Nov 3, 2016

Floating a House Across the Lake

Ocklawaha Florida may be a small town in central Florida but it has some big history. We've heard the  history began on January 16, 1935 when the  FBI surrounded a house located on Lake Weir.  When the day was over Ma Barker, the only woman to top the most wanted list, and her son Freddie, were dead.

According to all the articles we have read, Ma Barker and her sons were famous for robbing banks and killing people.  In 1934 the gang split and only Ma Barker and her son Freddie, moved to Florida.  Thanksgiving 1934 the two moved into the house on Lake Weir in the small town of Ocklawaha, Florida.  Ma sent a letter to her son Arthur telling him where they were.  This letter was believed to be what led the FBI to Ma's hideout.

We heard people close to our boat talking about how the FBI surrounded the house and began shooting into the upstairs windows.  Some say the gun battle lasted for six hours.

Eighty one years later, October 26, 2016,  the house is being moved from the original spot on Lake Weir to Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area on the same lake.

We were lucky enough to be on the Lake Weir and watch the process of the house being moved across the lake.

The movers had worked on the house for several weeks.  This morning the house is on floating barges and ready to be pushed into the lake

Hundreds of people showed up to watch. 
We were in our boat so we got a close up  account of the move.

Lake Weirs average depth runs between 10 to 20 feet.  Of course the depth is more shallow close to shore and we were curious as to how the house would float in such a low water level.

It was amazing to see how easily the house left the land and how quickly it floated across the lake.  The sheriffs department had their boats around the floating house to make sure private boats did not get closer than the 500 feet.


Boats of all different shapes, sizes, and makes were in the water.  It was interesting to see that many boats and people on Lake Weir

There were quite a few jet skis but the most awesome was this amphiboat built in the 1960's.

Captain of our boat taking us back to shore

Off we head to shore.  What a great experience this was to watch history float across the lake. 

We hope you enjoyed sharing our day. 

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We would love your comments below


  1. I find the history of the house so interesting and would have loved to have watched it being moved.

  2. So cool! Certainly not something you see every day!