Historic Markers Across Florida

Lake Jovita Club

Marker ID:  
Location: on the golf course at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, St Leo, FL
County: Pasco
Coordinates: N 28° 20.462    W 082° 15.281
  28.34103333    -82.25468333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMH5J7


Side 1
Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club incorporates the site of W.E. Currie's Lake Jovita Club of the 1920s and 30s. Gene Sarazen, a leading professional golfer of that era, considered the course-designed by Stiles & VanKleete-one of the best in Florida.

The land had been a part of the Disston purchase of 1881 when a $1 million purchase of 4 million acres saved Florida from bankruptcy. Ex-judge Edmund Dunne, an attorney for Hamilton Disston, obtained development rights on 50,000 acres as part of his fee. Dunne's Catholic Colony Land Company sold the property in the 1880s to Dr. Joseph Corrigan, brother of the Archbishop of New York, who set out extensive orange groves and built a three-story mansion, with private chapel, overlooking Lake Jovita.

Side 2
Dr. Corrigan's mansion burned in 1913 and, in 1925, his heirs sold the property to Currie, who developed the golf course, complete with fences and cattle-gaps to keep free range cows and hogs off the fairways and greens. A temporary clubhouse provided dining facilities, showers and a "lying room" or lounge.
Collapse of the Florida Land Boom and resulting bank failures in 1926 prevented completion of the country club. The 18-hole gold course continued to be popular until the early 1930s when the Great Depression made golfing a luxury beyond the means of most middle class Americans.

The property was purchased by Wm. E. Lee who later sold to John S. Burks. In 1997 Burks' heirs sold to the developers of Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club which opened to play on October 19, 1999.

The Pasco Board of County Commissioners, The Pasco County Historical Preservation Committee and Lake Jovita Joint Venture