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Leesburg is a city of more than 20,000 people located in Lake County, Florida. Nicknamed "The Lakefront City," it is tucked between Lake Harris and Lake Griffin in the central part of the state. The city features a total area of slightly over 24 square miles, of which approximately six square miles is water. It forms a part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Area.
The first permanent settler in the area was Evander McIver Lee, who arrived in 1857. He was followed by some of his brothers, including Calvin Lee, who was said to have come up with the present name of the city. Leesburg was incorporated as a city in 1875. It served as the seat of Sumter Country for a while before the creation of Lake County in 1887.
Leesburg was a major center for watermelon production at the beginning of the 20th century. Watermelons were so popular in the area that residents started celebrating a Watermelon Festival in 1930. The festival was held annually through 1957 when it was finally stopped as a result of a massive slump in the production of watermelon in the city.
Following the sharp drop in watermelon production, the city of Leesburg relied on its citrus industry for years, until growers were forced to move down the Florida peninsula as a result of the destructive freezes of early to mid-1980s. Rapid growth of neighboring Orlando today contributes considerably to the growth and development of Leesburg. It has also become very popular as a retirement destination.
The city has about 22,000 residents, which represents an increase of more than 25 percent over the level in 2010. The age spread of the population in 2000 showed that about 31 percent of residents were not older than 24 years, while slightly over 26 percent were 65 years or older. The median age was estimated at 42 years. In 2010, the per capita income in the city was $18,666, putting it in lower middle income category in Florida and among all cities in the United States. Educational attainment in Leesburg is slightly below the average for all communities in the U.S. Just fewer than 20 percent of adults have at least a Bachelor's degree.
Leesburg has a good transportation system for residents, with several major highways passing through. These highways include U.S. Highway 27 and U.S. Highway 441. To the city's west and south passes the Florida Turnpike. Leesburg also used to be on the Western leg of the famous Dixie Highway. City residents access air travel services at Leesburg Regional Airport and Orlando International Airport.
With its location at the Oklawaha River system's head, Leesburg offers opportunity to enjoy several waterfront activities, including boating, swimming and fishing, all through the year. Golfing and camping are also among leisure activities that are enjoyed by both residents and tourists. Local attractions include Mote-Morris House, Fountain Lake Park and Monkey Island.
Leesburg is a community for the family. It is a nice place for people of different level of skills. Residents enjoy access to decent transportation infrastructure and many other useful facilities.