Scenic USA - Florida

Ocala Historic District

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Rheinauer House - Ocala Historic District, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Decorated in a painted-lady style of various shades of blues and bright trim, the two and a half story Rheinauer House is one of the outstanding Victorian homes in the Ocala Historic District. Finishing construction in 1890, the Victorian frame, highlighted with Gothic features, was home to Charles Rheinauer. Moving from Thomasville, Georgia, Charles and his brother Maurice set up a dry goods store and later produced cigars. Seen here as the Seven Sisters Inn Bed and Breakfast, the prosperity of the inn suffered greatly during the last economic downturn. The inn was "rescued" at auction by area businessmen and now stands for sale.
   During the mid 19th century, the town of Ocala grew around Fort King, which played a strategic role in the Seminole Indian Wars. By 1846, Ocala became the county seat for Florida's newly formed Marion County. Scott House 1888 - Ocala Historic District, Florida The town was devastated during the Civil War, reducing its population to a few hundred people. After its rebound from the war years, the town's center was destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving Day, 1883. The town was rebuilt with fire resistant material. Following reconstruction, Ocala acquired the nickname of "the brick city." Here on Fort King Street, the Rheinauer House occupied a half acre lot. Because of its wood frame construction and the fear of fire, the kitchen and carriage house were built in the rear of the lot. The adjacent Scott house, also built in the same period, followed a Queen Anne style of architecture. The 1888 Scott House, the other half of the Seven Sisters Inn, was judged "best restoration project" by the Florida Trust Historic Preservation Society. By the time that the Rheinauer and Scott houses were complete in 1890, Ocala had expanded to cover four square miles and was the fifth largest city in the state.

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