About the chamber
The Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization of the business community. The Chamber is not a civic club, charitable organization or department of the city government. The Chamber is a private, non-profit, tax-paying corporation. It unites hundreds of business and professional firms, thus creating a unique central agency working to improve businesses interested in prospecting and creating a healthy environment in which to conduct business.
Most importantly, the Chamber is people — people just like you. People who realize that through the Chamber they can accomplish collectively what no one of them can do individually. The strength of the Chamber lies in attracting the greatest number of members, creating a pool of resources from which can be drawn ideas, energy and finances.
We need you today! We invite and challenge you to join with us in developing and shaping the future. Let’s work together to make it the best it can be.
On February 22, 1902, the residents of Eustis held a holiday in honor of our first president, making GeorgeFest the longest-running festival celebrating George Washington in the state of Florida and the second-longest ongoing festival of its kind in the U.S.
The city was named after General Abraham Eustis, an important figure in the Seminole Wars. Earlier, it was known as Lake Eustis. In 1883, “Lake” was dropped from the name and the city came to be known only as Eustis. It was incorporated in 1883 and the first mayor was D.W. Herrick.
Sunset over Lake Eustis
Lake Eustis covers 7,806 acres and is one of over 500 lakes in the Harris Chain of Lakes. The lake is renowned for bass fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking, water sports, and family activities, and is a beautiful spot to view sunsets.
Classic Car Cruise-In
The Classic Car Cruise-in is a great event packed with classic, antique and custom vehicles. Held on the fourth Saturday of every month, about 150 awesome autos and their owners cruise into historic downtown Eustis.
Lifestream Behavioral Center
Center State Bank
Straight Line Communications
About the City of Eustis
On behalf of the residents, businesses, and the City of Eustis — the Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to our unique and beautiful community.
Rich in history with a promising future, Eustis is ideally located in the heart of central Florida. Nestled along the eastern shore of Lake Eustis, this 7,000-acre lake provides a picturesque background for the diversified community, where small-town friendliness is not a thing of the past. With a population of over 19,129, according to census of 2008, Eustis is large enough to offer most big-city amenities, yet is small enough to retain its small-town charm. Eustis offers complete facilities for its citizens and visitors and a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. The historical downtown and outlaying areas continue to grow economically. There is an excellent hospital, several updated parks and recreation areas, new restaurants, and many other exciting improvements ongoing in Eustis and the surrounding area. Conveniently situated midway between Orlando, Daytona and Ocala, a commuting distance of an hour will take you to major theme parks and airports, as well as to either coast. Nearby access to Interstates 4 and 75 and US Hwy. 27 provide easy access to other areas in Florida and beyond.
Eustis stands proud as beautiful place to vacation as well as an excellent place to work and live. Whether you’re seeking a place to call home or planning your next vacation, Eustis offers attractive year-round living from casual to elegant and limitless opportunity of things to see and places to go. Indeed, diversity plays a major role in attracting people to the Eustis area. From the quiet, peaceful atmosphere in a growing metropolitan area to diverse employment and educational and recreational opportunities, there is something for everyone of all ages and all walks of life.
• The people of Eustis, on the eastern shore of Lake Eustis, took their time deciding on a name. First, it was Highlands, then Pendryville and finally Lake Eustis, named about 1823 for General Abraham Eustis.
• The forces of General Eustis, prominent in the Seminole wars, had skirmishes with the Indians on the south shore of the lake, near present-day Tavares.
• Fort Mason, just north of Eustis, was settled in the early 1880’s and named for Major Richard Barnes Mason, who built a stockade there during the Seminole War of 1837.
• Eustis Territory was first founded by G.D. Clifford, C.T. Smith, P.P. Morgan, Augustus Gottschee/E.F. King, Level & Co. in 1875.
• When a newcomer came to the area, a “workless day” was declared so that everyone could help the newcomers build their cabins.
• Early settlers drove once a year to the coast with their pots and at the water’s edge boiled sea water for their yearly supply of salt.
• In 1876 A.S. Pendry homesteaded land and set out a citrus grove. In the fall of 1877 he opened the Ocklawaha Hotel. The post office in the hotel lobby carried the sign “Pendryville.”
• The first tree cut, in what was to be Eustis, was cut January 1, 1876 on the site of the Ocklawaha Hotel.
• The first school was held in Mrs. Pendry’s home at the Ocklawaha Hotel, with 14 children. The youngest was Lottie Clifford Taylor at the age of 4 years.
• The first homes in Eustis were those of D.W. Herrick, A.D. Herrick and Henry Kay. In 1881 Clifford & Smith built the first general store in the building later occupied by A.D. and C.D. Miller.
• According to Kennedy’s “History of Lake County,” the town’s mail was left by supply wagons in a crude box nailed to a pine tree. Kennedy noted that in those days by gentlemen’s agreement, “every man was his own postmaster.”
• A big year was 1878 when the town’s first telegraph line connected Eustis, Leesburg and Sanford.
• The first railroad came in 1880 from Astor in Fort Mason where passengers and freight could make lake steamer connections to Leesburg, Helena, Yalaha, Lane Park and Tavares. The early train engineers blew long continuing blasts of the locomotive whistle when freezing weather was expected thus notifying farmers in the county of the expected frost peril to their crops.
• Before the railroads came in 1882, Eustis was a busy port for steamers plying Lakes Harris, Eustis, Dora and Griffin.
• In 1883 the “Lake” was dropped and the town just became Eustis.
• Early clubs in Eustis – The Ohio Club, The New Englanders, The Kentuckians, The Pennsylvanians and the All States Society.
• Ferran Park was named after E.L. Ferran.
• Lake Eustis is 5 miles wide and 7 miles long.
• Lake Nettie was named for the oldest daughter of P.P. Morin.
• Lake Joanna was named for the wife of St. Clair Abrams.
• Lake Gracie was named by A.S. Pendry for his daughter, Grace Pendry
• On June 16, 1881, the first issue of the Eustis Semi-Tropical appeared under editorship of B.H. Vogt. Three years later the Hill Brothers bought the paper and named it the Eustis Lake Region.
• Bertie Clifford was the first baby born before Eustis was incorporated in 1883 and Edith Hutchins became the first baby of the newly incorporated town.
• D.W. Herrick was the first mayor.
• Glenwood Cemetery land was bought and plotted by G.D. Clifford in 1885 and in 1902 it was sold to Greenwood Cemetery Association.
• Eustis had its first Washington’s Birthday Festival in 1902 and has been continuing to hold them to the present day.
• The Fountain Inn, which would later become Waterman Hospital, was completed June 1, 1923.
• The Lake County Country Club became a sports and social center in the 1930’s but was developed as homesteads after World War II. An annual trapshooters meet, the Winter Vandalia, was sponsored each February by the Eustis Gun Club, adopting the name of a shoot held for years in Vandalia, Ohio.
Located in the hub of eastern Lake County’s Golden Triangle, which also includes Mount Dora, Tavares and Umatilla, Eustis accesses 30 miles of shoreline. Lake Eustis is one of 1,400 lakes in Lake County which provide breathtaking natural beauty and a variety of activities from boating and fishing to water-skiing and diving. Plentiful fish in the numerous lakes include Largemouth Bass, Blue Bream, Stipers, Speckled Perch and Catfish. Two public access boat ramps are available, off of Lake Shore Drive and also off U.S. 441.
Eustis is connected to the area communities through the famous Harris Chain of Lakes, which flows into the Oklawaha River, feeding into the St. Johns River and eventually travelling all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Dora Canal connects Lakes Eustis and Dora. In the 1930’s Grantland Rice, and leading Sportswriter, called the canal the most beautiful half-mile of water in the world. Boat tours are available for experiencing the canal and its abundant wildlife.
The Ocala National Forest borders Eustis twenty minutes to the north. This area Encompasses 26 state recreation areas and is noted for its numerous crystal clear natural springs that maintain a year-round temperature of 72 degrees. Canoe runs enable you to explore the area’s wildlife and waterways, as well as nature trails for hiking, horseback riding and well maintained campgrounds. As golf is a sport that is enjoyed year-round in Eustis, the area boasts of a variety of several highly rated golf courses.
The City of Eustis has nine parks with playgrounds, benches, and picnic tables conveniently located throughout the city and ideal for family picnics and fun: Tennis Courts are located in several parks. Racquetball courts are available at Ward Avenue, and softball fields are located at Carver Park.
The Eustis City Recreation Department sponsors activities for all ages, including special events for the youth of the community, and should be contacted for further information. They also operate a full schedule of classes at the Senior Service Center, while various local clubs and organizations sponsor potluck dinners, shuffleboard tournaments, card parties, square dancing, and musical events. The Golden Triangle YMCA, built entirely through the efforts of the residents of the community, offers a variety of water and gym programs. It also offers a Youth Sports Program and before and after school childcare programs. A Wellness Center at the YMCA offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment and weight machines, a physical therapy room, and a heated therapy pool.
Ferran Park, located on the shores of Lake Eustis, is the oldest park in the area and offers a wide range of family recreational activities. These include year-round swimming at the Aquatic Center’s two heated swimming pools (one of which is a six-lane training pool). This city-owned facility offers activities such as swimming lessions for all ages, water walking classes, lap swim, First Aid and CPR, community water safety, and special events. The Alice McClelland Memorial bandshell, also located in the park, offers a variety of entertainment for old and young alike. The band shell is one of only two in the state, and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places along with the Palms House and the Eustis Historical Museum (The Clifford House). The park also features a jogging trail, shoreline fishing, gazebos and benches. A lake walk extends for one-quarter mile along the shore. and offers four gazebos with benches and 20 boat slips. A new commercial boat dock is expected to provide opportunity for tours of the lakes.
Florida’s oldest continuous festival, Washington’s Birthday Festival, began in 1902 and is held annually on the last weekend in February. The celebration generally includes a parade, arts & crafts, food, sailing regatta, water ski show, children activities, and a carnival. Additionally, the downtown merchants host monthly street parties and entertainment throughout most of the year. These community festivities include music and dancing in the streets and at the band shell, food and drink, and browsing the local shops. They are generally held the first Friday of each month, March – October.
If you enjoy theatre, the Bay Street Players stage six live productions each year at the Players’ Young Peoples Theater on Bay Street. The Eustis Art League and art leagues of neighboring towns sponsor frequent shows, as do noted artists and personalities who participate in the Annual Lyceum Series produced by Lake Sumter Community College.
A stroll through downtown Eustis takes you back to yesteryear, as the renovated buildings comprise what is known as The Village. The shops, located on Magnolia Avenue and Eustis Street, overlook brick sidewalks and tree-shaded benches provide a relaxing shopping experience. Within the Eustis area, you will also find more than a dozen shopping centers, which include a full selection of grocery stores and national chain stores.
Aquatic Center – Public Swimming pool. Open April through October. Two heated pools. Near the bandshell at Ferran Park.
Tennis Courts – Ward Avenue, Elizabeth Circle, Cardinal Cove, Bennett Park
Public Boat Ramps – On Lakeshore Drive at the bridge (just past Sharp’s Mobile Home Park). Docks, ramps & parking on both sides of bridge. Also, there is a State ramp off N. Bay Street that goes into Trout Run.
Eustis Lake Walk – Boat slips, gazebos.
Trout Lake Nature Center — a 230-acre wildlife preserve located on the north edge of Eustis, Florida. The preserve protects the flora and fauna of a unique wetlands-forest habitat bordering Trout Lake. The Center is dedicated to increasing the environmental awareness of the citizens of Lake County and to the advancement of environmental education.
Eustis Historical Museum & Preservation Society — Located at the Clifford House (also known as the Clifford-Taylor House), a historic home (c. 1911) on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It was owned by G.D. Clifford, an early settler and local merchandiser.
The Bay Street Players — are honored to have made the Historic State Theatre their home since 1975. They have a popular main stage schedule and the Young People’s Theatre, the longest continual theatre program of its kind in Central Florida.
Lake Eustis Museum of Art (LEMA) exhibits historic, contemporary artwork from local, regional, and national sources. LEMA is the first art museum in Lake County dedicated wholly to visual art.
Bennett Park – (Intersection of S. Grove Street & Old Mt. Dora Road) Playground, tennis courts & picnic
Cardinal Cove – (287 Cardinal Street) Fishing pier, picnic, covered pavilion, tennis court & 1/4 mile track, scenic boardwalk along Lake Willie
Carver Park – (2214 E. Bates Avenue) Basketball & volleyball courts, softball fields, picnic tables, pavilions, scenic boardwalk along Lake Willie
Carver Park Annex – (across from Carver Park) Multi-purpose field, racquetball courts, picnic, activities pavilion, nature area
Elizabeth Circle – (W. of Kurt Street at junction of Clay Boulevard & Eustis Road) Tennis court & playground
Ferran Park – (W. of Bay Street, downtown) Walking paths, benches, bandshell, playground, covered pavilions, picnic
Liberty Circle – (Liberty Street) Playground
Pendleton Park – (adjacent to Community Center) Playground & picnic
Selleen Tot Lot – (Selleen Drive S. of Getford Road) Playground & picnic
Sunset Island Park – (Ward Avenue W. of Bay Street) Pavilion, picnic, playground, basketball, tennis & racquetball courts, 1/4-mile walking path
Marsh Park – (CR 452 behind Fairgrounds) Boat ramp, playground, picnic
People are talking
Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce and the community are fantastic, they work very hard to make it a fun and safe place to live, work and play. You will not find more dedicated people and business owners who care and take the time to listen and make it better year after year. Eustis and the Lake Eustis Chamber rocks!
— Tammy Abbott-Patel
The chamber is very user-friendly and a great way to get involved in the community, meet wonderful people and have the opportunity to make a difference! Take a few minutes to find out what’s happening and be a part of it!
— Rachel Holtzclaw
Being a local business owner I have found that getting involved with the chamber is a very good (if not the best) way to grow a new business. The staff and volunteers and fellow members all do a great job of helping me spread the word of my company’s services. It’s nice when a community can get together and network in a way that helps all of us. So that being said I would like to thank all the staff members and volunteers that do so much for all of us. THANK YOU!
— Daniel L Kelsey • Kelsey’s Lube & Car Wash
The Eustis Chamber rocks! New and exciting things are happening. A Chamber that is built for service and promotion of it’s members. Looking forward to all the exciting things they are doing.
— Gloria Savannah-Austin
I love Eustis!!!! I haven’t lived here but a year now but I’ve never lived somewhere that they do so much for the community it really amazes me! I just wish they wouldn’t charge artists so much just to be at the park for a function, $200.00 is a bit much for most artists. And if it was lowered you would get MORE artists!!!!! And that’s a WIN!!!!!
— Kathy Owens
Contact the Chamber
Heron Sculpture at Ferran Park
The monumental heron sculpture by Doug Hays is located in historic Ferran Park and has become a community icon and favorite photo spot.
Historic State Theater
The State Theater opened as a vaudeville house in 1922, seating 518. In 1977, the theater was purchased by the Bay Street Players, who continue to operate at the State Theater, presenting live theater to the people of Eustis and central Florida.
Alice McClelland Memorial Bandshell
The Alice McClelland Memorial Bandshell was built in 1926 and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The Clifford House, owned by G.D. Clifford, an early settler and local merchandiser, was constructed in 1911,and today is home to the Eustis Historical Museum & Preservation Society, which was founded in 1983.