Lake Wales ◦ Florida ◦ USA
Mountain Lake History

Embracing a proud legacy is hardly a thing of the past.

Upon entering Mountain Lake, you are immersed in one of Florida’s best kept secrets, a world as timeless as it is peerless. And it is all by design. In 1916, among Florida’s loveliest hills, lakes, forests and groves, legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. artfully laid out the grounds of Mountain Lake, and his grand vision remains a sight to behold.

Justly listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mountain Lake Historic District comprises a living history. As lush and vibrant as ever, its glory days remain alive and well, and the best of times are right here, right now.

Mountain Lake

The enclave of Mountain Lake was established in 1916 by Frederick S. Ruth of Baltimore, who purchased 3,500 acres of the richest and most elevated real estate in Florida. Ruth wisely employed Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., whose father designed Central Park and Boston Common, to artfully lay out 600 acres of Mountain Lake property known as the Park.

In the mid-1920’s Edward W. Bok, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post and The Ladies Home Journal, became a Mountain Lake resident. Bok had emigrated from Holland and, thankful of his success in his adopted homeland, chose to make a lasting contribution. On 250 acres of the highest land in the Park, he created what is now known as Bok Tower Gardens. The “Singing Tower” is one of the world’s most renowned carillons, drawing visitors to outdoor concerts and other events in a breathtaking setting. To this day, Mountain Lake Residents hold Bok Tower in high regard and are hugely supportive of its mission and programming. A private gate within Mountain Lake, available only to Residents and guests, leads directly to the Tower.