Ninety-five percent of the community is located in Marion County while the remaining five percent is located in northern neighbor Alachua. The entire lake is located in Alachua County but is under the jurisdiction of Marion County Water Management.
Two important archaeological sites in the continental United States have been recently discovered near Orange Lake. One is an encampment of conquistador Hernando de Soto's 1539 expedition through Florida, and the other is a long lost "Franciscan mission associated with the Timucua Native Indians."
At about 1580, "Spanish priests constructed a mission in the town of Potano known to have been visited by De Soto in 1539. The mission was first named Apula and then rebuilt in 1607 as San Buenaventura de Potano. Little was known of it until now with the discovery of the foundation of a mission church. The religious activity at the site was relocated in the early 1600s but the Spanish continued using the site for cattle ranching until the 1700s," reports Past Horizons Archaeology TV. "The credit for this rare discovery rests with Dr. Ashley White, from the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America, Dr. Michele White, author and bioarchaeologist and Ethan White, of Trinity Catholic History Honors."