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OCOEE HISTORY
The settlement of Ocoee began when Dr. J. D. Starke led a group of slaves into the area in the mid 1850s. Many of the men, including Starke, were stricken with malaria and hoped by moving they could escape further outbreaks. They established a camp along the northern shores of a lake with open pine woods and found that the clear, clean water did indeed bring them better health. So Starke and his slaves worked in the fields near Lake Apopka during the day and retired to this haven at night. It was around this nucleus in which the community of Starke Lake began to grow. Though the town would eventually change its name, the lake which brought such good health to the man who originally settled here still bears his name - Starke Lake. Starke Lake
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