Mascotte Florida

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Mascotte is a lovely small town in Lake County that lies west of Clermont and Groveland and about twenty minutes south of Leesburg. The community gets its name from the ship in which early settlers sailed. It is a beautiful, semi-rural part of central Florida that has not yet been discovered by the big developers. Hence, it retains its small town character and structure, with just a few convenience stores and a restaurant. Less than five thousand people of whom over forty percent are of Hispanic origin have made Mascotte their home. Many of these are recent immigrants from Mexico, working in the local farms and in the growing tourist industry. In fact, there has been a fifty per cent increase in population in the nineties with a large immigrant influx from Latin America.

Mascotte is a friendly place with beautiful weather all year round. There are many lakes in and around the city like the rest of Lake County adding to the scenic beauty. The smaller ones like Gallows Lake, Little Bluff Lake, and Lake Jackson are almost entirely within the city limits, whereas some of the larger lakes of the county, like Sunset Lake and Dukes Lake are also partly within Mascotte. The city boasts of excellent city services and the government gives incentives like reduction in property tax for industry development within the city limits in a hope to give a boost to the economy.

In addition to tourism, which makes the most of the natural treasures, agriculture has been a traditional occupation. This has received a recent fillip with the discovery of the use of the saw palmetto berry in herbal remedies. Wilcox, a leading manufacturer of natural and herbal products has set up business in Mascotte where the saw palmetto grows wild. The saw palmetto is difficult to eradicate and was once considered to be the scourge of citrus groves. Curiously, it is difficult to transplant too.

It has long been known in Europe that the saw palmetto berry extract helps in easing urinary infections and problems of enlarged prostate. It has also been known as treatment for baldness. The US has just discovered this and recently a seminar was conducted just to focus on the benefits of this plant that grows naturally only in Florida and nowhere else in the world. The berries are now collected in Mascotte on a commercial scale and transported for processing and export.

Mascotte has a young population and is considered to be safe city with low crime rate. In fact, the case of a former police officer who was tried and convicted of rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl rocked the city and state in 1988. James Aren Ducker, awaits the ultimate punishment in Death Row but recent evidence has brought the sensational case to retrial, with new evidence pointing towards, false statements in court, incorrect evidence, and suspicions of framing the novice cop. Ironical for a city, which is the home of the ten-acre Gallows Lake!

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