Ocklawaha is a small town on the north shore of Lake Weir about 10 miles northeast of The Villages. 

This bit Old Florida town does not have golf courses or contemporary shopping centers like its friendly neighbor, yet it does have actually a lot of fishing, swimming and boating avenues because of the clean clear waters of the spring fed lake.

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Cottage Near Gator Joe"s

There are numerous neat bit fish camp form of hotels scattered along the northern shore and one or 2 nice locations to eat.

One little bar is named Ma Barker"s Hideaway;  a more upscale location on the lake is Gator Joe"s.

The tvery own is close to the southern entrance to the Ocala National Foremainder. The main interarea in tvery own is State Road 25 and also County Road 464C.

The county road leads north to a crossing of the Ocklawaha River near Moss Bluff and on into the forest.

Downtown Ocklawaha is not gentrified prefer so many kind of other Florida towns.

It looks choose tough times and has actually ever because I initially passed through even more than 50 years earlier.

It was once a prospering citrus packing and shipping center but negative freezes carried that sector to an finish.

Only the old Ocklawaha Inn - now a gift shop and develop industry - is a reminder of the prosperous previous along with an empty old schoolhome and also an abandoned fruit shipping plant.

Downtvery own Ocklawaha

The little tvery own made national headlines ago in January 1935 as soon as it was the scene of a shootout in between the FBI and also the notorious Barker gang.

Arizona Barker, recognized as Ma, had actually several sons who ran a criminal gang in the midwest. Ma traveled about through her sons as they robbed banks and kidnapped and also murdered human being.

J. Edgar Hoover and also the FBI had actually the gang on the public opponents list and were eager to capture them.

Instead of guns, Ma need to have played golf at The Villages

Ma Barker and her kid Fred were hiding out in Ocklawaha under assumed names. They rented a cottage and also were known in your area as an old mother and her boy gaining some relaxation.

One of the Barker brothers got arrested in Chicback and police found some notes referencing a big alligator named "Gator Joe".

They were able to put 2 and two together and also determined Ma and also the other gang members were hiding out in Ocklawaha, house of Gator Joe.

Ma Barker and also Her Killer Brood Lived Here

The FBI surrounded the rented cottage and a fierce gun battle damaged out.

Ma and also her kid Fred were eliminated. The whole occurrence obtained great publicity for the FBI and also immortal notoriety to the Barker gang.

A movie was made in 1960 titled "Ma Barker"s Killer Brood".

The film might have actually made Ma out to be quite a little bit worse than she actually was, however Hollyhardwood has never before been recognized to stick to the facts when informing an excellent story.

Barker House on Lake Weir, 2016

The little bit cottage was put on a barge in 2016 and also floated across Lake Weir to a brand-new house in the Carney Island also Redevelopment and also Conservaton area.  

The park, owned by Marion County, will certainly be operating the house as a museum open to the public. 

Recommfinished Ocklawaha Restaurant

GATOR JOE"SBeach Bar and also Grill

12431 SE 135 AveOcklawaha, Florida 32179Tel: 352-288-6461

Gator Joe"s sits appropriate on the white sand also beach on the north shore of Lake Weir. It is a comfortable area with inside and external dining and also an Old Florida feel to it.

Gator Joe"s

It"s unusual in inland also Florida to discover a area favor this on a white sand beach.  Most lakefront beaches are marshy.

The beach below makes this bar and grill a well-known location for both locals and tourists.

Read more about Gator Joe"s



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