Lake Helen, Florida is a lovely community with a long history dating back to the late 1800s. Lake Helen was founded in 1888 in the center of Volusia County and rapidly became a popular destination for tourists seeking the beauty and quiet of the area’s natural surroundings.
Lake Helen’s Establishment
Henry DeLand, a wealthy businessman who had earlier created the nearby town of DeLand, founded Lake Helen. DeLand envisioned Lake Helen as a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. He named the town Helen and built several large hotels to handle the influx of visitors.
The Town’s Early Settlement and Development
Lake Helen was a prosperous town with a bustling downtown area that featured a post office, a general store, and several restaurants and saloons in its early years. Tourists frequented the town’s hotels, and Lake Helen became recognized as a destination for health-seekers who believed the area’s natural mineral springs had curative effects.
In 1890, a terrible fire destroyed many of the town’s buildings. The town, however, swiftly recovered, and many of the damaged buildings were rebuilt within a few years. The Volusia County Fair, which was held in Lake Helen for many years, was relocated to nearby DeLand in 1920, causing another blow for the community.
Lake Helen grew and prospered in the decades that followed, thanks in part to the installation of a railroad line that connected the town to other sections of Florida. Lake Helen is now a lively community that appreciates its rich history while also looking forward.
Population Growth and Size
Lake Helen’s population has consistently increased over the last few decades, increasing by 13.3% since the 2010 census. Its expansion can be credited in part to the town’s position in the heart of Florida’s interior, which has made it an appealing destination for visitors looking for a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle.
The Housing Market
Lake Helen’s housing market is currently growing, with increased demand for properties in recent years. According to Zillow data, the median home value in Lake Helen is $232,400 as of February 2023, representing a 15.7% rise over the previous year.
Property Types Offered
Buyers can choose from a variety of properties in Lake Helen, including single-family houses, townhomes, and undeveloped land. Several of the homes in Lake Helen are spacious and on large lots, giving inhabitants plenty of space and privacy. In addition, there are various new construction developments in the area that provide modern amenities and energy-efficient features.
Here are just a few of the area’s must-see attractions:
1. Lake Helen-Cassadaga Cemetery – Known for its elaborate headstones and picturesque setting, this historic cemetery dates back to the 1800s.
2. DeLeon Springs State Park – This lovely park is home to a natural spring with crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
3. The Casements – This historic mansion was formerly John D. Rockefeller’s winter home and is now a museum showcasing the region’s history and culture.
4. Lake Helen Art Festival – This annual festival combines live music, food vendors, and other entertainment as well as the work of local artists.
5. Florida Trail – This scenic path runs for hundreds of miles through Florida and passes through Lake Helen, allowing hikers to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Take some time to soak in the distinct spirit and charm of this one-of-a-kind destination, whether you’re a resident or a visitor.