A Note from the Developer
There’s a reason the manatees return to the warm fresh waters of the Homosassa River each year and the tarpon school off our western shore. Citrus County is a wonderful place to be. For mammals. For fish. For birds. And for people. My wife Betty and I came here years ago from New England and saw immediately that Citrus County was where we wanted to be. It had a lot of New England in it. Friendly people. Small towns. A sensible, worry-free pace of life. And lots of natural beauty.
But I suppose, mostly I was drawn here by the trees. Black Diamond was located on pastureland along with a limestone quarry, but it also had huge stands of oak trees. We’ve made sure that most of the trees have been saved. Maybe that’s why so many people feel like they’ve come home when they come here. Instead of strip malls and super highways, you’re likely to see trees and cows and rolling pastureland. It’s sort of like turning the clock back a century or so.
That’s why we developed Black Diamond. We think it combines the best of nature, good planning, a quiet unpretentious lifestyle, great recreation and comfortable surroundings. It wouldn’t work in other parts of Florida or the Southeast. Only Citrus County.
We hope you like Black Diamond.
Black Diamond developer, Stan Olsen, was the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation. In the early 1980s, he turned his attention from interactive computers to land development in the rolling hills and natural beauty of Citrus County on the Gulf Coast.
The History of Black Diamond
The story of Black Diamond, one of the premier private golf club communities in the U.S., begins with the vision of its developer, Stan Olsen. In the early 1980s, Olsen discovered the natural beauty of Citrus County on central Florida’s Gulf Coast. A man of adventure and traditional values, he was attracted to this relatively unknown region of Florida by its dramatic rolling terrain, unspoiled beaches and crystal clear springs and rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Olsen was also pleased to learn that nearly half of Citrus County is set aside in state or federal land preserves, ensuring that its wonderful habitat will remain intact, thereby protecting its plentiful wildlife which includes West Indian manatees, black bears, panthers, bobcats, cougars, alligators, tortoises, otters, deer, bald eagles and countless rare birds.
Blessed with sand hills of up to 180 feet, an abundance of live oaks, sub-tropical vegetation, and a sunny temperate climate, Citrus County’s Nature Coast is an ideal area for year-round golf and a wonderful setting for an active, outdoor lifestyle. It’s a slice of Florida that few have found, and none have expected.
“In addition,” notes Olsen, “there’s a vitality in the people who live here – hard-working, but fun-loving people who have come from many different places. It’s a rich but dynamic culture that is truly American in nature – like something you would see in a Norman Rockwell painting. People are sensitive to the environment. There aren’t any high-rise condominiums – just quality villages and towns, and historic Native American sites. The spirit of old Florida and Southern hospitality are alive and well here.”
Olsen was fascinated by the history, unique culture and abundant natural treasures of Florida’s Nature Coast, but it was the expansive sand hills that turned his attention to the development of the 1,320-acre property near the quaint little town of Lecanto, Florida that is now Black Diamond. The ranch was first settled by John Newell, an Ohio landowner, in the early 1930s, and in the 1940s, the property was purchased by John Taylor, Jr., a citrus packing magnate from Largo, Florida. Impressed by the natural attributes of the land, Taylor named it Black Diamond Ranch after a premium grapefruit of the same name. Enter Stan Olsen in 1984, who after a thorough search of Citrus County, bought the property – and the rest is history.
Black Diamond Living
Black Diamond Ranch offers 45 holes of Tom Fazio-designed golf. The famed Quarry Course is one of the highest rated courses in the country. The community itself is a nature preserve with an abundance of wildlife.
The Clubhouse features a wrap-around porch over looking the first and ninth holes of the famed Quarry Course and offers exceptional dining and social experience, with the finest food and service.
The state-of-the-art fitness center offers, weight training and work out equipment of every kind imaginable, as well as personal instruction on body toning, yoga for golfers, circuit training, low impact aerobics, general fitness and water aerobics in the pool.
Black Diamond is ideally located less than 15 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s just over an hour and a half from Tampa and Orlando, 30 minutes from the horse-breeding town of Ocala and one hour from Gainesville – home of the University of Florida – Black Diamond has much to offer. In addition, Black Diamond’s hometown of Lecanto allows members and their friends and family to slip back to a time when life was kinder and less hurried, and traditional values were embraced whole-heartedly.
FOR MANY YEARS RUNNING, Black Diamond was honored as one of the top five golf and residential communities in the U.S.