History Happened Here

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Lake County

Year Founded: 1925


The settlement that became Mascotte dates back more than 100 years. During the early years of the settlement, families went by wagon, oxen and horseback to Leesburg to obtain supplies and food they were unable to raise or kill themselves. Families were mostly self-supporting, raising their own vegetables year-round. Hogs, turkeys, deer, chicken and cattle provided their meat. Private hand mills ground the corn into grits and meal, and sugar was ground from sugar cane. Some of the items were taken on the trip to Leesburg to barter for flour, clothing and shoes. In approximately 1885, J.W. Payne, who was originally from Baltimore and then St. Petersburg, settled in Mascotte and named the town after a ship, the S.S. Mascotte, which made regular trips from Boston to St. Petersburg. It was believed that he owned an interest in this ship. The name comes from the French spelling of the word “mascot” and means a person, animal or thing supposed to bring good luck. Washington was petitioned to establish a post office and gave this name to the town. Mail was carried from Okahumpka by horseback, until the railroad was put in 1887 by the Orange Belt Railway Company. The first school was a one-room house located on the south side of what is now Highway 50. In 1900, a two-story schoolhouse was built. It was used as a school until the present Mascotte Elementary was built in 1924. The original piano from the two-story schoolhouse was used at Mascotte Elementary School until it was moved to the new Midway Elementary, where it is still in use today. The first teacher in the two-story school was William Tidd, who was one of the original settlers in Mascotte. The oldest structure still standing in Mascotte is located on Sunset Street, .5 mile north of City Hall. This was originally owned by Judge Albert. Archibald (Archie) Gano cut the lumber at his mill for this house and Bill Hart and George Hope built it. Mascotte’s first sidewalk, was built in 1925 or 1926. It ran from Mascotte Elementary west to the Methodist Church. At the same time the first sidewalk was put in, Highway 50 was paved for the first time. The first mayor in Mascotte was George M. Myers.

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