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Communities

Communities Along the Byway

There are many communities along the byway with much to offer, including recreation, accommodations, restaurants, and friendly faces. From small, unincorporated communities to cities, the communities along the byway should be your first stops into Wild Florida.

Astor

     

Astor is one of the liveliest and most involved communities along this stretch of SR 40. There is an active Historical Society and a relevant Library both committed to preserving the unique history of the area. Ancient tribal people, Spanish Explorers, the wealthy Astor’s of New York, and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings all factor into the colorful history of this community. Read More…

Links: AstorFlorida.com, Astor Chamber of Commerce

         

Astor Park

     

Astor Park is a small community west of Astor, gateway to Alexander Springs. Astor Park marks the site of the Hope Hill plantation that was unsuccessfully established by early Florida pioneer, Moses Levy. William Astor planned to expand his tourist center from Astor to Pastor Park in the late 1800s. He named Lake Schermerhorn after his wife Caroline Schermerhorn Astor.

       
         

Barberville

     

You wouldn’t know it today, but quiet little Barberville received its name from a family feud as big as the notorious Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud. Back in 1870s, it was the Mizell-Barber Feud that fueled cattle land disputes that ranged from Orange County to Lake County. Mizell was the Orange County Sheriff; Barber was a wealthy cattleman who refused to pay some taxes. After all the gunsmoke and dust settled, no less than seven were dead (however, the number varies depending on which family you talk to). The Barbers settled in the land in this area. Read More…

Links: Barberville Community Information

       
         

Forest Corners

     

Forest Corners is a commercial and residential district where CR 314A crosses SR 40. If you are going camping, RVing, or backpacking, this is the place to stock up. This is the community with the most facilities along the byway between Silver Springs and Ormond Beach. This community has:

    • CVS Pharmacy
    • Winn-Dixie Grocery Store
    • Dollar General
    • Family Dollar
    • Big Pines Hardware Store
    • Restaurants
    • Advance Auto Parts
    • Liquor Store

Links: Forest Corners Quarterly

       
         

Kerr City

     

Kerr City was the second town in Marion County, platted in 1884. The town grew to 100 residents, a hotel, sawmill, general store, pharmacy, school/church, and a post office. It served as the stage stop for travelers commuting from the St. John’s River to Ocala. Originally a cotton plantation during the Civil War, it flourished as an orange-growing community. The community deserted the town after the freezes of 1894-95.

More recently, the area has come to be owned by Arthur Brennan, a descendant of some of the original homesteaders. Brennan has renovated many of the old homes, now on the National Register of Historic Places, and rents them.

The oldest Texaco “station” in Florida (1925) can still be found in pristine condition here, but now pumps unleaded gas.

Links: Kerr City Historic District, Kerr City Ocala.Com, Kerr City Community Profile & Map

       
         

Lynne

     

Lynne is a small residental community surrounded by lakes, including Lake Waldena, where you’ll find the Lake Waldena Campground.

       
         

Mill Dam

     

Mill Dam is a community on the shores of Mill Dam Lake within the Ocala National Forest, with camping and roadside restaurants as well as access to this popular fishing spot.

Links: Mill Dam Fishing, Mill Dam Recreation Area

       
         

Nuby’s Corner

     

Nuby’s Corner is a crossroads just east of the Ocklawaha River, where CR 314 (Sharpes Ferry Road) crosses SR 40; it is the gateway to the Ocala National Forest. Clustered around it is some excellent bar-b-que and several campgrounds, and you’re sure to see a fruit stand pop up along the side of the road during the winter growing season.

       
         

Salt Springs

     

Salt Springs offers plenty of activities for the family; including, fishing, camping, biking and hiking. The neighboring body of water known as Lake Kerr is also a place to enjoy a variety of water sports. Just inside the town limits is “Bass Champions,” a seafood/country cooking restaurant that has become a favorite of locals as well as those from other parts of the state. Read More…

Links: Orlando Sentinel Salt Springs, Salt Springs Recreation Area

       
         

Volusia

     

Volusia is a historic settlement along the eastern shore of the St. Johns River, with several campgrounds, restaurants, and a notable oak tree with a marker beneath it commemorating William Bartram’s travels. Volusia is one of the oldest settlements in Florida, dating back to 1558. Its strategic location on the St. Johns River made it important to the Native Americans and the early Spanish explorers.

Volusia is also one of the locations that is part of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ novel “The Yearling.” When the Baxter family travels to get goods and supplies, they ferry across the St. Johns River to today’s Volusia.

Links: Volusia County