Izaak Walton Lodge was originally built by Mr. A. F. Knotts and was completed in 1924, serving as a winter retreat for his wealthy northern friends. Mr. Knotts was a lawyer and civil engineer who helped plot the city of Gary, indiana so he had much knowledge of planning and development.
He did entertain many for short visits including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and a few presidents. The area boasted some of the finest hunting and fishing to be found. Fishing and hunting still abound in the area.
The name Izaak Walton refers to a 1600's era Englishman that was an outdoorsman and was particularly concerned with water conservation. In 1630, he published the very famous work "The Compeat Angler", a guide to fly fishing, which is still in print today. The Izaak Walton League, was formed as a conservation group and named in his honor. There are currently some 250 chapters nation wide. Mr. Knotts, who was also familiar with his works similarly paid tribute by naming his lodge The Izaak Walton Lodge.
At this time there were many local fishermen, and those left over from the phosphate days of the early 1900's, who came to call the area Yankeetown, and as hard as Mr. Knotts fought against it he finally had to give in and embrace it. He even erected "See Yankeetown" signs throughout central Florida.
Phosphate was a booming industry in the region. It was brought by trucks and trains to Dunnellon and then loaded on barges and taken down river
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