Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Marion
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- SITE OF THE DISCOVERY OF PHOSPHATE IN FLORIDA
Location:County Road 40, between Kennesaw and Vogt Spings Rd.
Description: One block to the south is the site of the discovery of hard rock phosphate in Florida by Albertus Vogt in 1889. It made Dunnellon a boom town and first center of the industry. The Tiger Rag, Early Bird and Eagle mines were among the most valuable. The Marion County Phosphate Co. was the first to operate extensively. Phosphates are still mined in the area, but since 1900 the center of production has shifted elsewhere.
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in Cooperation with Dunnellon Garden Club
- FORT KING
Location:S.E. 39th Avenue (Fort King Road), Ocala.
Description: On a nearby knoll stood Fort King, important military outpost during the removal of the Florida Indians. Adjacent to a Seminole Agency established in 1825, it was named for Col. William King and first occupied in 1827. Outside its stockade, on December 28, 1835, warriors led by Osceola ambushed and killed Gen. Wiley Thompson and four others. On this same day, troops marching to the fort's relief perished in the Dade Massacre. In 1844, after the Seminole War ended, Fort King became the temporary seat of newly created Marion County.
- OCALA DEMANDS
Location:S.E. First Avenue, City Park Square in Ocala.
Description: In December, 1890, Ocala was host to a meeting of the National Farmers' Alliance. Sessions, attended by 88 delegates and hundreds of visitors, were held at the Opera House and the Semi-Tropical Exposition Building. A state-wide agricultural exposition was held in conjunction with the meeting. The delegates adopted the famous "Ocala Demands", a platform outlining political and economic reforms considered necessary by the Alliance.
- THE OLD COURTHOUSE SQUARE
Location:The city block bordered on the north by Silver Springs Blvd., on the east by SE 1st Ave., on the south by SE 1st Street and on the west by S. Magnolia Avenue.
Description: Designated as a Public Square in the original Ocala plat of 1846, this location was the site of Marion County’s first permanent courthouse built in 1851. It was a two-story frame building of Colonial design. The second courthouse was erected on this site in 1884, a two-story brick cube. Public dissatisfaction caused a third courthouse with more adequate space to be built in 1906. It was of Roman design with a clock dome and veneered walls of Indiana sandstone. In 1965, when public efforts to save it failed, it was demolished. This site was given by Marion County to the City of Ocala in a property exchange, becoming a city park, thus retaining its function as a Public Square as planned by the city’s founders.
Sponsors: THE MARION COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- MARSHALL PLANTATION SITE
Location:NE 7th St. CR 314 on w. side Ocklawaha River
Description: A short distance north of here stood the sugar plantation of Jehu Foster Marshall, established in 1855. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Marshall was named a colonel in the Confederate Army and soon commanded one of General Wade Hampton’s infantry units, the 1stSouth Carolina Rifles. Colonel Marshall was killed during the Second Battle of Manassas in August 1862. The plantation continued in operation under the supervision of his widow, Elizabeth Anne DeBrull Marshall, until March 10, 1865, when Union troops staged a surprise raid. The Marshall Plantation and the sugar mill were burned to the ground. The raid was conducted by elements of the 3rdUnited States Colored Infantry ,led by the black Sergeant Major Henry James. The Ocala Home Guard pursued the Union force and during the running battle, two of the home guard members were killed. After crossing the Ocklawaha River, the raiders set fire to the bridge. Company H, 2nd Florida Cavalry, lead by Captain J.J. Dickison, encamped at nearby Silver Springs, soon gave chase and succeeded in driving the Union troops into St. Augustine, and reclaiming all property seized during the raid.
Sponsors: MARION COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE