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Contact: Mark Ard,

Secretary Detzner Designates Leesburg Partnership Florida Main Street Program of the Month


Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Leesburg Partnership has been designated the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for January 2015. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program.  Designated a Main Street community in 1994, Leesburg continues to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which occurred in August 2014.  Leesburg’s main street of today was originally the town’s main highway.  In recent years it has reclaimed its place as the prosperous city center.

“It is wonderful to see long-term plans successfully implemented in main street communities like Leesburg,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner.  “Under the leadership of their Florida Main Street program, Leesburg Partnership has directed the pride that Leesburg citizens and organizations share in their community, and channeled it into ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain their historic downtown.”


View of City Hall in downtown Leesburg, Florida

 “Our downtown is blossoming with new businesses and revitalization projects,” says the Executive Director of Leesburg Partnership, Joe Shipes.  “Two of our largest buildings in the Main Street area are currently being rehabilitated, along with three other community improvement projects, and our Gateway development plan began in early December.  As our yearlong celebration of our 20th anniversary as a Main Street community carries into September of 2015, we will continue our local outreach and promotion of Leesburg Partnership.”

Leesburg was incorporated on July 12, 1875.  It is the oldest city in Lake County, and was once the county seat of Sumter County, before the county divided.  The city gets its name from Evander Lee, the first resident of the area, who in 1875 with his wife Susan and their 8 children came to settle and built a log store on the town’s Main Street.  Lee’s brother Calvin is credited with giving the town its name.  As he and Evander were on a buying trip in New York City, the merchant asked where to send their shipment, to which Calvin reportedly replied, “Send it to Lee’s Burg.”

For more information about Leesburg Partnership or the Florida Main Street program visit or or

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 About Florida Main Street

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Florida Main Street program.

Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 communities throughout the state.  By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul.  Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 23,099 jobs, 6,911 new businesses and produced $2.3 billion in reinvestment.