1. A lake in Orange County; a part of this body of water extends
over in to Lake County. 2. A town of 1,134 inhabitants on the
Seaboard Air Line, in Orange County. Apopka is noted in Sidney Lanierís
Florida (1876), pp. 312-313, as a small settlement near Lake Apopka. The
source of this name is Cr. Aha, "Potato," and papka, "eating
place," from papita, "to eat" - "potato eating place." (From: Florida Place Names of Indian Origin and Seminole Personal
Names by William A. Read PH. D. Professor of the English Language and Literature
,Louisiana State University ,Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge,
Before Apopka was "The Indoor Foliage Capital of the World" or even before it
was "The Fern City," it was The Lodge.
From about 7500 B.C. until about the 1st century A. D. when they disappeared
for reasons unknown, Indians were believed to have lodged on the shores of Lake
Apopka. Then for about 400 years the region appears to have been uninhabited.
When the Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 16th century, the Acuera tribe
of the Timucua confederation was said to have lived in the Apopka area, growing
crops and trading. By 1730 these natives were decimated by war and diseases
brought by the Europeans and had also disappeared.
Then early in the 19th century, Indians again inhabited the area. There was a
Seminole village on Lake Apopka, or Ahapopka, as they spelled and pronounced it.
It remained an active village until the outbreak of the Second Seminole War in
the mid1830s. Coacoochee (Wild Cat), one of the most famous and influential war
chiefs, was born here and ruled as chief of about 200 Indians until this village
was evacuated and the natives sought refuge in the swampy areas around the St
The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 brought white settlers to the Apopka area.
They received 160 acres if they would settle them.
These Pioneers and those that followed the Civil War from states to the north
began converting the area into what it is today.
The settlement grew, attracting developers and settlers because
climate and the agricultural opportunities and becoming an important trading
center in the 1850s. The Masons' were particularly active. Orange Lodge #36 was
organized in 1857, and The Lodge building, still standing on its original site
at Alabama Avenue and Highway 44 1, was completed in 1859.