Ocala is one of the most beautiful and progressive of Florida’s many prosperous, and it is hard to realize that the little village of a few years ago is now an active city of 5000.
Ocala is one of the best planned and most picturesque cities of the South.
In the center is the public square, a well kept stretch of greensward, with shade trees on every side. Around the square are located the banks, hotels, and business blocks, all handsome and modern structures of brick and plate glass. Beyond are the churches and other institutions.
Leading from the square are broad suburban avenues with rows of majestic trees, whose wide-spreading branches form a canopy over roadway and sidewalk. These avenues are lined with beautiful homes, whose spacious well-shaded and handsomely laid out grounds make a charming perspective.
The mania for good roads has reached Ocala. It now has more miles of good clay roads per capita than any town of its size in the South. The beautiful drive out Lemon avenue and return via Orange avenue, a distance of about nine miles is really enchanting.
Ocala possesses in a marked degree all the elements and advantages of the modern metropolitan community, and in a general way is in advance of most cities of much greater size.
A bicycle path has recently been made to the celebrated Silver Springs, only five miles distant giving a most delightful spin through weird and romantic scenery to this attractive place.
Ocala has electric lights, comfortable and commodious public buildings, fine churches and schools, and, in fact, every comfort and convenience of an “up to date” city. One of the greatest of Ocala’s attractions is the well known and popular Ocala House, Phillip F. Brown, manager.
This excellent hotel has been selected as headquarters of the Knights of Pythias of the state during their meeting March 13, and it is safe to say that it will be the home of most of the Knights.
Upon the first floor of the main building are the offices, reception and writing rooms. The parlor is also on this floor, and opens upon the front and rear balconies. The dining room adjoins the office, and has a seating capacity of nearly two hundred.
In a word, the Ocala House, is a model hotel providing its constantly increasing patronage with every comfort, and its genial manager is without doubt one of the most competent hotel men in the United States. Let us all meet at the “Ocala” and be happy….Florida Fraternal Record, J. W. White, Editor.
Source: Ocala Evening Star: 3-4-1901
Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers