Eagle Lake – All About Polk County

Eagle Lake Florida

Eagle Lake is a small quaint area that is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven metropolitan area. The main highway going through Eagle Lake is Hwy 17 which leads northward to Winter Haven and southward to Bartow.

Around 1880, an Englishman, John Bingham, obtained 160 acres of land on a high knoll between Eagle Lake, Spirit Lake, and Crystal Lake. This is where he built his two room log cabin “Eagle Lake” because of an Eagle that nested in a nearby tall pine. He also named his new home “The Eagles Nest”. On March 16, 1882, Bingham wrote in his diary,” I can conceive of no natural scenery more beautiful than that environing Eagle Lake.” John Bingham was 53 years old when he moved to this area and he passed away at 90 in 1917. In 1882, at the time John Bingham was settling on the Northwest shore of the lake, Louisa McLeod ( a widow from Alabama) had purchased 115 acres of land for $1.25 an acre. This land was sold and resold a few times after the initial purchase by Ms. McLeod, and in 1887 the Town of Eagle Lake was laid out on this property and became the center of town.

There was a school house at what is now a boat landing on the Lake. Various historical accounts show that there was also a turpentine mill, a brickyard, two citrus packing houses ( both destroyed by fire in the 40’s). One record states that 125,000 crates of tomatoes were shipped from Eagle Lake in the year 1893-1894, just before the freeze that devastated most agricultural endeavors at the time. Also, the first ever grapefruit sectionalizing plant was in Eagle Lake.

Eagle Lake has kept its small “hometown” atmosphere through the years. In the early 1980’s it adopted the slogan “Growing with People in Mind” and that ideology prevails today. Today Eagle Lake ranks in the top ten safest cities in the State of Florida.

Lake Region High School is located in Eagle Lake, Florida and opened August 14, 1995. Lake Region is a Class 4A school and provides education to almost 2000 students in grades 9 through 12.

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