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We'd like to introduce ourselves. We are Gary and Joanne Bartell. We moved to Homosassa in 1988 to raise our family and quickly got involved with local politics to help shape the future of our community. Gary served as a County Commissioner from 1990 to 2010 and was chairman of the Tourist Development Council for 14 years. Joanne was a founding board member of the Nature Coast Envirothon, a high school environmental education and scholarship program. We both enjoyed spending countless hours over the years educating the youth of the community about the rare and precious natural resources found in this area. Our vision has always been to protect and preserve these amazing natural resources for generations to come.
What makes this vacation cottage unique
Riverlake Cottage property was originally owned by Dazzy Vance, the Hall of Fame major league baseball player (1915 - 1935) who once told a New York Times reporter that all he wanted to do in life is 'to play baseball and fish in Homosassa'. In 1995 we had the opportunity to purchase part of Vance's original land holdings but the Lakefront property was tied up in an estate until November 2012 when a for sale sign appeared on the front lawn - we bought it that same day. With only 10 private property owners along the entire Halls River the Riverlake Cottage is our opportunity to share a rare piece of Old Florida with you.
Why we chose Homosassa and the Halls River
The Halls River is a rare piece of Old Florida. Largely undeveloped, this 2.5 mile long pristine spring-fed freshwater river is a birder's paradise and fisherman's dream. Blue Crab, Bass, Bream, Sunfish, Redfish, Snook, Ladyfish, Mullet, and various other species of fish can all be seen swimming about in the Halls River. In the sky above the river you will find Bald Eagles, Green Herons, White Pelicans, Wood Storks, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills and many more species of fabulous waterbirds. Most days the morning sunrises and evening sunsets are aglow with brilliant colors that will take your breath away. For the adventurous, nightime kayaking or canoeing reveals brilliant stars and planets above - and - with a flashlight shone on the water the surface appears as a sheet of glass and you can see fish, turtles, and other creatures underwater as if you are watching them through a window. Amazing, breathtaking, and captivating are the words that come to mind to describe the experience.