Just a short drive northwest of downtown, situated along the shore of Little Lake Henderson, is the subdivision of Azalea Island. Nestled among oak trees, 32 houses sit on approximately 9.75 acres in this neighborhood off Turner Camp Road. More than a dozen homes are located on the shoreline of the lake; two houses are on an island a few yards off shore and are connected to the mainland via a causeway (Zenith Lane).
Very few records exist on how the development came to be nor how the subdivision got its name. A deed at the Citrus County Historical Society states on April 28, 1944, Roy and Dorothy Hill of Dade County paid Inverness resident Esther Bullen $10 for the land. The property was later sold to the county.
When Moorhead Engineering Company of Ocala initially platted the development April 2, 1957, the subdivision was comprised of 41 lots. Twenty lots not on the shoreline were given 22'x10' lots on the lake for water access. These lots were located off of what was then called Sportsmans Lane (part of what is now Edgewater Drive). The oak trees were also key in the design of the development, as architectural firm Henigar & Ray Inc. of Crystal River altered plans to minimize the removal of the trees.
The subdivision is located 1.6 miles from downtown, just off Turner Camp Road. Sunset Road makes up its northern border; the lake is to the east, Turner Camp is to the west, and Edgewater Drive wraps around to the south.
The is less than 50 yards to the south. Further up the road, Turner Camp dead ends at a public boat ramp, which provides access to the Withlacoochee River. The area is popular with airboaters, kayakers and canoeists. A short paddle up stream brings you to Gum Slough, a winding water trail that cuts through swampland, palmetto groves and cypress trees as it heads north into Sumter County. Nearby is also the 8,500-acre Potts Preserve.
Azalea Island is less than 5 minutes away from unique shops and restaurants of downtown. The hospital, shopping centers, schools, numerous city parks and other attractions are also only minutes away.