• Tourists began visiting Silver Springs several years after the American Civil War. In the 1870s, the invention at Silver Springs of the "glass bottom boat" gave visitors a spectacular and unique view of the springs. Silver Springs gained national attention through journals and guidebooks, and became a mandatory stop on the "grand tour" of Florida. Former President Ulysses S. Grant visited the area in 1880. Other Presidents to visit the Springs included Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. Ocalans W. C. Ray and W. M. "Shorty" Davidson, owners of the land around the headwaters from the 1920s to 1962 were responsible for much of the development at Silver Springs. In the 1930s, Ross Allen's Florida Reptile Institute brought more notoriety to Silver Springs. Several movies and television shows were filmed at Silver Springs. Today, Silver Springs is noted for its theme park, Silver Springs (park)Silver Springs, featuring native animal exhibits and glass bottom boat tours of the springs. Also located in Silver Springs is a water park, Wild Waters. The parks are operated by Palace Entertainment. Source:

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