Florida Guide > Florida History
Silver Springs...........a history.
Silver Springs had a long and chequered history well before the advent of this charming theme park.
The Native Americans known as The Timucans were resident here in the early 16th century and they survived a challenge from our old friend Hernando de Soto.
Over the next 3 centuries other Indian tribes inhabited the area , most notably The Seminoles.
When the U. S. Government decided to move all the Native Americans to the south west, Chief Osceola famously tore up the treaty. However, they were eventually forced to flee to the swampy south of Florida.
In 1860, steamboats were brought to the area by Hubbard Hart who ran the stagecoach system.
It may surprise you to learn that there was a form of the glass bottom boats as early as 1878. Then, as now, people could enjoy seeing the water life in the crystal clear waters.
By 1881, tourism warranted the building of a 200 room hotel and though this was burned down 13 years later it rose again as The Brown House.
In 1909 the paltry sum of $3000 was paid for 80 acres around Silver Springs and this has allowed for the expansion over the years.
In the 1950s The Reptile Institute was installed and much valuable work has been done here.
It was in this decade that a most amusing event happened.
The Jungle Cruise was owned and operated by one Colonel Tooey. He decided that he would buy and install a troop of rhesus monkeys on an island to attract more passengers.
The day after the monkeys were taken to the island he went to inspect his new attraction and all the monkeys had gone; every last one of them.
What he had not been told was that rhesus monkeys could SWIM and swim they did taunting him every so often at the river edge.
You will still see the descendents of these monkeys today around the park and they have further spread themselves over hundreds of miles.
Several films and TV programmes have been made here over the years including the iconic Tarzan series.
The Lost River came along in 1991 and 4 years later The White Alligator Exhibit was installed.
It was at the end of that decade that the biggest changes were made. Millions of dollars were spent in upgrades and rides and today you can enjoy a good day out filled with boat rides, animal shows, a safari and theme park rides.
I recommend that you visit there website before leaving your villa to check out their special offers. The last time we went we were offered a bogoff and the time before a large discount if you produced a coke product at the entrance.
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