McIntosh Train Hotel | Marion County Florida | c. 1894
In 1894, construction began on this 19-room hotel. Sitting near the tracks in a bourgeoning citrus town, it was built to serve the passengers of the Florida Southern Line.
In the midst of hotel construction, this small town was hit by a freeze that devastated area crops. Just one year later, a second freeze drove what remained of the agricultural-based industry elsewhere. The hotel closed its doors to guests in 1964 and the last train through town came and went 12 years later.
McIntosh is just one of a collection of Old Florida towns that sprung up in the days when citrus was still a booming crop in North Florida.
As the back-to-back freezes of 1894 and 1895 proved, oranges and limes were too susceptible to the periodic threat of devastating cold in this area so many of these citrus farmers moved south to the Orlando area.