Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
4:24 pm EDT
Thursday, August 13, 2020

‘Old Joe’ the alligator lives on: Mount Dora to unveil bronze statue

Fifteen feet of Mount Dora history soon will be displayed in a gathering spot for both residents and tourists.

The city’s newest attraction is “Old Joe,” a 15-foot alligator sculpture that will be unveiled at 2pm Tuesday, Feb. 20, in front of the Palm Island Boardwalk, 411 S. Tremain St., a news release states. Old Joe was a legendary, record-setting alligator that patrolled the local lakes and was rumored to have eaten small animals and even livestock.

The statue, which was cast at American Bronze Foundry in Sanford, cost $52,000 and was donated to the city.

The ceremony culminates a long process for the city and two generous donors working together to complete the project. The donors came up with the idea of the “Old Joe” sculpture as a way to give something back to the community that can be interactive and long-lasting while showing the personality of the city, the release states.

The two private donors wanted to have a replica of Old Joe set in a public location. After an extensive search, city officials chose the shade at Palm Island Park, a scenic, nature-filled boardwalk that juts out into Lake Dora and around the natural wonders of the city, the release states. A large, concrete slab was poured for “Old Joe” in a spot where visitors can sit and have their picture taken with a legend.