1940s-1980s - Citrus Is King

1940s-1980s - Citrus Is King

   By the 1940s, citrus became the leading industry in the area.
   From the 1940s through the 1980s, citrus was king! South Lake County was a canvas of green and orange. The air smelled like perfume and tourists flocked to see the new Citrus Tower in Clermont, built in 1956.

[Citrus Label - B & W Canning Co., Inc]

   The B & W Canning Company was formed by Gene Busbee and Norton Wilkins. The B & W Canning Plant was built, behind the Train Depot, on the northeast corner of SR 50 and SR 19.

The citrus industry lasted until around 1989, when many of the groves began to succumb to the freezing temperatures.
   Triple freezes in the 1980s changed the landscape and economy forever.
   As a result, many of the land owners began to sell out to land developers, while others attempted to retain the rural community by converted to pine trees for lumber or to raising cattle. Today, the rolling hills are replaced by modern subdivisions.

[Contributors: Jason Brown]

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