Mount Plymouth, Florida. Al Capone Loved It.

by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

Mount Plymouth Florida Cottage

Mount Plymouth Florida Cottage

Mount Plymouth Florida Cottage
Mount Plymouth Hotel/Florida Central Academy

I recently drove from Mount Dora, Florida to nearby Mount Plymouth to see what changes have taken place since I last visited more than thirty years ago.


Mount Plymouth is not incorporated, but is a "census-designated place" in Lake County, Florida with almost 3,000 people. It is northwest of Orlando on State Road 46 a few miles east of Mount Dora.

I remember it as a quaint old golf course community dating back to the real estate boom times of the 1920's. The Mount Plymouth Hotel, built in 1926 at the cost of $350,000.00, was the crown jewel of the golf resort. In the old days the hotel entertained such famous guests as Al Capone, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth and singer Kate Smith. The hotel even had it's own airfield.

There were also a number of small golf course cottages sprinkled about the community.

The original plan was to have four 18 hole golf courses patterned after the St. Andrews course in Scotland. The real estate crash of 1926 killed that plan, and only one course was completed. It was called Mount Plymouth Golf Club, and was operational until 2007.

A private school, Florida Central Academy, was in the old 150 room hotel beginning in 1959. The school finally closed in 1983. The old building was a wreck, but was still standing for years after the school closed. Finally it was condemned by county health officials. It burned down about 1987.

When you drive through Mount Plymouth now on County Road 435, you can still see the old abandoned golf course fairways and greens. A few of the original old 1920's boom time golf cottages like the one in the photo can still be seen, although most have been torn down to make way for more modern homes.

Comments for Mount Plymouth, Florida. Al Capone Loved It.

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Sep 14, 2016
Al
by: Anonymous

It boils down to Al Capone was a gangster,
and probably owned 3 or 4 houses, but none
in his name because of the aforementioned.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

Maybe, but Al owned his Miami home in his own name and actually bought it before he went to prison. He reportedly planned the St. Valentine's Day Massacre from his Miami mansion.



Apr 29, 2016
House
by: Just jenna

The house is in great shape and is really fun to walk by and look at . Its occupied now. I am curious as to what the new owners paid for the place.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS:

Just go to the Lake County Property Appraiser's website and search for the address. You will find the actual sales price.

Mar 06, 2016
Florida Central Academy
by: mmaulo1915@gmail.com

I went to school at FCA in the 80s,I'm looking for people who also went there. Please contact me at my email address. Thanks.

Jan 30, 2016
Al Capone
by: Anonymous

I will start by saying that I live in Sorrento, right next to Mt. Plymouth. Between researching the history of my house and the fact that I am an appliance tech (I have been in MANY houses in the area). I can say that it is apparent that Al Capone did in fact own a house in Mt. Plymouth.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL ASKS

I'm not surprised to hear you say this. Do you have any idea where the house was located and whether it is still standing?

Nov 08, 2015
Al Capone
by: Anonymous

Did Al Capone actually have a house in Mt. Plymouth Sorrento area or did he just stay at the old hotel?

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

We don't know the answer to that. Pretty much everything is rumor about where he stayed, but most folks around the area do believe he visited more than once and loved the area.

Aug 24, 2015
Log cabin
by: Virginia

We own the log cabin that was built in 1926; one of Sam Stoltz's homes. I fell in love with in 1992 . Been here ever since .

May 31, 2015
My Home
by: Pat

I lived in one of the old homes. It was the one on the right just as 435 came onto the first hole of the golf course about a mile from 46

What memories. Chasing golfers out of the yard, golf balls breaking windows.

The house was a lot of maintenance but was neat to live in as a kid. Hidden rooms and hiding places and amazing colored concrete murals around the fire place.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

Thanks, Pat. It's great to hear from somebody who actually lived in one of these homes.

Feb 11, 2015
Class of 81
by: Anonymous

A lot of mixed history first as a hotel then as a all male boarding military academy and finally as a coed boarding school. There are probably those that rather focus on the military aspect of the school rather the Al Capone.

Dec 12, 2012
1970's
by: Anonymous

i grew up there when the "florida houses" were in bright colors and the Klan lived around the corner from us. I lived on a hole..fire station was just down the dirt rd..across our house was all woods..i was young.. learned to ride a bike on the dirt roads

Nov 14, 2012
Mt Plymouth Golf course
by: Anonymous

There is a lot of history with this golf course, it has aired on the history channel. If it could only be bought and re-opened to preserve the history of it. The club house could be renovated. With some imagination, creativeness and money I believe it could do well even with golf courses having problems with today's economy. There is a lot of history to build the course around.

Oct 20, 2012
Florida Central Academy
by: Guillermo Suarez

Those of us who ha the privilege of attending FCA and also having worked there will have it live in our heart till our dying day. It was the best and most wonderful place full of friends and love.
We will always remember the four words that helped us get through

WISDOM; HONOR, TRUTH and LOYALTY , these words are inscribed in our rings and have been the basis of our life

Oct 20, 2012
FCA
by: Julia

I went to Florida Central Academy for 4 years (1979-83). I was in the last graduating class before the school closed. Lot's of great memories

Apr 01, 2012
Florida Central Academy Alumni
by: John

I spent two years at Florida Central Academy. It was the school years 1970-71 and 71-72. I graduated in May of 1972. It was a great school where I made many friends that I'm still in contact with and have a lot of great memories. There has been several Reunions and I have been to two of them where I had the chance to reconnect with my old school friends and remember the good old days.

May 10, 2011
Sam Stoltz
by: Anonymous

The house in your picture is a Sam Stoltz house. His houses in Mt Plymouth were built in the late 1920's. I have recently discovered 4 of sam stoltz houses in the area.One of the houses is known to be al capones bookkeepers home. I love his houses........

Apr 23, 2011
Cottage on Mt. Plymouth Road
by: Robin Sawyer

Thanks so much for sharing the information about the cottage. I drove by there today and took a picture of the same house. It's a great place and it's sad to think that more of these were torn down instead of preserved.

Apr 05, 2011
Now That's History!
by: Greg May

Mike, your article on the Mt. Dora hotel was priceless! Now this type of material is what your website is all about!

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