|Welcome! I would like to introduce you to a little bit of Marion County History. I will be adding links to other sights with more in depth history of the county as well., so come back often. Thanks|
Ocala in Marion County is located in the Central Highlands Region of Florida at the junction of US-441 and State Hwy 40. This region is comprised of beautiful rolling hills, an abundance of wonderful pastureland, and a mild climate. It has become renowned as a premier spot for Horse Ranching. Several horses from Marion County have competed in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. Some horse farms allow visitors to take tours.
Originally what is now known as Marion County was part of Alachua County, Hillsborough County, and Mosquito (now Orange) County. Marion County was created on March 14, 1844. It was named for General Francis Marion, of South Carolina, also known as the "Swamp Fox" during the Revolutionary War. Marion County drew many of its earliest settlers from South Carolina. One hundred years after its creation Marion County boasted a population of 35,132 persons. Within Marion County are the following cities/towns: Ocala, the county seat; Dunnellon; Belleview; Reddick; McIntosh; and Citra.
Marion County has two significant natural sites. Near Ocala, east of Silver Springs is the Ocala National Forest, which covers 389,000 acres of land. Established in 1908, it is the oldest National Forest east of the Mississippi River and southernmost in the continental U.S. It is the largest existing area of Sand Pine, or Scrub Pine. It is a playground for hunting, camping, trail riding and even taking home a Christmas tree cut from a forestry designated area. There is a bombing range used by the Navy in training pilots, too.