Tavares (pronounced tuh-vair-ees) is a city located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. It is thecounty seat of Lake County.The population in 2015 was 14,583, with a total of 5,000 households and an average household income of $40,000. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city was founded by newspaper and railroad man Alexander St. Clair-Abrams in 1880 and named for a Portuguese ancestor. In 1883 a post office was established, which was followed by a hotel, three stores, a sawmill, and eight cottages in 1884. While St. Clair-Abrams did not achieve his dream that Tavares become the state capital of Florida (Tallahassee has held the spot since 1823), in 1887 the city was named the seat of Lake County. St. Clair-Abrams later chartered a railroad to run from Tavares to Orlando. In 1919, Tavares incorporated as a town.