Webster Florida

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Why would one visit Webster in Sumter County? There are a number of reasons that come to mind. This small town in The Villages metro area in the heart of Central Florida has a population of less than 900 people but attracts a host of people who have succumbed to its charm and are looking for a quiet, peaceful break. People looking for excitement will find themselves within an hours drive to Florida’s famous amusement parks and entertainment centers like MGM Studios, Disney World Epcot and Sea World.

Webster Travel Park and other local accommodation offer a perfect base to visit the near by attractions and even make trips to the Gulf Beaches. The glorious Atlantic Beaches are just an hour and half away. Visit Silver Springs, go greyhound racing or fishing – the options are endless and within easy reach. One can stay in Webster’s scenic surroundings very economically and make the most of Florida from here.

One of the chief attractions of Webster is the Sumter County Farmer’s Market. Come rain or shine, this market is open every Monday and is the largest flea market in Florida. Despite its name it is not a just a vegetable and fruit exchange. An endless variety of products including antiques, new, used and unusual collectibles, glassware, jewelry, crafts and foods entice visitors from all over. The market is also well known as a Car Swap and Cycle Meet and is the perfect place to locate auto spares and other gadgets. A corral and the Top 50 show make it a dream destination for people who love anything on wheels.

Webster is the oldest incorporated town in Sumter County as it was first settled in1855. Legend has it that the first name chosen for it by locals when they applied for a post office in 1870 was Orange Home. Unfortunately for them their application was rejected as there was already a town named Orange Home. The dejected postmaster happened to pick up a Webster's dictionary and he then decided to call the town "Webster".

Most of central Florida in the late 1800s grew citrus and Webster was no exception. Unfortunately the great freeze of 1894-95 ended the citrus economy and reduced the population with it. Naval stores replaced agriculture but that did not succeed either. The residents went back to farming and vegetables became Webster's main economic base. In the early 1900s the Webster area was one of the largest vegetable growers and marketers in the state and became known as the "Cucumber Capital".

The famous Sumter County Farmers' Market was started in 1938 as a cooperative by a group of farmers to sell their farm products. Livestock sales are held each week along with the sale of vegetables. It grew into a flea market along with the sale of the farm products and has become one of the largest of the flea markets in Florida. Food, music and entertainment have made it a fun outing for all.

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