The writer of this article has been domiciled in Florida nearly forty years. He has practiced medicine more than three-fourths of that time. He has resided in Tallahassee, Key West, Fernandina, Jacksonville and Ocala. It will be inferred that he has had abundant opportunities to familiarize himself with the facts bearing upon Florida as a health resort.
Fifteen years ago his attention was called to the peculiar excellence of the climate of the central portion of the peninsula, by the distinguished Prof. John T. Metcalfe, of New York, who, as a lieutenant of the U. S. Army, on the staff of Gen. Jessup, acquired personal knowledge of the subject during the Seminole war.
At that time, and for more than ten years after, there being no railroads into the interior, access was difficult for the robust and impossible for the feeble.
Bearing in mind the advice of Dr. Metcalfe, to establish a sanitarium in this part of the State, and having the impression made by him deepened into conviction by personal investigation, he came to Ocala three years ago…railroads having, meanwhile, reached this point…and made it his home.
At that date hotel accommodations were inferior and insufficient, , and for that reason he could not, consistently with a sense of duty to patrons, and therefore would not, persuade invalids to come to Ocala, notwithstanding the great advantages, which nature, with liberal hand, has bestowed upon the locality. The next year
Was reconstructed, and was converted into a magnificent brick caravansary, complete in all its appointments. The day it was finished and furnished it was entirely destroyed by fire. The next year, its indomitable owner, C. M. Brown, Esq., rebuilt upon a more extended scale, and, if possible, in more elegant style, so that, as it stands, the Ocala House is the largest and most elegant brick hotel in this State, and is only excelled in Georgia by the renowned Kimball House at Atlanta.
As kept by its proprietor, Captain L. M. Thayer, lately of Providence, R. I., it is in every department equal to any hotel on the continent. It is at present capable of accommodating 400 guests, and will be considerably enlarged this summer.
is a large, handsome brick hotel now near completion. Its owner, Mr. James A. Harris, the “Orange King” of Florida, will make of it a first class hostelry. It will have capacity for the accommodation of 150 guests, and will, undoubtedly, be kept in a style of comfort and elegance suited to the tastes and requirements of the most fastidious.
The Allred Hotel
is a pretty wooden structure, situated near the depot of the F. R. & N. Co., and at its junction with the F. S. Ry. It is owned and kept by the genial Dr. C. J. Allred, who is ably assisted by his cultivated and charming wife. It is a comfortable, home-like resort for tourists, invalids and business men. It has accommodations for 100 guests, with handsomely furnished, neatly kept rooms. The cuisine is excellent, and the table is supplied with the best the market affords.
The Magnolia Hotel
will be enlarged and improved this summer. It is a prepossessing wooden building, pleasantly located in the heart of the city, one block from the public square. It will accommodate when completed, about 100 guests. Under its present management it has won an enviable popularity. The Hon. S. F. Marshall is its owner, and Mrs. Cody and Mrs. Anderson are the lessees.
Besides the hotels there are many delightful private boarding houses. It is safe to say that from 800 to 1000 guests will, next winter, find comfortable boarding places varying in degrees of style and in expensiveness. And the writer believes that the day has come when accommodation being attainable, the intelligent physicians of the North and Northwest will advise their patients who can leave those vigorous sections of the country in search of a genial, healthful climate, where the temperature is equable and the air and surface soil are dry, to come to the central portion of the peninsula of Florida, where in a higher degree than any other portion of Florida, the God-given sanitarium of the continent, these essential elements of a climate suitable for a large class of valetudinarians are to be found.
Source: The Daily Item:
Dr. George Troup Maxwell -
President Marion County Medical Society
Author: Dr. George Troup Maxwell - President Marion County Medical Society