History of Our Town
The town of Interlachen was settled in the late 1870's when the building of a railroad opened the area. It developed as both a citrus growing center and a winter resort. When severe freezes in the 1890's made it apparent that commercial citrus production was not economically viable, the town evolved into a retirement haven and later a bedroom community for Gainesville and Palatka.
In the 1890's there were three hotels catering to the tourists that came to Interlachen. At a time when virtually all buildings here were wood and were illuminated with kerosene lamps and heated with wood burning stoves, fires were common. Two of the hotels burned to the ground around the turn of the century. Only the Lakeview House Hotel still stands. The Hotel Interlachen had 76 rooms and stood on Boyleston Street between Prospect Street and Tropic, (near where the Lions Club is today). The block in front of the hotel was named Hastings Park. It was a popular recreation area for adults with a tennis court and shuffleboard courts. Hastings Park is still in use today as a children's playground and picnic area.
The original Interlachen Hall was burned down in 1891 by cattlemen in a local dispute. The cattle at that time were free to roam wherever they wanted. Consequently they would get into the fruit trees and eat the oranges and leaves which frequently killed the trees. The cows were caught and put in the pound next to the Hall and the owners were charged a fee for their release. Hence the dispute. The cattlemen's intent was to burn the pound, but both the pound and Interlachen Hall were destroyed.
The present Interlachen Hall was constructed in 1892 and housed an office, jail and a social room upstairs. It was later used as a library. The renovation of Interlachen Hall was completed in 2003. The first floor currently houses the Interlachen Museum, which is operated by the Interlachen Historical Society and is open every Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm. The upstairs is used as a community meeting hall. Anyone wishing to rent the hall may contact the Town Office at 386-684-3811.