Leesburg is a city in Lake County, Florida, United States. The population was 15,956 at the 2000 census. As of 2005, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 19,086.
Leesburg was first settled in 1857 by Evander McIver Lee. Several of Evander Lee's brothers followed him to the area. One of these brothers, Calvin Lee, was credited with giving the town its name.The city of Leesburg was first incorporated in 1875, and was the county seat of Sumter County for a time untilLake County was formed in 1887.In the early 20th century, Leesburg was an important center for watermelon production. In 1930, Leesburg held its first Watermelon Festival, an annual tradition that would last until watermelon production in the area dwindled to the point that watermelons for the last festival in 1957 had to be brought in from outside the area.In 1938, the WPA began work on the Venetian Gardens waterside park, on the shores of Lake Harris. The canals and gardens of this park have been a centerpiece of the community ever since.