The unincorporated community of Ocklawaha resides in Marion County. It is considered a section of the metropolitan area of Ocala. It is a small, friendly community, buttressed against the sizable Lake Weir. Members of this community can turn to ADVANTAGE GREEN Lawn & Pest Solutions for the most reliable and effective lawn and landscape care. We have served the entire area of Marion County for quite some time, and our personal touch certainly extends to Ocklawaha. Small communities are very familiar with the concept of the personal touch. That is part of what makes them attractive to visit. Our company guarantees that same appeal when you call on us for service.
Prior to the established settlement that developed into the modern community, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. The diverse array of terrestrial wildlife, coupled with the plentiful fish in Lake Weir and a nearby river rendered a plentiful bounty of food available by hunting and fishing. During the 19th century, European settlers made their way to what is now Ocklawaha, attracted by the same attributes that the Native Americans had found here. The community took its name from the nearby Ocklawaha River, which winds a total of 74 miles through Lake, Marion, Putnam, and Alachua counties. It flows north and is the main tributary of the St. Johns River, which is its north terminating point. During the previous two centuries, it was an important body of water for transportation of goods by steamboat.
Eventually, in the year 1884, the community established a post office, which remained in the same spot until its closure in 1992. Though the original office is gone, the community has stuck around and thrived.
There was also an infamous incident that occurred here on January 16, 1935. Members of the Barker-Karpis gang were tracked by the FBI and found holed up in a house in Ocklawaha. The resulting shootout between the federal agents and the gang resulted in the killing of Fred Barker, and his mother, Kate “Ma” Barker. This was one of a series of setbacks for the gang in the year 1935 that led to the eventual arrest of their remaining members and the end of their crime spree.
Business and Economy
The small downtown area in Ocklawaha consists mainly of small businesses. There are boutiques, shops, some service businesses similar to ADVANTAGE GREEN Lawn & Pest Solutions, and several restaurants and pubs.
Recreation and Events
The Carney Island Conservation Area is truly a sight to behold. It is actually a peninsula within Lake Weir. A nature watcher’s heaven, there is never a shortage of wildlife to both observe and photograph. Deer are known to make frequent appearances, as well as squirrels. The overall perimeter is just over three miles, however, there are more than four miles worth of winding hiking trails inside the park. Along the way, there are several benches where you can stop, rest, and take in the sight of the vista. The view of the lake from the area is magnificent. In addition, there is also a swimming area, and the water is a pleasant, comfortable temperature. Being surrounded by water, the temperatures of the peninsula are somewhat moderated compared to the outside area, for your hiking pleasure.
Every year, the community does a reenactment of the shootout between the Barkers and the FBI. It is conducted at the community building. Ma Barker’s house still stands, though its location has been moved to another location by Lake Weir.