OAK RUN  Homeowners Association History of Oak Run home_button
collage
1985-1989
1990-1994
1995-1999
2000-2004
2005-2009
2010-2014
2015-2019
A Work In Progress

Below is a brief history of Oak Run. The information is presented as a chronology list rather than storied prose and has been provided by residents, the old "Acorn" newsletter, the new Oak Run Newsletter and Oak Run Associates, Ltd. (previously known as DECCA). If you would like to contribute to this work in progress please send your memories to webmaster@orha-ocala.com. If you have photos or documents that we can scan or copy please let us know. The thoroughness and accuracy of this information depends on the participation of our residents. Can you help?

Contributors:    Helen Jacobson,    John Smolinski,    Alana Inman, ORAL

For a glimpse of life in Oak Run over the years, view the archived Newsletters HERE

1985-1989
   
In the beginning, 1985:

  • The first homesite was sold in June, before any homes were built. The sales office, with 4 sales people, and the model homes were located in Pine Run.
  • A map was used to select a lot when purchasing a home. 
  • For several months mail was delivered to the business office in Pine Run where each home had a cubbyhole.
  • The first closing was on December 12. During that month, 27 homes closed in 10 days (there were no closings during Christmas week).

Unusually cold weather ushers in 1986:
  • The first Resident's Association vote for Directors was on January 29. From a slate of 4 candidates Roy Eldridge and Marge Austin were elected.
  • In late January or early February the Security Guards had their first building constructed. Prior to that they used a vehicle as their guardhouse.
  • The first Pancake Breakfast was on February 22. The cost was $1.50 per person.
  • In late February or early March the first Phone Directory was typed up by residents then DECCA made copies for distribution. By the time Neighborhood 8 was underway DECCA had taken over compiling and printing the Directory.
  • Also in February or March, DECCA built a 3-bedroom home (a Palm model) to be used as a temporary clubhouse. Everyone called it the "Palm Clubhouse". It had a heated pool, a hot tub (whirlpool), one pool table in the garage and the smallest bedroom was a Library. Small meetings and card games took place here although it was really too small to hold all the residents at one time for large gatherings.
  • The Library at the "Palm Clubhouse" had three portable bookcases along one wall, a table and chairs and a book drop-off box. Pine Run donated their surplus paperbacks. Oak Run residents also donated paperbacks. There were no hardback books in the library.
  • Some of the first groups formed were Bingo, Bridge, Crafts, Exercise, Garden and Poker.
  • State Road 200 was a two-lane country road with little traffic. Grocery shopping was done in Dunnellon or Ocala.
  • By April there were 79 homes. Some of these homes were owned by people who were not ready to retire here so they leased them back to DECCA. They were then used as 'guest homes' to accommodate prospective buyers.
  • Groundbreaking for the much anticipated first recreation center was held on May 12 and included a buffet lunch in a warehouse (nicknamed Herb's Place) at the Construction Support Site. It would be nearly a year and a half before the Orchid Club would officially open.
  • The Board of Directors was expanded by an election on May 13. Earl Radke and Charles Wood were elected to the Board. Harriet Hertwig and Mary Kozel were elected as the first Neighborhood Reps.
  • The new five member Board (four Directors and one DECCA Rep) met on May 22 and appointed Earl Radke as President and Roy Eldridge as Vice President. Also appointed were Gladys Shores as Secretary and Rev. Philip Zeigler as Parliamentarian. Since there was no money, a Treasurer was not needed at this time.
  • The first Memorial Day Potluck was held on May 26 at Herb's Place with about 80 in attendance.
  • The first closing in Neighborhood 2 was on June 12.
  • Also in June, after setting aside about $350,000 for the project, DECCA began the beautification enhancements at the main entrance. This work included waterfalls over the natural stone, reflecting ponds and a 77 foot tall flagpole topped off by a 10 foot by 15 foot flag. It took about 8 months to complete the project.
  • During the summer DECCA also built a wooden tower, similar to a fire tower, on the site of the current water tower. People called it the "Lookout Tower". Sales people could take 'brave' prospective buyers to the top, along with maps and plans, to show them where particular lots were located. The tower was in use for about two years before being dismantled.
  • By September 1 there had been about 40 closings in Neighborhood 2.
  • On September 17 there was a special seminar held at Herb's Place. Mr Ghumman spoke about the progress of Oak Run and answered questions from the floor. The A/C contractor explained the use of Heat Pumps, a new gadget for most residents.
  • During September the entire Board of Directors resigned. ORHA was without a Board until the January 1987 elections.
  • The first Halloween party, with live music and refreshments, was held on October 29 at "Herb's Place".
  • The first Craft Fair was held in the Palm Clubhouse in November.
  • There were a total of 5 big events held at Herb's Place prior to the completion of the Orchid Club. Each time tables and chairs were brought in from Pine Run, which probably caused a little friction with our good neighbors.
Here's a photo taken at the beginning of land development in Oak Run.
That's Herb, of Herb's Place, at the wheel with Mr. Ghumman
beside him and an unidentified gentleman in the back.


Things are really coming together, 1987:
  • The final big event at Herb's Place was the January ORHA elections. Harold Brown was elected to the Board and subsequently chosen as President. Harold and his wife, Shirely, would be involved with many aspects of Oak Run over nearly 2 decades. You can read more about them and their contributions to Oak Run > HERE.
  • The committee that would become the Travel Club and later Oak Run Travel had their first outing in early 1987. It was a trip to the Valdosta Outlet Mall. Even though the bus wasn't full on the way to Georgia, it surely was on the way back home, with all those packages. Unfortunately, the bus sputtered to a halt about 7 miles from the Main Gate along SR-200. The driver was able to work a little magic at the rear of the bus and everyone made it home safely a short time later.
  • The pool at the 10-acre Orchid Club complex opens on July 3.
  • The first event held at the Orchid Club Auditorium, an Auction, was on October 17.
  • The first Pancake Breakfast in the Orchid Club was on October 24.
  • The 'Grand Opening and Dedication' of the Orchid Club was on October 28.
  • The first Halloween Party at the Orchid Club was on October 30.
  • In November the Library moved to it's present location at the Orchid Club. Used hardback books were purchased and residents donated hardback and paperback books. Surpluses from Pine Run were discontinued.
  • The second annual Craft Fair was held in the Orchid Club on November 14.
  • The first Pot Luck dinner was held in the Orchid Club on November 19.
  • The first Christmas Tree Trim was held in the Orchid Club on December 13.
  • An Open House was held at the Orchid Club on December 20.

Oak Run continues to grow, 1988:
  • On February 10 it was confirmed that a Golf Course was in the planning stages.
  • In mid-year, the entrance to Oak Run was awarded the 'Community Appearance Award' by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Site preparation began in July on a Par 31 nine hole executive course designed by John Ewseychik. It would take 20 more months for the Grand Opening to occur.

Year ends with devastating freeze, 1989:
  • The 1,000th homesite closing takes place on November 30.
  • In December, DECCA announces approval of new "For Sale" signage.
  • Record low Christmas Eve temperatures destroy many citrus trees on farms in North Central Florida. The freezing temps reach as far South as the Everglades.

1990-1994

1990:

  • In January the community is now referred to as Oak Run Country Club.
  • In February the 1913 yard (men) and 1728 yard (women) Executive Club golf course opens. The 'Grand Opening' ceremony took place on Sunday, March 4. The Par 31 course encompasses 27 acres of fairways and greens.

1991:
  • Can you help us with this year?

1992:
  • Can you help us with this year?

1993:

  •  On January 15, the residents were given a 'Special Sneak Preview' of four distinctive model villas in the Woodside Courts (13) neighborhood.
  • The Island Club complex opens.
  • September issue of regional magazine 'Gainesville / Ocala Business' features Mr. Ghumman and Oak Run.

1994:
  • Can you help us with this year?

1995-1999

1995:

  • The 2,000th homesite closing takes place in The Preserve during January.
  • The Executive Club Practice Facility opens in April while the 9-hole putting green opens in May.
  • Construction begins on a Par 72 Championship Golf Course with restaurant and club facilities (Royal Oaks).
  • Groundbreaking for the Gazebo Bar & Grill and Pro Shop at the Executive Club takes place September 12.
  • Groundbreaking for the Aquatic Sports complex located between Nbhds 11 & 12 takes place in December.

1996:
  • January opening of the Gazebo Bar & Grill and Pro Shop at the Executive Club.
  • 'Florida Builder' magazine selects Oak Run as "Retirement Community of the Year".

1997:
  • In January the Aquatic Sports complex opens.
  • Royal Oaks Golf Club established.
  • Oct / Nov issue of 'Gainesville / Ocala Business' features Royal Oaks as "Florida's Best New Golf Club".
  • The year ends sadly when the much loved and respected Nans Ghumman dies suddenly at age 56.
Below is a Ghumman family photo scanned from the December 1994 Newsletter.

1998:
  • In late Winter or early Spring, speed bumps are added to the entrance side of the East Gate.
  • During the Spring, Quiet Oaks, an assisted living facility, opens next door (west side) of Oak Run.
  • Summer issue of 'Where to Retire' names Oak Run "Best Neighborhood".

1999:
  • Summer issue of 'Where to Retire' includes Oak Run in it's "100 Best Master-Planned Communities In America".

2000-2004

2000:

  • Can you help us with this year?

2001:
  • Summer issue of 'Where to Retire' again includes Oak Run in it's "100 Best Master-Planned Communities In America".

2002:
  • Homesite sales begin in Eagles Point.
  • September issue of 'Ocala' magazine features Eagles Point.

2003:
  • Palm Grove Club opens.

2004:
  • Construction is well underway on the Walmart Super Center along SR-200, West of Oak Run.

2005-2009

2005:

  • Can you help us with this year?

2006:
  • The July Newsletter reports that of the 20+ original homes that closed in December, 1985, eight of those homes are still owned by "Oak Run Pioneers".

2007:
  • Last Eagles Point homesite sells.
  • DECCA Cable begins hi-speed internet service

2008:
  • On January 28, DECCA Cable holds their first Basic Training computer class at the Island Club.

2009:
  • Can you help us with this year?

2010-2014

2010:

  • Can you help us with this year?
 
2011:
  • DECCA Cable begins digital phone service
 
2012-2014:
  • Can you help us with these years? 

2015-2019

2015-2018:

  • Can you help us with these years?
 
2019:
  • After 35 years DECCA Cable changes their name to DECCA Digital Solutions (DDS)

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