TAVARES — The public is invited to a special dedication and unveiling of a Haynes Creek historical marker on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Burrell Lock and Dam, located off County Road 473, two blocks south of County Road 44 in the Bassville Park community.
The dedication will commemorate Lake County’s successful petition to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to correct the spelling of a waterway that bears the name of a local historic figure. In the 1800s, Capt. Melton Haynes, was a Lake County settler, state senator and orange grower. According to historians, Haynes lived with his family on more than 1,000 acres on the shores of the Ocklawaha River Basin creek that was later named after him.
Guest speakers for this event are:
• County Commissioner Debbie Stivender
• Rick Reed, Lake County Historical Society President
• Lynda O’Neal, State President of the Order of the Confederate Rose
• Terry Binkley, Commander of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans Camp 741
The ceremony will be guided by Bob Grenier, author of “Florida’s Forgotten Pioneer: The Gallant Capt. Melton Haynes.” The Tavares resident led the charge in having Haines Creek respelled to Haynes Creek. He gathered support from the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the Lake County Water Authority, City of Tavares and countless other community groups and agencies, including several Rotary clubs and Mason lodges, to petition for the name change. According to Grenier, the creek originally bore the name of Capt. Haynes, but decades ago a simple clerical error by the federal government led to the creek’s misspelling.
The dedication ceremony will also include the Southern Belle hostesses from the Sarah Isabella Haynes Chapter of the Order of the Confederate Rose and a host of Civil War re-enactors. The Rhode Island Artillery will provide a canon salute, the Gallant Men in Gray will fire a musket tribute and Florida’s famous “Swamp Fox” Capt. J. J. Dickson will be riding his beautiful steed, Diablo, around the area. The event is sponsored by the Lake County Historical Society with assistance from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and arrive early to view the Civil War re-enactors. Parking will be available along County Road 437. For more information, call Bob Grenier at (352) 343-4403.