I -I /I
~iIAR I ON C~jblNTY FLARt-~l IP
INTEREST throughout the
I United States in Florida as a field
for home-making and investment,
j prompts the issuance by the Board
of County Commissioners, of this
official statement of conservative infor-
mation as to Marion County, with
photographs of scenes within its borders.
Attention is directed to the fact that
no extreme and unusual crop yields are
given, and that no extravagant estimates
of yearly income are conjured, but a
request is made that if such be offered
you, from any source or section, that
the same be investigated and compared
with actual results to be seen here.
Further information and assistance
will be rendered on request be'ig made
to S. T. Sistrunk, Clerk of this Board,
GEORGE MAC KAY, Chairman.
NORMAN A. FORT. Lym.nFlorida
J. M. MATTHEWS, Fleminton. Florida,
M. M. PROCTOR. Pedro. Florida.
W. J. CROSBY. Citra, Florida.
IWC 4-r~CllClll II __ L
On ty. Shoying ;r:i:ht ad Pasnger Do*t"
Viel" o the O~a6 Rive Mario
~s 4ARION COU'~ rY FLORT1LC
Marion County u situated in the center of the Florida
Peninsula, midway between Jacksonville and Tampa. Its
west line s within fourteen miles of the Gulf Coast. and
its east lne within thirty miles of the Atlantic Coast.
The county is more than 40 miles square, and contains
nearly 2000 square miles, or about 1216,000 acres. It
includes more available land for profitable agriculture than any
county in the State.
The population is approximately 30,000, about 50 per cent.
white and 50 per cent. colored.
The County is capitally served by six lines of railways,
and two lines of steamers as follows:
Atlantic Coast Line, 83 miles;
Seaboard Air Line, 56 miles;
Tampa & Jacksonville, 10 miles;
Standard & Hernando, 6 miles;
Rentz Line. Ocala to Palatka (20 miles already con-
Port Inglis Terminal 14 miles. (Dunnellon to Port Inglis);
And the Hart Line Steamers (Palatka to Silver Springs,
the famous Okclawal a trip.) and Howard Line freight steam-
era (Palatka to Silver Springs). The County Las 189 mile. of
railroad, more building, and yet more projected.
General At i Marlon County.
Shaded Tobo. Sam Tobachco 6 Hig Field Tobacc. Coan. Harvestig O0-
PMARION COUNTY FLORID
The State and county rate is 24 mill, but vaiuatons
are so low that this rate is really moderate. The rule in
general use is to assess at about one-third the cash value. This
reduces it to about an 8-mill basis.
A new court house was finished in 1908 at a cost of
$77.000.00 and the county has no bonded indebtedness,
PRICE OF LAND.
The price of land depends upon many thing. Much of
the good land is unready for use because not yet cleared. Im-
proved lands ready to cultivate close to railroad sell from
$25.00 to $50.00 per acre, according to improvements. Small
tracts of from 10 to 20 acres would bring a higher price.
Orange groves run from $200 to $1,000.00 an acre, owing to,
age, condition and location. The lay of the land is very
attractive. It is generally undulating. but not enough so to
be called hilly. Traveled visitors declare that our best farming
sections suggest strongly the topography of the blue grass region
of Kentucky and Tennesseev The hardwood hammocks are
especially attractive in their beauty of undulation and their
fertility of soil.
PRICE OF LABOR.
The price of labor for negro men is 85 cents to $1 per.day
of 10 hours; negro women, 60 to 85 cents per day of 10 hours.
These are farm laborers. Phosphate miners, turpentine and
lumber men get from $1 to $1.50 per day.
SOILS AND SUBSOILS.
The soil varies from pure sand to way clay. The best
land for general farming is a sandy loam. The color varies
with the subsoil. It is generally brown or yellowish brown.
Fine Live Stock in Marion County
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NARION CO NTY FLORID
The subsoil is generally yellowish brown clay. much mixed with
lime. Around several of the lakes and on the Ocklawaha and
Withlacoochee rivers are thousands of acres of the richest of
muck lands, much of which is the best in the State for celery
culture. Many of the hammock lands are also well adapted to
celery growing, and onions. The most perfect Bermuda onions
can be produced in heavy yields.
The main industry is agriculture. The products for 1908
totalled nearly $2,50,000. and included corn, oats, hay, sweet
potatoes, peanuts, velvet beans, rice, cotton, cane products, pump-
kis and tobacco. At the 1908 Marion County Fair one farm
exhibited 30 different farm products. in addition to pure bred
beef cattle, swine sheep and goats.
There are more than a dozen herds of pure bred beef and
dairy cattle in the county, while thousands of native cattle
range inthe pine woods. There are a large number of herds of
pure bred swine, and great progress as been made in the improve-
ment of the native "razor back" hog. There are a few flocks
of pure bred sheep and a number of flocks graded up by the use
of pure brId rams. The largest flock in the county numbers
The breeding of light horses (driving, coach and saddle
horses), is engaging increasing attention, and mule breeding is
firmly established as a farm industry.
The introduction of the popular breeds of poultry has been
very extensive on the farms of this county the past few years.
The market for poultry and eggs s good the year round.
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Mario County Truck Farn. A, wiag Ctaldoupa. Potatoes Bea. sad Lttuc
M' MARION COUNTY FLORIDA^
This industry is developing in an astonishing degree.
Canteloupes, watermelon.. lettuce, string beans, English peas,
cabbage, tomatoes, onions. Irish potatoes beets, egg plant, pepper,
summer squash. Boston marrow squash, cauliflower, and cucum-
ben are shipped by the car load from 20 different railway
stations. In 1908 the Atlantic Coast Line shipped from the
county 392 cars of watermelons, and 118 ears of cantaloupes.
and the other roads combined probably equalled these shipments.
The value of the products of the truck farms is estimated at
Marion County early earned its reputation as a producer
of the finest. best-keeping and highest-priced oranges and grape
fruit in the State. It contained originally more wild orange
groves than any other county. While the growing of citrus
fruits is no longer the chief industry of the county, some of
the finest and most profitable groves in the" State are main-
tained. chiefly about Orange Lake and Lake Weir.
Strawberries are grown commercially, but vegetables yield'
greater profit. The finest figs. peaches and guavas are grown.
The native fruits produced wild in great profusion, are black
berries, dew berries, blue berries, mulberries, plums. grapes and
Pecans are successfully cultivated in groves in a commercial
way bringing an average of 25 cents a pound, and are favorite
GENERAL AGRICULTURE RECOMMENDED.
While any of the specialities may be pursued with ample
profit by intelligent industrious farmers, the experience of the '
Lraag Lvrows Mariom County
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~4 1ARION CO~1NTfY FLORLDII
past few years has demonstrated that the average farmer will
find more certain and more satisfactory returns in general agri-
culture, including trucking, grain, and live stock. While corn
will not yield as heavily per acre as in the corn belt-the aver-
age being about 25 bushels-it can be grown as a second crop
following early truck and thus can be produced at a far less
cost per bushel than in the central west. And the price is
always higher than in the corn belt.
The corn produced here has a higher protein content than
corn grown in the central west, and is consequently of greater
seeding value. It also goes further in feeding, as corn is not
required to maintain bodily heat in the winter time.
These include turpentine, rosin, baskets, crates, carrier,
spokes, rims, foundry eating and cigars. Vegetable canning fac-
tories are in successful operation.
These products include phosphates, lime, and Fullers earth.
The original discovery of phosphate rock in Florida was made
in this county, and the first mine opened in 1889 at Dunnellon
is still producing in large quantities. These phosphate mines
yield the highest grade rock mined in the United States. The
product is all exported.
Deep lime rock deposits, with light overburden, are found
in many sections of the county, and 150,000 barrels of lime
are burned annually,
The county originally was completely covered with yellow
pine, cypress and hardwood timber, including oaks of many vr-i-
ties, ash, gum, hickory, magnolia, bay, iron wood, elm, maple
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Nut and Fruit Tre"a Marion County
MARION CO NTY FLORID
and other Linds of timber. Lands on which the hard woods
grow are called hammocks, and are the heaviest and richest soil
in the State.
President Roosevelt, on recommendation of the United
States Department of Agriculture, recently created the Ocala
Forest Reserve, including 201,480 acres, lying east of the Ock-
lawaha River in this county.
The market for staples is at home. Cabbage, canteloupes,
mclonsletuce and other truck, and oranges, go to every town
on the Atlantic Seaboard, including the great tourist hotels on
the East Coat of Florida, and west to the Mississippi River,
and beyond, and also for export to Canada and Cuba. It is only
twenty-four hours to New York by express, fifty to sixty by
freight. It is 24 hours to Cincinnati by express and 34 hours
Pure water is readily found by bored or dug wells at
from 20 to 100 feet. Orange Lake. 8 by 25 miles, situated
in the northern portion of the county, and Lake Weir. 4 by 8
miles, in the southern part. Lake Weir, with its blue water
and pure white sand, and bluffs of orange groves and pine
forests, is the most beautiful lake in Florida. These lakes are
full of fish--trout, (black bass), perch, bream, pickerel and other
The Ocklwama. one of the most famous river in Florida,
traverses the county from north to south, while the St. Johns
forms a portion of the eastern boundary, and the Withlacoo-
chee a considerable part of the western boundary. Silver
Springs, one of the greatest of natural curiosities and beauties,
a big crystalline river bursting forth from a depth of 70 feet-
Lime Mine. Virgin Timber. Grit Mill in Marion County
MARION CO NTY FLORID
is located within 5 miles of Ocala. the county seat. A multi-
tude of beautiful little clear water lakes, from one to 10 ac
in size, full of fish and free from swamps and marshes, dot the
CLIMATE AND RAINFALL.
The climate and rainfall at*Ocla. the County .eat, aver-
aged during the past twenty years as follows-
January.................. ............... .. 57 deg. 2.75 in.
February...................... ........ ..... 60 3.28 in.
March.................................65 3.04 in.
April................ ............... ........ 69 1.94 in
May ................... .................... 75 3.46 in.
June ................. ......... .............. 80 7.83 in.
July ........................... ............. 81 7.79 in.
August ...................................... 81 7.68 in.
September.......... ....... .... . ............. 79 7.33 in.
October ....... ........................ ...72 2.78 in.
November ................... ......... 64 1.61 in.
December .............. ..... ............59 2.45 in.
Average temperature for year .................. 70 deg.
Total rainfall for year ......... ........... 51.90 in.
Owing to the peculiar geological formation, which disposes
of the surplus waters through drainage into underground
streams, there is little waste and swamps. It is high, dry, rich
soil. Country, climate, transportation facilities and people
make it ideal as a residence section. The testimony of people
from the north is unanimously to the effect that the summers
are not more uncomfortable than in New York and New Eng-
land, and are not so extreme in temperature changes. The
nights are always cool and the genial warmth of the climate is
Views of Ocala the County Seat of Marion County
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MARION COUNTY FLORID
The county seat. known as the Brick City," is a
growing modern business town of 6.000 population, with vitri-
fied brick streets and handsome new stone courthouse. surrounded
by tropical palmettos. The United States post-office and
courthouse, is nearing completion at a cost of $120,000.
Ocala has ample banking facilities, ice making plants, meat
packing plants, hotels, and large and prosperous business houses
of every character.
POST OFFICE RECEIPTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING:
June 30th. 1903 ..... ...................$10.765.02
1904 ....................... .. 12.356.86
1905 .......................... 13.835.40
1906 ....................... .. 14.483.90
1907 ................. ...... 16.810.22
1908 ......................... 19.41900
The attractions of Lake Weir and Orange Lake are an-
nually inviting more and more winter residents, many of whom
have built homes about these lakes, while comfortable accommo-
dations at hotels and boarding houses may be obtained at reason-
able rates at all towns and villages nearby.
This county has a most comprehensive school system
ranking third in the State in the point of aggregate attendance
and apportionment of State school funds, being excelled only by
Duval and Hillsborough, in which counties Jacksonville and
Tampa are respectively located.
An idea of the intelligence of the county may be gleaned
from the fact that out of a population of 30.000 there are 5,828
pupils enrolled, or a fraction over, 19%. There are in opera-
tion 106 schools, employing 152 teachers, at a cost. in 1908 of
Country Homa. Marion County
MARION COUNTY FLORID
$71.538.14. The school property of the county valued at
Nearly all denominations are represented with an esti-
mated combined membership of 9.000 and property valued at
There is probably no more important factor in the develop-
ment of a county than hard roads. They make new lands
accessible; assist the farmer in marketing his crops, and add
very materially to the increase of realty assessments.
Marion is the banner county in the matter of hard roads.
It has more miles of roads leading in more different directions
than any other county. The roads are well built, the mater-
ials used being clay and lime stone, both of which abound plen-
tifully in all parts of the county.
While other counties are building roads that cost from
$5000 to $8000 per mile. Marion County has built roads at
$937 per mile. A considerable portion of the work on the
roads is done by the county convicts.
The amount invested in hard roads by the county during
1905 was $22,395; during 1906, $22,297; during 1907.
$23,003. during 1908, $45,119. and during the current year the
amount spending is larger than ever.
A number of steel bridges have been built, and the system
of hard roads and permanent bridges is being extended as
rapidly as permitted by the county income.
Visitors will be extended every facility for an inspection
of any section of the county.
For further information address.
S. T. SISTRUNK: Clerk County Court.
Marion County Hard Roads
MARION COUNTY FLORID
AN UNBIASED OPINION.
The farmer seeking a southern location who does not
investigate the advantages of Marion County, Florida. is not
dealing itly with himself. We write with some degree of
personal knowledge on this point. As a section for winter res-
idence Florida offers no greater attraction than Lake Weir,
especially to the man who loves to live near to natures heart,
on as beautiful a body of water as ever reflected the golden
rays of a setting sun or the silvery sheen of a mid-winter
moon. There is rest without enervation in the winter climate
of central Florida. In that section there is pleasure for the
tourist, complete comfort and satisfaction for the winter res-
dent, attractive opportunities for the land investor, and the most
inviting and generous chances for the active intelligent farmer.
Florida has no superior in climate and comforts as a winter dry
dock for the tired, the ailing or the aged; but this is the small-
est part of the advantages of that State. Its possibilities for
farming, stock, grain, truck, and fruit farming can only be com-
preended after personal investigation. Florida needs people.
Nature has done the rest."-From the Breeder's Gazette of
Chicap, January 6th, 1909.
A rA Mr. Foster
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T CaAX ITM eOm b RoN