Homosassa is a census-designated place (CDP) in Citrus County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,294 at the 2000 census.
In 1851, David Levy Yulee
established a 5,000-acre sugar plantation on the Homosassa River, close to the current town of Homosassa. The plantation was worked by approximately 1,000 slaves, but Yulee was an absentee owner, spending most of his time in Fernandina. Among the crops raised were sugar cane, cotton and citrus. The Yulee Groves were one of the first in Florida to grow sweet oranges budded from sour orange stock. The mill, which was steam-driven, operated from 1851 to 1864 and produced sugar, syrup and molasses, the last of which was part of the rum
-making process. After the war ended, Yulee was imprisoned, the slaves were freed and the site was abandoned. The remains of the plantation are preserved at the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site
Homosassa, Florida is also home to one the state's more impressive wildlife parks and rehabilitation facilities. The Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
is often home to large numbers of 'migratory' manatees
, which frequent the area due to its springs and relatively warm waters. The park is home to Lucifer, a famous hippopotamus
known for his performances in many movies for the past 40 years. The Wildlife Park helps spread awareness about the dangers of boating around areas inhabited by manatees as well as the destructive effects of polluting the environment. The State Park is one of the few major attractions of the area, which has a large retiree population and a very low level of activity compared to major tourist regions of Florida. The Homosassa and Halls Rivers run through the area, and it is fairly common to see manatees surface near the area's waterfront restaurants and bars.
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the CDP has a total area of 8.4 square miles
), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (5.13%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 2,294 people, 1,128 households, and 771 families residing in the CDP. The population density
was 288.7 people per square mile (111.4/km²). There were 1,602 housing units at an average density of 201.6/sq mi (77.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.65% White
, 0.04% African American
, 0.35% Native American
, 0.04% Asian
, 0.04% from other races
, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.05% of the population.
There were 1,128 households out of which 12.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 3.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.38.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 10.6% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 15.5% from 25 to 44, 35.4% from 45 to 64, and 35.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 58 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $38,696, and the median income for a family was $41,513. Males had a median income of $29,044 versus $21,755 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,135. About 10.5% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.