The oldest town square: Spanish Springs Town Square. The first settlers of Marion County, home of The Villages, arrived in the area in the 1840s in search of the free land offered as part of the Armed Occupation Act. The law was passed as a way to populate the state and control the Seminole Indians who were already occupying the land. The county was officially created in 1844 and, until 1853, included large parts of what are now Lake and Sumter counties (the other two counties in which The Villages extends).
The Department of Property Management will preserve and restore the oldest house in The Villages. He improved common areas and created a “style” for community buildings and homes, a concept that plays an important role in the environment of The Villages today. By the mid-1960s, retirement communities such as Sun City in Del Webb, in Tampa, and Century Villages, in the southern part of the state, were flourishing. The population reached 75,000 residents in 38,000 homes, and The Villages of Lake Sumter ranked among the state's top private companies.
The Villages also advertised during The Disney Classic golf tournaments, which were played on The Villages courses, as well as at many other nationally televised golf tournaments. Spanish Springs provided residents with a place to meet and brought The Villages one step closer to becoming the all-inclusive community Schwartz dreamed of. Like many pioneers and speculative businessmen before him, Harold Schwartz initiated the development of The Villages as a result of one of the state's agrarian booms. Not only did the villagers roam the courses in their golf carts, but they also took them to the store and to the city squares.
With roads, clubhouses, golf courses and other services already established, people were eager to buy and build in The Villages. Two key things prompted The Villages to move forward: the creation of the first city center and a new form of funding called Community Development Districts (CDD). More neighborhood villages were built and, in 1991, the name of the development was changed to The Villages. The concept of a “rural neighborhood” was created and the villages of Del Mar, El Cortez and Mira Mesa were built.
The house was purchased by The Villages in 2002 and moved in 2004 to its current location at the intersection of Buena Vista Boulevard and Bonita Boulevard.