The inscription on this fire bell dated 1889 reads "May It Toll For A Couple More Decades". This 1,500 pound bell was originally located on this block. It hung from the fire station bell tower until the firehouse was razed in 1968. In 2019 it was returned to this location.
The Thanksgiving Day Fire:
Wonder why Ocala is called the Brick City? In 1883 a major fire burnt down most of the downtown leading the town to be rebuild in brick rather than wood. Below is a photo of the south side just off the Downtown Square from May 1883, only months before the Fire. The buildings include the Post office, the Banner Lacon Office and the Robinsons Store.
A fire station made of brick was constructed in 1894 right here, on Southeast Osceola Avenue between Broadway and Ft. King Street, at a cost of $5,000. This fire station is pictured below.
This downtown historic walking tour is an Ocala Main Street project sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the State of Florida.