Marion County, Florida, is located at the northernmost point of Central Florida. The county seat is Ocala which is located directly in the center of the county. Roughly 330,000 people live in Marion County.
The county was established in 1844. Parts of Alachua, Orange (then called Mosquito), and Hillsborough counties were taken to create the boundaries. Since its inception, the county has gone through several changes to create the smaller area that exists today.
The area was named after Francis Marion who made a name for himself in the Revolutionary War. The man was from South Carolina, and historians believe that early residents of the county chose the name because there was a large population of people who had moved to the area from South Carolina.
The landscape of Marion County is rather unique when compared to that of surrounding counties. Only 4.7% of the area is water, whereas many of the land surrounding is filled to a larger extent with marshes, lakes, and other bodies of water. This geography makes for perfect farming conditions. One of the claims to fame in the county is the famous race horses that were bred and raised in farms in Fellowship and other local towns.
Marion County is located in an ideal part of the state. With major highways running through its center, commutes to major nearby cities are made convenient. Gainsville, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Tampa, are all within a couple of hours from the center of the county making it a perfect middle point between these famous destinations.