For immediate release - Feb. 23, 2005
TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Tuesday a resolution that supports the collaborative effort led by a local author to rename a creek that was erroneously spelled by the federal government decades ago.
Bob Grenier, who wrote “Florida’s Forgotten Pioneer: The Gallant Capt. Melton Haynes,” is leading the charge in getting Haines Creek respelled to Haynes Creek. According to Grenier, a simple clerical error by the federal government led to the creek’s misspelling.
The creek originally bore the name of Capt. Haynes, who during the 1800s was a Lake County settler, state senator and orange grower. Historians say Haynes lived with his family on more than 1,000 acres on the shores of the Oklawaha River Basin creek.
While countless other organizations and government agencies use the proper spelling of the creek, U.S. Geological Survey maps bear the wrong name. In order for the name of the creek to be officially changed, a petition must be sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Grenier said approval from the federal government to rename the creek could take a year, but with the universal support from the community he is hoping to hear a response back by this fall. Joining the Lake County Board of County Commissioners in supporting the effort is the Lake County Water Authority, City of Tavares and countless other community groups and agencies including the local Shriners club and several Mason lodges.
In fact, the collection of letters and official documents supporting the creek renaming is becoming a sort of living legend. Dr. Diane Kamp, director of Lake County museums, has labeled the compilation of petitions in one binder as a “historical document.”
“It’s amazing how the County has united in doing one thing,” she said.
Grenier adds, “When Washington, D.C., sees this binder full of signatures, I can’t see them saying no.”
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