Ocklawaha is a sleepy little town with venerable homes surrounded by white picket fences, towering oak trees adorned with Spanish moss, the massive Lake Weir with its beaches and lakeside restaurants, and the peaceful Ocklawaha River. The area is perfect for those who eschew the din of modern life. Not much excitement has happened in Ocklawaha since the FBI shot over two-thousand rounds into the home where Ma Barker and her gang were hiding out in 1935.
In the decades since it Ocklawaha has attracted tourist who are interested in either canoeing along the river, or seeing where Ma Barker’s famous gang went around town. Gone are the proud steamboats that once carried Victorian era tourists up and down the Ocklawaha River. The river was such a popular tourist destination that famous patrons such as Thomas Edison and Mary Todd Lincoln took in the lush green scenery from the steamboats.
The boats may be gone, but the lush forests that surround the river and make up the better part of Ocklawaha are still there. There is no shortage of wildlife to see in Ocklawaha and gators sunning themselves along the river, deer on the banks carefully sipping water keeping a wary eye for predators, and even a noble fox out for an afternoon stroll. If Ocklawaha seems idyllic, that is because it is just that. The residents who live in the area are able to fish and hunt year-round. The crime rate has been low since Ma Barker was dispatched, and there is quiet. No sirens from police cars or fire engines shatter the night, no cars with their radios too loud, and no airplanes flying low. In coming years, it is likely that people will want to build in this area while conserving its beauty, it is a Florida treasure.
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