| 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. (ORAL).
If you would
like to contribute, please send
your memories to, email@example.com. If you have
photos or documents that we can scan or copy please let us
Helen Jacobson, John Smolinski,
Alana Inman, ORAL
For a glimpse of life in Oak Run over the years, visit the Newsletter Archive, HERE.
In the beginning,
- 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
- For several months mail was delivered to the
business office in Pine Run where each home had a
- The first closing was on December 12. During that
month, 27 homes closed in 10 days (there were no
closings during Christmas week).
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- On September 17 there was a special seminar held at
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
- During September the entire Board of Directors
resigned. ORHA was without a Board until the January
- The first Halloween party, with live music and
refreshments, was held on October 29 at "Herb's
- The first Craft Fair was held in the Palm Clubhouse
- 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
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
- The pool at the 10-acre Orchid Club complex opens on
- 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
- 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
Oak Run continues to
- 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
- In December, DECCA announces approval of new "For
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Groundbreaking for the Gazebo Bar & Grill and
Pro Shop at the Executive Club takes place September
- Groundbreaking for the Aquatic Sports complex
located between Nbhds 11 & 12 takes place in
- 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".
- 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.
- 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
- Summer issue of 'Where to Retire' includes Oak Run
in it's "100 Best Master-Planned Communities In
- Summer issue of 'Where to Retire' again includes Oak
Run in it's "100 Best Master-Planned Communities In
- Homesite sales begin in Eagles Point.
- September issue of 'Ocala' magazine features Eagles
- Construction is well underway on the Walmart Super
Center along SR-200, West of Oak Run.
- 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".
- Last Eagles Point homesite sells.
- DECCA Cable begins hi-speed internet service
- On January 28, DECCA Cable holds their first Basic
Training computer class at the Island Club.
- DECCA Cable begins digital phone service
- After 35 years DECCA Cable changes their name to DECCA Digital Solutions (DDS)