Belle Isle Florida – The Published Reporter®

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Belle Isle on Lake Conway was first established in 1924 when a small local group met on Pleasure Island and decided to form their own community. It was located around the pristine chain of lakes called Lake Convoy. They decided to call this new community Belle Isle which means beautiful island. Mr. C. H. Hoffner was elected as the first Mayor. From 1924 until about 1938 the City of Belle Isle had an active city government. Things went into a lull till about 1954. At that time local residents came to know of an Orange County plan to drain storm water run off from outside the immediate area into the lakes. They took steps to reactivate the municipal government of City of Belle Isle; this has been maintained ever since that time.

The beautiful countryside that we now refer to as the southern portion of Orange County was the natural habitat to many species of flora and fauna breeding along the secluded chain of lakes known to us as Lake Conway. Native American communities thrived along the shores of Lake Conway around 800 A.D. There is evidence of their life along the lakeshore being discovered even today. Belle Isle children find ancient remnants of spear points and pottery shards just beneath the sandy soil by each year after the groves were tilled.

It is interesting to learn how some of the neighborhoods got their names. William Wallace Harney was among the early residents in the area. He had a magnificent homestead with turrets located on what is now known as Matchett Road. It was constructed out of native pine and came to be known as the “Pine Castle”. This is how the neighborhood of Pine Castle got its name.

Vicinity of Belle Isle

Additional Details

Belle Isle is a warm and friendly community in Central Florida with a population of approximately 7000 people who are reasonably well off and enjoy a good quality of life in this unpolluted neighborhood with well developed facilities. The mostly white community is spread over 5 square miles but the town has more than that area as water in the form of the surrounding Lake Conway. The City had a Mayor-Council form of government until November 4, 2003. Since then Belle Isle is under a Council-City Manager form of government.

There are numerous recreational activities in Belle Park. Lagoon Park, located in the south portion of the city is a beautiful park with nature trails and walking paths surrounding a pond which attracts many varieties of birds and wildlife. Open grassy areas and picnic tables make this site suitable for a family picnic and innumerable outdoor family activities. The Perkins Boat Ramp has launch facilities for recreational water craft. Swann Beach is a local park and swimming beach. A sidewalk and deck with ramp overlooks the south lobe of Lake Conway and is enjoyed by area residents young and old alike.

Belle Isle is just 3 miles northwest of Orlando International Airport and there are several hotels nearby or within a mile of the city center of Belle Isle. Vacationers to the area can choose from the Best Western Hotel or Holiday Inn or the Ramada Inn.

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