Hull-Smith Cemetery in Ocala National Forest

Hull-Smith Cemetery3

Hull-Smith Cemetery

During the 1800’s many families and early settlers had homesteads and cemeteries throughout Florida. I have been visiting a lot of these old cemeteries over the years and some are in better conditions than others. One of the areas I have visited recently is now part of Ocala National Forest and there are several old cemeteries around this forest. It is some of the remaining history and evidence from the past that still remains in these areas.

This particular cemetery is called Hull-Smith Cemetery and it’s located within Marion County. It appears to date back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s, although most of the tombstones here are either broken or missing. So it is hard to know the exact dates and the history of the folks buried here. Most likely the people who are buried in the cemetery were early settlers and had homesteads in the surrounding area. It was a simple life then but a very hard one.

As I explored around the cemetery I noticed maybe one or two tombstones that were still legible and in decent condition. I could see some of the tombstones had the name of Smith on them, one of the tombstones that was still legible had the name of Hull. According to burial records there is a Civil War soldier buried by the name of Daniel Hogan and he passed away in 1886.

It is my hope that one day the cemetery will be restored and kept up, sadly today is very neglected. I went there and recorded a video and took photos to help document and share about this place to help maybe bring some attention to the site. Although the cemetery isn’t in good condition the memories of these people and the history here is not lost. May their souls forever rest in peace…

Check out my video, photos and burial records posted below and if you visit this place or others like please be respectful of the sites, thank you.

VIDEO

HULL-SMITH CEMETERY IN OCALA NATIONAL FOREST

RESOURCES

BURIAL RECORDS FOR HULL-SMITH CEMETERY

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Indian Lake Cemetery at Indian Lake State Forest

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Indian Lake

A very scenic place to explore in Marion County is Indian Lake State Forest. I began hiking there a few years ago and have also enjoyed learning about the history of the area as well. I visited an old cemetery out there known as Indian Lake Cemetery. It is a peaceful place in the middle of the forest and a reminder of the past. Near the gate is kiosk with a map and some history behind the cemetery. I really liked seeing that, this way others that visit this place will have a better sense of the history here.

“Before Ocala and Silver Springs were developed, there were Indians that lived in this area. The Indians loved the lake and the area around it. They held their Pow-wows near the lake and their children loved to swim in the warm waters of Indian Lake. The Indians held sacred rites for their dead and buried them in sacred areas throughout the forest. Later American settlers moved into the area and forced out the Indians. The settlers, who like the Indians, loved Indian lake and the surrounding area. Around 1845 the settlers built a small whitewashed church near the lake and around 1851 they established this small cemetery. This cemetery includes some veterans from the war of 1812 and Civil War as well as some of the first settlers in the area.”

I explored around the cemetery looking at all the tombstones some were harder to read than others. It was nice to see the place maintained though despite some of the tombstones not being in the best of condition. Most of the dates are in the 1800’s and it makes you wonder what this place was like back then. The area may have looked completely different. The church that once existed by Indian Lake burnt down but at least we still have this cemetery as a reminder of history.

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Indian Lake Cemetery (Indian Lake State Forest)

Indian Lake Cemetery

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Indian Lake State Forest

Burial Records

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Abandoned Plane Crash Site in Marion County

Plane Crash Wreckage

This aircraft vanished in April of 2014 when the pilot, Theodore Weiss was last seen taking off from Dunnellon Airport. He never arrived at his destination in Zephyrhills. Officials searched for the plane for months for in the Withlacoochee State Forest where they thought it had crashed. It wasn’t found until several months later by a hiker in a preserve.

I went to the area actually looking for some other sites to check out when I came across the plane wreckage. As I entered the site I got an overwhelming feeling of sadness and curiosity at the same time. It is also one of the most unfortunate discoveries I’ve had in the wilderness.

I know that at least he passed away doing what he loved to do. I read that he had a big passion for flying these planes and that he seemed to have been a very experienced pilot as well. Which leads me to wonder how he went down? We may never know…

I found this in an article (In an interview Weiss’ friend, Ted Coberly of Zephyrhills, said Weiss was a retired metal worker from around Rochester, N.Y., where he still has family. Coberly, Weiss’ friend, said he had an outgoing personality and that the men shared a passion for experimental aircraft. “He was a real nice guy, competent pilot and everything,” Coberly said. “We were supposed to go flying together (when Weiss went missing). We had a lot in common, same airplane and everything.”)

I left the site as it was and took some photos and videos which you can see below. From everything I have read on this man he seemed like a good person and that he will be missed by many. I made this post to show my respects and and as sort of memorial for him. His memory lives on forever…

My Original Video 2014

My latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqcGGR67f_E&t=15s

Resources
News Story

Theodore Weiss, 74, of Zephyrhills

Plane Wreckage

Plane Wreckage

Plane Wreckage