Born in Pennsylvania in 1908, Ross Allen appeared in several short films. He owned and operated the Ross Allen Reptile Institute in Silver Springs from 1929 until 1969. When he started this tourist attraction, Allen also asked local Seminole Indians to set up a village, demonstrate their traditional skills, and sell their crafts. His work gradually focused on scientific observation, research, and publications. Read more... a shortage of venom. In the 1970's, the success of Walt Disney World in Orlando hurt attendance at smaller tourist destinations throughout Florida, including Ross Allen's. He planned to locate his last tourist attraction, Ross Allen's Alligator Town, close to I-75 and Disney traffic, but died the month prior to the park's opening in June 1981. In his honor, the largest island in Silver Springs was renamed Ross Allen Island in January 2000.