1868 - Bay Lake
The early settlers, who made their way into what would be called Bay Lake (and Bay Root), came mainly from Georgia.
Bay Lake has been known for its cattle raising and farming.
The area of Bay Lake is a part of the Green Swamp, which is a critical recharge area for the Florida aquifer.
Four rivers emerge from the Green Swamp: the Hillsborough, Withlacoochee, Oklawaha, and Peace Rivers, whcich all provide much of Central Florida's water supply.
The area is controlled by the Green Swamp Wildlife Management and consists of over 100,000 acres which lie west of HWY 27 and east of Interstate 75, in Lake, Polk, Sumter, Hernando, and Pasco Counties.
It was common for the children of one family to marry members of another family who settled here.
Among those early pioneers are the families of:
Simeon Tison - Arrived c. 1868. The spelling of the family name was legally changed to Tyson in 1965 or 1969.
Later settlers arrived here in the 1880s:
James Steely Goff - Arrived 1880.
John Nathaniel Story - Arrived c. 1880
Preston Brooks Brown - Married John Story's daughter in Bay Lake in 1880.
Allen Jefferson Hopson - It is not clear if he lived in Bay Lake, however, his son, Thomas Jefferson Hopson married a Tison daughter here in 1885 and a Tison son would marry a Hopson daughter.
Moses Tomlinson - Married into Story family in 1888.
Other Tomlinson's found in the area: Aaron, Ben, Josiah.
Charles B. Joiner - It is unclear of his arrival date, but he held an office in the church established in 1889.
Gipson P. Sloan - known to be in Bay Lake in 1894. He was the son of Daniel Sloan and an ancestor of Groveland councilman G. P. Sloan.
Tobias Sumner - His arrival date is unclear, but he was known to be here in 1894.
Stephen Carlton - It is unclear of his arrival date, however, his daughter Serena was married to Gipson Sloan in 1878. Daughter Jane married a Tomlinson.
David Raulerson - Arrival date unclear.
Bay Lake School
In the late 1800s, Bay Lake had its first school.
By 1952, the third school of Bay Lake was closed and students were then bussed to schools in Mascotte and Groveland.
[Contributors: Mary Helen Myers, Jason Brown]