Ocala Is Actually A Town In Marion County Florida
Ocala is a town in Marion County, Florida. As of 2007, the population documented by the U.S. Census Bureau was 53,491. It's the county seat of Marion County as well as the main town of the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, that had a projected 2007 population of 324,857.
Ocala is situated near the site of Ocale or Ocali, a significant Timucua village and chiefdom through the 16th century. The modern city took its name through the historical village, the name of which is thought to mean "Big Hammock" from the Timucua language. Hernando de Soto passed through Ocale during his famous expedition thru what is today the southeastern United States in 1539. Ocale will not be talked about in any later accounts; it seems of having been abandoned in the wake of de Soto's attack.
In the last century, Ocala enhanced in importance as being a center 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 which encompases the headwaters of the Silver River, the most significant artesian spring formation on the planet.
Ocala began undergoing rapid development in the 1970s with all the development of the Interstate 75 plus the founding of Disney World, positioned some 70 miles (110 km) southeast.
In the last decades of the twentieth century, the greater Ocala area experienced one of the highest progress rates in the country for any city its size. The populace of Marion County in 2000 ended up being over 250,000, up from under 100,000 in 1975. A lot of the county's growth is thanks to the area's expanding reputation as being a retirement living location, mainly in 2 locations southwest and to the south from the city: the SR 200 corridor and The Villages, respectively.
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