For luxury living at its best, look no further than the town of Windermere. Pristine sand bottom lakes surround this small West Orange community. The boating enthusiast will revel in the system of canals that connects eight lakes known as the Butler Chain of Lakes.
Windermere was bestowed its name from Dr. Stanley Scott, whose father purchased 160 acres in this picturesque location in 1885. Dr. Scott built his home on the shore of Lake Butler, and it is believed by many that he named this town after England’s famous Lake Windermere.
Today, more than 2,300 people inhabit the Town of Windermere, but the town’s focus is on preserving its natural history and strong community atmosphere. In fact, many of the town streets remain unpaved to continue their commitment to retain the pristine nature of the Chain of Lakes. Windermere has been named “Tree City USA” for its commitment to a natural environment for 10 consecutive years.
Founded in 1885 by Henry Hempel, Gotha was named after his hometown in Germany. It has been protected as a rural settlement for decades and as a historical preservation district since 1995.
Along main street Gotha, visitors can find Palm Cottage Gardens, formerly home to Dr. Henry Nehrling; the Zion Lutheran Church, founded in 1915; the Yellow Dog Eats Café, housed in the historic Fishers Country Store; the Gotha Post Office; and unique offices. Also in Gotha is a community park for numerous outdoor activities and the Gotha Community Center that was originally a one-room schoolhouse.
On the Palm Cottage Gardens property resides Nehrling Gardens, which is now used as an education center/arboretum /botanical garden to teach historic preservation, horticultural education and environmental conservation.