Fort McCoy, Florida

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Fort McCoy
Unincorporated community
Fort McCoy Post Office
Fort McCoy Post Office
Nickname(s): Ft. McCoy
Location of Fort McCoy, Florida
Location of Fort McCoy, Florida
CountryUnited States
StateFlorida
CountyMarion County
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code32134
Area code(s)352
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Fort McCoy
Unincorporated community
Fort McCoy Post Office
Fort McCoy Post Office
Nickname(s): Ft. McCoy
Location of Fort McCoy, Florida
Location of Fort McCoy, Florida
CountryUnited States
StateFlorida
CountyMarion County
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code32134
Area code(s)352

Fort McCoy is an unincorporated community in Marion County, Florida, United States. It is situated northeast of Ocala and lies between the towns of Sparr and Eureka on County Road 316 and is directly north of Silver Springs on County Road 315. The community is part of the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach has donated money to the Fort McCoy School(K-8) as he develops a cattle ranch (Adena Springs Ranch), abattoir, property development, and throroughbred horse farm in the area.[1]

Geography[edit]

Fort McCoy is located at 29°21′52″N 81°57′59″W / 29.36444°N 81.96639°W / 29.36444; -81.96639 [2].

The community is located west of the Ocala National Forest.

History[edit]

Fort McCoy was built during the Seminole Wars. It included brick structures, some evidence of which could still be seen in the 1940s. It may have also been a fort or way station on the King's Highway. It was also a station on the Ocala Northern Railroad and served as the location for a large sawmill built by E.P. Rentz of the Rentz Lumber Company circa 1910.

Fort Mackay was later renamed Fort McCoy, which is the small town of the same name today. MacKay and MacCoy were both settlers in the area that were killed by Indians during the war. (Yes, the town of Fort McCoy and the settler Jeb MacCoy's name are spelled different; people just didn't spell much back then.) When hostilities got really bad, Jeb McCoy was killed by Indians while bringing his family into Fort Russell. Captain Mackay was head of the local militia, and was killed while surveying Itonia Scrub on March 20, 1839.[3]

Local Businesses[edit]

The center of the town is an infamous four-way traffic light. To the North, there is a local grocery store, "Fort McCoy Grocery" next to that is a small building that has held many small businesses, and a Dollar General that was built in 2008. Farther North, there is Fort McCoy's U.S. Post Officie.

On the Southeast corner of the light is a small plaza, that contains a thrift store, a small medical center, and "Larry's Auto Center". Just East of the plaza is another local business, "Fort McCoy Hardware".

To the Southwest of the light is a "Kangaroo" gas station with a "Subway" inside of it. Farther to the South is "Cougar Park" and the "Fort McCoy Public Library", which was the town's school from 1936-1987. West of the light (behind the Kangaroo gas station) is another plaza that contains "Grandma's Country Pharmacy", "Rocco's Pizza", and a church. Farther West is a large Babtist church.

Education[edit]

The first school in Fort McCoy was supposedly a log cabin that was built near the fort; and it is thought to have been abandoned during the Second Seminole War.[4] When the Union Church was built near the Fort McCoy Cemetery, it was used as the school, with church services on the weekends.[4] Sometime between the 1890s and the first decade of the 1900s, a wooden building was built to serve as the school. In 1935, this building was destroyed in a fire. A small new school (to serve the approximate 75 pupils at the time) was built on the land donated by Dr Percy F. Lisk, which was right in front of the old schools location. The new brick school opened in 1936. The earliest known student grade levels are from the 1940s, when the school was known as Fort McCoy High School.

Sometime in the 1960s, Fort McCoy High School was closed and re-opened soon after as Fort McCoy Elementary School. The population of Fort McCoy increased over the years, and by the 1980s the property was a vast land full of "portable classrooms". Due to the population increase and age of the building (50 years old), the Marion County School Board decided to have a new school built in 1986. The original brick building became the Fort McCoy Public Library in 1996, after a $60,000 renovation.[5] In 1988, the new campus opened, renamed as Fort McCoy School, which now served elementary and middle school students (Pre-K to Eighth grade). That campus is still being used today, as well as the same grade levels being served.

Most kids from kindergarten through eighth grade attend Fort McCoy School. Most high school students in Fort McCoy attend North Marion High School, while some attend Lake Weir High School.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joe Callahan Billionaire makes big donation to Fort McCoy School September 28, 2011 Ocala.com
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ http://www.southernhistory.us/Counties/c4mari.htm
  4. ^ a b Melton, Faye Perry (1987). Memories of Fort McCoy. F.P. Melton. p. 201. 
  5. ^ [1]