Fort McCoy, Florida
Fort McCoy Post Office
|Nickname(s): Ft. McCoy|
Location of Fort McCoy, Florida
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
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.
Fort McCoy is located at .
The community is located west of the Ocala National Forest.
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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. The town of Fort McCoy is named after the settler Jeb MacCoy but spelled differently. When hostilities with Native Americans worsened, Jeb MacCoy 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.
The center of the town is a four-way traffic light. To the north, Fort McCoy Grocery lies next to that is a small building that has held many small businesses and a Dollar General, built in 2008. Farther north lies Fort McCoy's U.S. Post Office.
On the southeast corner of the light is a small plaza with a thrift store, a small medical center, and Larry's Auto Center. East of the plaza lies another local business, Fort McCoy Hardware.
To the southwest of the light is a Kangaroo gas station. Immediately 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 gas station) is another plaza that contains "Grandma's Country Pharmacy", "Rocco's Pizza", and a church. Farther west is a large Baptist church.
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. When the Union Church was built near the Fort McCoy Cemetery, it was used as the school, with church services on the weekends. 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.
Fort McCoy High School was closed in 1963 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. 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.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Pyle, Nancy (May 14, 1987). "County's history reflected in its names". Ocala Star-Banner. pp. 8A. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Melton, Faye Perry (1987). Memories of Fort McCoy. F.P. Melton. p. 201.
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