Historic Brooksville Sidewalk Saved

Guest Contributor Mary J. Moses

"The Crew", Evan, Donovan and Travis Pearson lend a hand to Grandad Moses as they finish the sidewalk installation on Friday, October 16.

When the Howell Avenue Historical Sidewalks were slated for removal, Historic Hernando Preservation Society executed a plan. Don Moses, current president of the organization, wrote a proposal to the City of Brooksville to save a portion of the historic sidewalk. He began by choosing a section that might be of some significance. Simply walking the sidewalk led to a portion at the corner of Howell and Olive streets that bore the date of January 6, 1914. When Don submitted the proposal to Mr. Bill Geiger, Community Development Director of Brooksville, it was accepted.

Haunting Expert Andrea Perron Visits May-Stringer House

Photography by Beverly Stapleton

Andrea Perron speaks at the May Stringer House in Brooksville

Fans of the horror movie genre may recognize the name, Andrea Perron. She is a daughter of Roger and Carolyn Perron. The 2013 movie “The Conjuring” (http://www.warnerbros.com/conjuring) is based on the paranormal experiences of the Perron family while they resided on a farm in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. Andrea Perron has written three books disclosing incidents that were not scripted in the movie: House of Darkness: House of Light- The True Story, Vol. I – III.

Bayport: Once a Thriving Port Town

Bayport Hotel, Courtesy of Frasier Mountain

Proceeding on in our journey of historical locations in Hernando County, we visit the flourishing town that once was Bayport. At its peak in history it was a small but beautiful city on the water, which catered to Northerners in the winter, and locals in the summer. Its position at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River made it an ideal resort town as well as a port for trade both in and outside of the state.

Spring Lake Community Center

Article by Jim Anderson and Pat Hernandez, Photography provided by Mr. Anderson

Spring Lake Community Center, Hernando County Florida

Some say that the sound of children’s voices, the ring of laughter and the loud clatter of dishes are stored away in the rafters and floors of this quaint old building. If you sit still, close your eyes and listen carefully you can actually hear the echo of these sounds from long ago.

Although the children’s voices have been quiet now for many years, once a month on a Tuesday night you can still hear the sounds of laughter and the clatter of dishes as friends and neighbors gather together to share a meal and fellowship as they have over the last 72+ years.

Weeki Wachee’s Own Tarzan: Al Zaebst


Photography from Florida Memory State Library & Archives of Florida

Al Zaebst could have had a great reality television show if they had existing in the first half of the twentieth century. Zaebst was a well known photographer, hunter, and animal collector. He had made numerous trips to the African continent, his first was in 1924.

A Historic Journey- Pierceville and Melendez


Continuing our historic journey into Hernando County we now come to the town with a short, unique, and very interesting story. The locale of Pierceville and many of these early settlements are difficult to pinpoint since they were just collections of pioneer families settling an area. Historian Frasier Mountain described these settlers who came down from Georgia and South Carolina in the 1840’s as entirely self sufficient. They would pack a wagon with their supplies and often make the dangerous journey on foot. These settlements were often made up of multiple family farms.

Historic Hernando: Fort De Soto


We are introducing a series on unmarked historical locations and their impact on our county. The goal is to provide you with history and founding of our area and how these places played an important role in who we are today. Many of these places are worth a visit to what remains of them and hopefully you will be filled with enough knowledge to feel their impact if you do in fact want to explore them on your own.

Masaryktown- A bit of Paradise

Special to Hernando Sun, Elaine Tokos Hogue

I want to share my experience of living in Masaryktown, Florida located 40 miles north of Tampa and 10 miles south of Brooksville on the western coast of Florida. Masaryktown was a small poultry- egg producing farming community, comprised of approximately 300 Slovaks and some Czechs. I say “was” because although the town is the same today, the population and structure are now totally different.

The Founding of Spring Hill


The community of Spring Hill was founded in 1967 by the Mackle Brothers’ Deltona Development Corporation. The Mackle Brothers had already successfully started developments in a number of areas: Key Biscayne, Marco Island, Deltona, and many others. The main entrance to the original development was at the Spring Hill waterfall located at Spring Hill Drive and US 19 (Commercial Way). The original master plan only included 15,000 acres. The plan included seven school sites, 23 church sites, 500 acres of commercial property, and 2 golf courses.


History Mystery

Who is this Man at the Foot of a Giant Cypress?

In the early part of the 20th century, logging was a big industry in Hernando County. Giant Cypress such as the one pictured here was in high demand for shipbuilding and to support rapidly increasing population growth. Entire mills often relocated to a new area after they had cut down all the lumber in their vicinity and had to shut down as is the case for the Central Cypress Lumber Company which founded the Centralia lumber mill. So much information has been lost in the past century. Can you help to solve this history mystery and identify the man above or have any related details?

Know Hernando!

What is this in Tom Varn Park?


by Julie Maglio

This structure stands in the middle of Tom Varn Park which was once the Brooksville Quarry. According to historian Frasier Mountain, a railroad track once ran to this spot to bring coal from Alabama for the steam boiler that powered a pump used to recycle water from the slush pond. The ponds in Tom Varn Park adjacent to the structure were once the deepest points of the slush pond (15’-20’ deep).