Ma Barker House

Located at Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area. For questions regarding our waiting list for tours, please contact Parks & Recreation at 352-671-8560

The home was originally located on property owned by Carson Bradford, who bought the real estate in Ocklawaha in 1892. His son, living in Miami, built the house in 1930. It was a two story Florida cracker style home with three bedrooms and two baths with a total of 2,100 square feet.

The home was quiet, nestled back from the street with a view of Lake Weir, the fifth largest lake in Florida. The Bradford's built the home as a weekend and summer retreat from Miami.

Carson Bradford had never rented his house on Lake Weir when in late 1934, he got a surprisingly generous offer from a representative of a Mrs. T.C. "Kate" Blackburn, describing her as "a sweet little old lady" was looking for an out of the way cottage to spend some quality time with her sons. They needed a place to rest and re-coup away from the cold Northern winter.

Bradford said the house wasn't for rent. Not willing to accept no for an answer, the rent offer went up with an offer to pay cash in advance for the entire season. "It is the only time the house was ever rented," says Carson Good, Bradford's great grandson.

Two months later, the Bradford house was riddled with bullets and is the scene of the longest FBI shoot-out in history. Only when the shooting was over, did Bradford learn the true identity of his tenants. He had inadvertently rented to the notorious gangster, Ma Barker and her son Fred. It was the FBI they were fleeing, who had zeroed in on them as Public Enemy #1 after the FBI caught and or killed John Dillinger, followed by Al Capone, and Pretty Boy Floyd. The Barker-Karpis gang knew Hoover was coming for them next, so finding the the hide-out overlooking Lake Weir was a smart move at that time.


13279 SE 115th Ave.
Ocklawaha, Florida 32179

Phone: (352) 671-8560