Fruitland Park Florida is a small town of about 4,000 people on US-441/US-27 north of Leesburg and just south of The Villages.
It is on the western shore of Lake Griffin in an area known as Dead River.
The Villages Florida sprawls west and north of Fruitland Park.
The area of the town was originally settled before the American Civil War. The first settler was Calvin Lee, who set out the area's first citrus grove.
Another early settler was a horticulturist named Major Orlando P. Rooks. He and his wife built a house on Crystal Lake in 1877.
Major Rooks came up with the name Fruitland Park because of all the nurseries and groves that had sprung up in the area. There is an Orlando P. Rooks buried in Lone Oak Cemetery in Leesburg. The gravestone identifies him as a veteran of Co. D, Kansas Infantry.
Maybe it's the same Mr. Rooks; we don't know. If not, it's a pretty large coincidence.
One of the oldest buildings still in use in the town is Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 2201 Spring Lake Road. This church is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is an example of Carpenter Gothic architecture.