Lake Lucerne

Two scenes from Lake Lucerne more than a century after being settled.

Two scenes from Lake Lucerne more than a century after being settled.

The history around Lake Lucerne dates back to the days before Orlando was called Orlando.   One of the area’s early pioneers, James P. Hughey, moved here from Georgia in 1855.    Mr. Hughey settled onto 160 acres west of Lake Lucerne after arriving here in a covered wagon with oxen in tow.   Historian Eve Bacon described the surroundings upon his arrival, “He found a small steam of clear water running into the lake coming from under a larger oak tree.”

Mr. Hughey built a log cabin in the area that is likely covered with I-4 and the 408 today.   There he lived for 20 years.  His home was open to many travelers.  And his acreage was used to grow cotton fields and orange groves.

Lake Lucerne has continued to play a significant role in Orlando’s landscape for over 15o years.  Later in the 1880’s it was the site of the Lucerne Hotel, and then the Dr. Phillips home.   Today, the northern part lies under the 408 andOrange Avenue runs rights across it.   It’s an understatement to say the view from the shores of Lake Lucerne are quite different from Mr. Hughey’s days.


Orlando, A Centennial History, Eve Bacon 1975

Categories: Post Card Stories | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Lake Lucerne

  1. Susan Williams

    My Great Great Grandfather was JP Hughey. He lived in the log cabin for 20 years and then built two more homes in the vicinity of the log cabin. He was a mail carrier during the Civil War years and later would serve as Orange County’s Clerk of Court for approximately 16 years. He was also a conservationist since he tried to preserve the area’s gopher tortoises. He also built the areas first drainage canal which took water from the area around Lake Lucerne to Lake Minnie (Cherokee).

    • Thanks so much for commenting Susan, and adding some more background to the story!

    • Rick Perry


      My ggggrandfather Thomas Watkins Perry was the brother of Hughey’s mother Elizabeth Perry Hughey. They were the children of Dr. James Perry of Tattnall Co GA who came from Petersburg VA around 1800 to settle in GA. When I read that Hughey migrated to Orange Co FL I had to investigate as I lived near Delaney Park and went to Delaney Elem back in the 50s and 60s. We move away when I was ten. I am searching by email the city and county to see if there is a plat of the 160 acres. I am curious if I may have lived on the property in my youth. We lived on E. Gore St off of Euclid. a block away from Delaney Park and a block away from Lake Cherokee the other direction. Any info you want to share would be appreciated. I have Perry info going back to Dr James’ parents in VA. John and Patience Perry of Henrico Co VA.

      Regards from your distant cuzn,

      Rick Perry

  2. Hi Steve. Lake Lucerne is such a wonderful place to visit, especially if you want to relax and get away from the themeparks and attractions for a while! The apartments in that area have some beautiful views across the water too.

    Best wishes, Alex

  3. Neal Hughey

    I would like to know more i grew up on Hilliard island road and I am the son of Ralph Edward hughey

  4. FD Jones

    Additionally, as a child, I recall trips to the area (still in the Hugh family) – the orange groves and sandy roads. We climed the trees and knocked oranges off with bamboo sticks. I’m sure someone on this comment board recalls the same. They loaded my grandmother’s car with so many bags of oranges, it weighed down (i think it was a ’54 Dodge) nearly to the ground! Our Atlanta family loved the arrival of those oranges!

  5. FD Jones

    His (Hughey’s) 160 acre homestead stretched from the lake to Parramore Ave. He had a log house at the intersection of Grace and Macy Streets both which have been eliminated as the results of highway construction. A trail from his house ran downhill to lake Lucerne and when it rained sand would be washed into Lake Lucerne. Over the years it formed the “Hugheys Peninsula” on which was built a small home for a pair of swans donated by Charles Lord in 1910

  6. Bonita

    According to my grandfather’s diary-there was a boarding house right by the lake-run by Mrs. Rowland who I assume was the widow of Dr. Rowland. He stayed there in 1903 for a week while he was working in Titusville.

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