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Izaak Walton Lodge, Riverside Inn Yankeetown, Riverside Inn at Izaak Walton Lodge Yankeetown, Yankeetown Restaurants, Yankeetown Tours, Yankeetown Lodging, Kayak Rentals



























 
Izaak Walton Lodge was originally built by Mr. A.F. Knotts and was completed in 1924, serving as a winter retreat for his wealthy northern friends. Mr. Knotts was a lawyer and civil engineer who helped plot the city of Gary Indiana so he had much knowledge of planning and development.

He did entertain many for short visits including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and a few presidents. The area boasted some of the finest hunting and fishing to be found. Fishing and hunting still abound in the area.

The name Izaak Walton refers to a 1600’s era Englishman that was an outdoorsman and was particularly concerned with water conservation. In 1630 he published the very famous work “The Compleat Angler”, a guide to fly fishing, which is still in print today. The Izaak Walton League was formed as a conservation group and named inhis honor. There are currently some 250 chapters nationwide. Mr. Knotts, who was also familiar with his works, similarly paid tribute by naming his lodge The Izaak Walton Lodge.

At this time there were many local fishermen, and those left over from the phosphate days of the early 1900’s, who came to call the area Yankeetown, and as hard as Mr.
Knotts fought against it he finally had to give in and embrace it. He even erected “See Yankeetown” signs throughout central Florida.

Phosphate was a booming industry in the region. It was brought by trucks and trains to Dunnellon and then loaded on barges and taken down river to the gulf where an island city was created by Captain Inglis, another entrepreneur of the time, and name-sake of Yankeetown’s city of Inglis.

The phosphate was then transferred to ships and taken back to Germany and other parts of Europe to make gun powder. Recognizing the danger of the unstable European countries rearming themselves after WWI the federal government shut down the export of phosphate, thus halting the main commerce.

Mr. Knotts and his family continued to live in Yankeetown for the remainder of their lives. Some descendants still reside here. The sleepy little town was re-awakened again briefly in 1961 when Elvis spent the summer here filming his movie “Follow that Dream”. Hwy 40 now bares the name “Follow That Dream Parkway”. Many locals were here then and recall his visit fondly.

In 1999 the original lodge was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in the same foot print. There are no longer rooms upstairs.

The atmosphere is of nature and Old Florida. The flowing Withlacoochee River passes by the lodge on its way to the end of the road where it spills into the Gulf of Mexico. You will see Eagles, Osprey, Tarpon, Snook and more from the bank of the river. Izaak Waltons is located in Old Yankeetown where tall Oak and Pine trees line Riverside Drive.

Fishing here has always been good. Many commercial shrimpers, Yankeetown fishing charters and guides dock their vessels in the deep-water channels of the Withlacoochee. This also provides protection from storms and bad weather.

If you drive from one end Riverside Drive to the other you take in the beauty of Nature, nice homes and friendly folks. There are no 24-hour stores or big shopping centers. We are just a friendly little town.

Call 1-352-445-2755 for Fishing Charters, Guide Service or area information.

 
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