Ocala Is Actually A Community In Marion County Florida
Ocala is a urban center in Marion County, Florida. As of 2007, the populace documented by the U.S. Census Bureau was 53,491. It's the county seat of Marion County and also the primary town of the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in fact had a projected 2007 population of 324,857.
Ocala is located near the site of Ocale or Ocali, a significant Timucua village and chiefdom throughout the 16th century. The present day city took its name through the historical village, the naming of that's thought to mean "Big Hammock" from the Timucua language. Hernando de Soto passed through Ocale throughout his famous expedition thru what is today the southeastern United States in 1539. Ocale isn't described in almost any later accounts; it appears of having been left behind during the wake of de Soto's attack.
During the last century, Ocala improved in prominence as being a heart for tourism in Florida. Significant sights included the Silver Springs Nature Theme Park, Wild Waters waterpark, and the now-defunct Western-themed Six Gun Territory, all in nearby Silver Springs, Florida. Silver Springs is a 350-acre (1.4 km2) nature theme park that envelopes the headwaters of the Silver River, the greatest artesian spring formation around the world.
Ocala began undergoing rapid development in the 1970s with the growth and development of the Interstate 75 additionally, the founding of Disney World, situated some 70 miles (110 km) southeast.
In the last decades of the last century, the greater Ocala area experienced one of the highest progress rates in the nation for any city its size. The population of Marion County in 2000 was over 250,000, up from under 100,000 in 1975. A great deal of the county's growth is owing to the area's growing recognition as being a retirement location, mainly in just two locations south west and south from the city: the SR 200 corridor and The Villages, respectively.
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