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Homosassa’s Wildlife Park History featured in March

By Susan Strawbridge Posted on March 2, 2017

The history of Homosassa and the Park will be highlighted during the month of March at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

1970s Homosassa Springs Attraction patch

Displays on our area’s heritage will be exhibited in the Park’s Visitor Center on US 19 and in the Discovery Center from Tuesday, March 7, 2017, through the end of the month. Special exhibits on this subject will also be displayed all month in the Discovery Center where there is a historical Spring’s timeline.

Tiny the Chimpanzee and Clarence the Cross-eyed lion pose for a photo.

The public is invited to learn about the history of the park and its early days as an attraction. Old Photo Album panels will display historical photos.

Additional displays will focus on the history of the first-magnitude Homosassa Spring which is the centerpiece of the park and headwaters of the Homosassa River. Other exhibits tell the story of Gentle Ben who was brought to the attraction by Ivan Torrs’ Animal Actors. Buck starred as Gentle Ben in the television series by the same name.

Gentle Ben was a resident of the Park in the 1960s. He is seen here with Clint and Rance Howard.

The Mullet Train was another important part of Homosassa’s history and brought Northern visitors to Homosassa and the Homosassa Hotel.

The Mullet Train ran through Homosassa from 1887-1941. It was loaded with mullet fish, Spanish moss and passengers.

The train also transported fish and cedar from the area to other locations in Florida and up North. A working model of the Mullet train tells its story with a narrated history. More pictures and info on old Homosassa are available on the Facebook Page “Homosassa Memories.”

The original entrance to Nature’s Giant Fish Bowl from the 1940s.

Citrus Watercolor Society Show March 4-5

The Citrus Watercolor Society’s Spring Art in the Park exhibit and sale will be held in the Visitor Center of the Wildlife Park on Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5, 2017. This show features the artwork of the Club’s many talented watercolorists. Originals, prints, and cards will be available for purchase. This is a great opportunity to shop for gifts for family and friends (or for yourself). There is no charge to attend the exhibit. The Citrus Watercolor Club donates 20% of sales from the show to the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park.

The Citrus Watercolor Club’s Spring Show is at the Park March 4-5.

Regular park admission will apply for entrance in to the Wildlife Park. For more information, please call Jeanne Conrad at (352) 628-7760 or Susan Strawbridge at (352) 628-5445, ext. 1002.

New Deer Walk Opens up Access

The new Deer Walk was opened on February 17, 2017. The Deer Walk offers visitors a close up view of the Key deer and White-tailed deer from a short walkway to a pavilion with views into the deer habitat.

Monthly Bird Walk March 28

A monthly bird walk is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2015. Novice and experienced birders are welcome to attend. The walk is led by an experienced birder from Citrus County Audubon Society. Birders should meet at 8:00 a.m. by the flagpole at the entrance to the Park’s Visitor Center. There is no charge to participate in the bird walk on Pepper Creek Trail. Please call to register for the bird walk.

As you can see, we have a lot planned for March, and we encourage you to visit Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and learn more about Homosassa and the Park’s history and enjoy our events. For more information, call the Park office at (352) 628-5445, ext. 1002, Mondays through Fridays.


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