Ozello
Population (2020)
400
Area (Square miles)
4
Year founded
Abt 1880
Year incorporated
N / A
Ozello is what appears to be a series of small communities built on islands in the marshland linked together by a curvy road named Ozello Trail (County Road 494). The ten mile drive from U.S. 19 just south of Crystal River to the end of Ozello Trail makes a great afternoon excursion - if for no other reason than just to enjoy the scenery or enjoy a great meal at one of several restaurants in this small town.

The exact date Ozello was first settled seems to be lost to history. But it is known that in 1880 a school house was built for children living in the area. In those days there may very well have been people settled along both banks of the St. Martins River - because there was apparently some dispute as to whether the school house should be built on the north or south bank of the river. In the end the people decided to erect the school on an island in the middle of the river. Children had to row boats to school each day. And on Sundays, their parents did the rowing, as the building was also used as a church.

In 1920 the Citrus County Commission voted to fund construction of two bridges over Salt River and Black Creek. Construction of these bridges paved the way for development of the area. The developed areas are not likely to expand in the future as Ozello is completely surrounded by the Crystal River and St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserves.

Even though the separate islands force Ozello into distinct clusters of homes, this is a remarkably unified small community of about 400 people - with their own water company, church, civic club, and community park. Ozello Community Park at the end of Ozello Trail has a boat ramp and picnic area with restroom facilities. Nearby is Pecks Old Port Cove Restaurant - with indoor and outdoor deck seating offering a popular destination for locals and tourists to enjoy the sunset. The restaurant is famous for Blue Crabs which it harvests from its own farm.

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