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Nowadays, cars and highways connect us quickly to everywhere we want to go, but what was it like to try to reach Clermont a hundred years ago? "In the past, when people wanted to get to Clermont they had a choice: to either take an eight-hour horse and buggy ride or take a relaxing train ride," related Donna Digennaro, a member of Clermont's Historical Society. "Many people, including the outdoorsmen who came here to fish and hunt, opted to take one or the other of the two train lines serving our community."

In 1924, after a fire destroyed the onion-dome inspired wooden depot, a new brick (read: fire proof) one was constructed. Today, that same depot is the first building most visitors come across upon entering Clermont's Historic Village, located on the shores of Lake Minneola.

Digennaro mentioned that the Depot is available for rental for use for small groups, such as birthday parties and showers. The covered pavilion adjacent to the building may also be rented in conjunction with the building or separately.

To find out more about renting this piece of Clermont's history, contact the Village manager, Roxanne Brown at 352-593-8496. "If you are wondering about the large grey, circular doors on the side of the depot—well, you will just have to come by the Village and have one of our volunteers tell you that story," urged Digennaro.

The Village is open to the public every Friday from 1pm to 3pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. Admission is free, but a $2 donation per person is requested. Group tours at times other than the posted operating hours can be arranged by contacting the Village Manager at 352-593-8496.

If you are interested in knowing more about the history of South Lake County in particular or history in general, contact the Historical Society by going to their website, ClermontVillage.org; by calling Roxanne Brown, Village Manager, at 352-593-8496; or by attending their monthly meetings, which are held on the second Monday of the month at 7pm in the Train Depot on the grounds of the Historic Village (490 West Avenue in Clermont). The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 9.


clermont historic village
Train Depot in Clermont's Historic Village
preserves the past, is available for rental use
The train doesn't run by here anymore, but the Train Depot in Clermont's Historic Village serves as a good place to rent for parties and meetings. (Courtesy photo)

 

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