partners decided to sell the Alexander House to Miss Emma Boone, and she then changed the name to The Lake House.

1903 – Emma Boone married George Thayer of Boston and the two formed the Lakeside Hotel Company. In the process, they changed the hotel’s name to Lakeside Inn.

1905 -The addition of a three-story section to south side of the original building was completed. 1905 – The rusticated stone walls with gate posts were constructed at the Alexander Street entry.

1906 – Another two-story section was completed, giving the Lakeside Building most of its current look. At the time, the veranda wrapped around both ends of the building.

1908 – Still more guest rooms were needed to accommodate the growing guest list, so The Gatehouse was built and featured several more guest rooms on each of two floors.

1909 – Emma Boone Thayer died and husband George continued to operate Lakeside Inn.

1910 – A very large two-story boathouse was built, featuring a club room and expansive viewing deck. This area would eventually become the original Kumquat Lounge.

1914 – The Sunset Cottage was built to accommodate the need for additional guest rooms.

1924 – Lakeside Inn is sold to long-time guest, Charles Edgerton, and his partners, Fred Wesley Wentworth, Archie Hurlburt and a group of 100 local investors.

1926 – Two ten-car garages were built, with additional employee housing on the 2nd floors.

1928 – An agreement was struck with the City of Mount Dora for the south section of Alexander Street to be privatized by Lakeside Inn.

1930 – A completed $250,000 renovation and expansion project saw the addition of the Gables and Terrace Buildings, a large swimming pool, a new lobby, dining room and the addition of formal landscaping.

1930 – President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge, arrived in mid-January for a month-long stay, following his retirement from office.

1935 – Dick Edgerton, son of partner Charles Edgerton, took over management responsibilities for Lakeside Inn.

1952 – The Kumquat Lounge was opened in the basement of the Inn, in the area that is now remembered as the Speakeasy.

1979 – Mount Dora and Lakeside Inn were selected as the site for the filming of Honky Tonk Freeway, a comedy movie from the Academy Award winning director, John Schlesinger.

1979 – Owner, Dick Edgerton, a long-time trustee of Berry College in Rome, Georgia donated Lakeside Inn to the school so Berry College could receive the financial benefit from its sale.

1980 – The Inn is sold to Richard Lee and Associates, who changed the name to Lee’s Lakeside Inn.

1984 – Richard Lee and Associates put the Inn up for sale.

1985 – Fewer than 90 days before a developer’s wrecking ball was to demolish the Inn, a group of investors headed by brothers Richard and Jim Ferrell purchased and undertook a major renovation of Lakeside Inn.

1986 – The Kumquat Lounge was relocated from the basement to the north end of the lobby and the name was changed to Tremain’s Lounge.

1987 – Lakeside Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1990 – The debt incurred during the renovation of the Inn proved too great for revenues to support, so the corporation was forced into foreclosure.

1990 – Lakeside Inn was sold at sheriff’s auction to James Barggren and John Dempsey.

2010 – Lakeside Inn was sold to current owners Jim and Alexandra Gunderson, who are in the process of restoring this Great Inn and preserving its 130 plus year history.