Sumter County was officially created by the legislature in 1853. Adamsville was originally designated the county seat, but in 1858 center of county government moved to Sumterville. In 1868, the legislature again moved the county seat, this time to Leesburg. In the late 1870’s, Leesburg became part of the newly created Lake County and the legislature directed Sumter County to vote on a new county seat. On October 10, 1881, the citizens voted for Sumterville to become the county seat once again. After two years of legal wrangling, the legislature recognized the election and work began on a new courthouse.
Less than 20 years later, on January 20, 1909, fire destroyed the Sumterville courthouse and virtually all the records stored within. Again the legislature ordered an election, and again political infighting delayed the process. Finally, in 1912 and by a margin of only 12 votes, the citizens chose Bushnell over Wildwood as the new county seat.
The marker commemorating the old Sumterville courthouse is collocated with the Sumterville Community Center and Historical Site. The Center features a park and a picnic area with a grill, and is open from sunrise to sunset.
Directly across the street from the marker and community center is Mabel’s Early Bird restaurant, a pink building that’s home to some of the best Cuban and American food around. It’s a great place to stop for lunch during your tour of Sumter County’s historical sites. Try their roast pork with black beans and rice or their famous Cuban sandwich. Mabel’s is open Monday through Saturday from 6am to 2pm.