Age old oaks and peaceful lakes surround the tiny town between Windermere and Orlando called Gotha. It was founded in 1885 by Henry Hempel and named after his hometown in Germany. Throughout this tiny town you’ll find wonderful examples of old Florida architecture. A quaint sandwich shop called Yellow Dog Eats is a great example of this style of architecture as well as the church across the street. Camp Ithiel, located towards the Old Winter Garden Rd. section of Hempel served as a camp for German POW’s in World War II. The Palm Cottage Gardens established by a famous botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling, a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places as Florida’s oldest Botanical Garden, is located at 2267 Hempel Ave. Dr Nehrling’s resting place can be found at the cemetery on Morton Jones Rd.. More detailed information about Henry Nehrling can be found HERE.
The history here, the tall oaks that canopy the streets, and the unique architecture have contributed to the charm of Gotha but today some over development and a few new subdivisions have taken away from its ambiance. My personal feelings are that the town should have kept a closer watch on what some of these developers are been doing. Regardless, Gotha is a wonderful little town in SW Orlando that has a charm and character all its own.
Palm Cottage Garden by Botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling