Ocala Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution

History of Ocala

"Horse Capital of the World"

Chief Osceola, leader of Seminole Indians

Ocala is located in Marion County, Florida, and is about a one hour ride to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.It is described as "The Kentucky of Marion County" because of the many horse farms.

To find out more about Marion County-Ocala visit: Wikipedia/Ocala

Florida is home to some 600 thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located near Ocala in Marion County. Ocala is one of only four major thoroughbred breeding and training centers in the world.

Fort King Park and Heritage Center  Opening  Saturday May 31,2014

Ocala, Fla.May 30, 2014) Fort King Heritage Association hosted an opening celebration of Fort King Park and the Heritage Center on Saturday, May 31, 2014. This national historic landmark is located at 3925 East Fort King St. Ocala, Fla.The park has awalking trail for self-guided tours. For more information, please call 368-5535 or 368-5517.  

 Fort King, designated "National Historical Landmark"Feb. 4, 2004 

Supported by the Ocala Chapter DAR since 1927

On February 4, 2004, “Fort King” was designated a National Historic Landmark. This includes the acre owned by the Ocala Chapter DAR. Fort King has had a long association with the Ocala Chapter, dating back to October 24,1927. On that date, the Ocala Chapter DAR voted to purchase one acre of land which was the original site of the “Fort King Military Reservation Memorial Ground.” It was on this site that soldiers and settlers were buried during the Seminole Wars. After these wars, the bodies were removed from the Military Reservation to the National Cemetery at St. Augustine, Florida.By purchasing this property, the Ocala Chapter DAR agreed to establish and maintain a fitting memorial in honor and remembrance of the soldiers who served their country during the Seminole Indian Wars at Fort King, Ocala, Florida.

 In 1932, after many fund raising events, members of Ocala Chapter had the area cleared, and cement posts placed to mark boundaries. In March 1932, aBronze Marker; was placed to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth, and recently this marker was moved to the Ocala/Marion County Veterans Park.

On May 14, 1932, after seven years' work, a boulder of blue Georgia granite, in the shape Profile-History.htmlof a truncated pyramid, was placed on the site with a bronze tablet affixed to it. The tablet states, Fort King was the birthplace of what is now known as the City of Ocala, named for the extinct Timucuan Indians who lived here at the time. They called their village Ocali, and most historians commonly thought to mean Big Hammock.On May 8, 2008, the City of Ocala received a grant for $46,000 awarded by the Bureau of Historic Preservation. This grant was used for archeological studies. These studies were completed at the Fort King site, and identified where the original Fort King Road, blacksmith shop, stable, mercantile store, battlefields, and peace talk negotiation sites were located. This step was necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of having Fort King designated as a National Park.

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 the Marion County Commissioners and the Ocala City Council ratified the proposal, approved by the Ocala DAR Membership for 99-year lease to the DAR’s acre of land. This lease is needed to allow public access to a site featuring a memorial commemorating soldiers killed during the Second Seminole War, which was fought between 1835 and 1842. The DAR has been Trusty and has managed the memorial grounds since 1928 This partnership with Marion County, City of Ocala, and the Fort King Heritage Association will allow for protection, preservation, and development of the history of Fort King, and access to the Fort King National Historic Landmark.

Fort King Historical Preservation Medal and Award

On January 28, 2015, Gloria Seddon a member of the Ocala DAR Chapter since April 19, 1985 was presented with the National DAR Historical Preservation medal, a prestigious award not given lightly. Presenting the medal was Florida State historical Preservation chairman Betty Jo Green. Gloria has served as Regent for the Ocala DAR chapter twice: 1996-98 and 1999-2001. She remains the Committee Chairman for the Fort King Military Reservation Memorial Ground for which she has served over twenty years. Gloria has attended all the meetings, and has been actively involved in the preservation of this acre of land as well as helping with the leasing of the land to Marion County and the City of Ocala, and the Fort King Heritage Association. This lease encourages not only the preservation of Fort King, but allow access by the public to gain knowledge of the history of the site. The Fort King Fort site which is several yards away from the DAR acre site is now a “Fort king National Historical landmark”.At the same presentation a “Historical Preservation Award” was presented to the Henry Shelton, President of the Fort King Heritage Association for their continuing efforts in helping to preserve the Fort King site. A certificate of appreciation for their continuing efforts in preserving Fort King was present to Mayor Quinn, Ocala, Fl and to Representative Marion County Commissioner Carl Zalak. Both the DAR site and Fort King will be linked with a series of walkways and markers explaining the history in each area.

Fort King Web Sites http://fkha.org/


For information on Membership:

Emily Martinsen Ocala Regent

Web MasterJean Brown