In 1924, Mr. Bruce Hoover from Chicago made a trip on the Homosassa River and stated, "The most beautiful
river and springs in the world.".
After he had a bridge built over the Fish Bowl, he called the carpenters onto the bridge and looked down into the springs and said, “I hope mankind will never see fit to destroy this spring, nor enclose it behind iron gates from the eyes of the world. For only God could create such a majestic sight. For truly it is a wonder of the world and a natural bowl of fish.”
The train would often stop at the springs to allow the passengers a close look at the
crystal clear, 55 foot deep springs which form the headwaters of the Homosassa
River. It was rumored that the real reason for the stop at the springs was to give
the train crew an opportunity to catch fish that were so abundant in these waters.
A bathing suit rental nearby was enticing the brave at heart to swim in the lagoon next to the springs.
Visitors taking the boat ride on Pepper Creek can still see large concrete footings which were constructed in the
1920’s, intended for a water tower to serve the city of Homosassa, (what is now Homosassa Springs) the new city
the Homosassa Development Co. had planned.
The ownership of the springs area changed many times since 1940. At that time
only a single building occupied the area now known as the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. In later years this building became the entrance to a zoo-like
park of exotic animals and is now used as the park's Education Center.
In 1963 the Chicago Cattle Feed Holding Company purchased virtually all of the
land surrounding the springs. The land holdings included what is now the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Sugarmill Woods, Riverhaven Village, the Crows Nest 8 miles down
river, hotels and many commercial properties along Hwy 19. Mr. Bruce A. Norris, owner of
this Holding Company, planned to build a large city in this area. He spent a lot of
money dredging the waterway that is now used to transport visitors from the
Visitor Center on Hwy 19 to the West Entrance of the Park. Visitors can still see
large concrete footings once intended for a water tower for Mr. Norris's planned