Memories: Interesting establishments in Masaryktown

John Bartko, Ph.D. is a former statistician for the National Institute of Health. In his youth, he was a Masaryktown Beseda dancer. We are thankful for the memories he has shared with us.

Masaryk Hotel and Service Station (flmemory)

This is a continuation of Mr. Bartko’s memories of Masaryktown, FL during the 1940s and 50s, before “the demise of the mom and pop farms.” His parents (Otec and Matka) at one point had about 4000 chickens on their farm.

Local artist makes art out of history

photography submitted

Craig Quirolo's Suffragette Bowl

While some artists hope to infuse their art with some form of historical significance, Craig Quirolo has done that and more. Each of his Chinsegut pieces are literally part of the history of Brooksville and Hernando County as a whole.

Over the past few years, a number of renovations at Chinsegut Hill have been carried out. “I discovered the, ‘wood pile,’ at Chinsegut Hill Manor,” Quirolo says. “Dead, dying, and diseased trees were felled at the Manor when the county took control of the property a few years ago.”

Nick Ruggiero was dedicated to community, country and family

Photos submitted.

Nick Ruggiero, far left, former Spring Hill Fire Chief

Nick Ruggiero oversaw the growth of the Spring Hill Fire Department from "meager beginnings" to the establishment of three fire stations with paid staff, dispatchers, EMTs and up to date fire engines and ambulances.

Looking at the statement above in the year 2016, without prior knowledge of those meager beginnings, it is difficult to understand the progress that was made between the time Ruggiero started as a volunteer with the Department in 1968 and when he resigned as Fire Chief in 1985.

Weeks Hardware 100 years: Celebrating the importance of family, work ethic and traditional values

Photos by Alice Mary Herden

Weeks Hardware, John Morgan Weeks (right) with two employees. Photo provided by Mrs. Weeks

At Weeks Hardware in downtown Brooksville, Otella Weeks, 87, born in Tennessee and one of twelve siblings, has continued the daily operations of the store following the passing of her husband Joseph Weeks two years ago. Joe Weeks ran the store for 65 years.

The bell rings as a customer walks in “I need some filters,” the gentleman requested. As Otella helps her customer they proceed to the back of the store to check what filters the hardware store has on supply. The gentleman was happy to have found a couple of filters he needed and both walked to the front.

Who was F.W. Springstead?

F.W. Springstead High School

Frank W. Springstead High School has served Hernando County since 1975. This leads to the question of who was Frank W. Springstead and why was the High School named after him.

Frank was born in 1918 in Brooksville and his father was J. D. Springstead. The Springstead family was a prominent early family of the area. When Frank W. Springstead married Ann Eichelberger, they were prominent enough to have their wedding carried on the society page of The Evening Independent on Wednesday, June 22, 1938. The article is quite detailed in the dresses that were worn at the wedding.

Phase I of Courthouse Preservation

The county is applying for a maximum grant amount of $500,000 to restore the historic Hernando County Courthouse. The grant is the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources special category grant funding. If awarded there is a 50% match requirement. The maximum matching will be 25% in kind services and 25% cash out of the general funds. Cash matching will be due in FY 2018.

A love story with a model A, a gas station and a big oak tree

Patti and Elwood "Buster" Webb celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on June 24, 2016 with a gathering of family and friends at Papa Joe's, a popular local restaurant. The couple met as sophomores in Hernando High School in October of 1952. Patti and Buster said they were extremely pleased with the hard work their daughters did to put the event together. They were also happy to see good friends they hadn't seen for years.

Discovering Colonel Raymond Robins

Colonel Raymond Robins had fond memories of his first years in Hernando County. Raymond was sent to live with relatives here after his father lost his inheritance and his mother was committed to an insane asylum. Raymond Robins spent seven years in Brooksville with his first cousin, Mrs. McKay. McKay acted as a foster mother to Robins. The family lived in Bodine Grove, a 100 acre orange grove started by McKay's father Dr. Bodine. As a child he visited the Snow family several times at their home on the top of what is now called Chinsegut Hill.

Camaraderie and Fellowship: Independence Day, Past and Present

Hernando Sun Staff

 4th of July 1819 Philadelphia by John Lewis Krimmel

The painting above by John Lewis Krimmel depicts celebrations in Philadelphia in 1819. Here in Hernando County in the year 2016, much of our celebrations will be similar, with music, jubilation, flags flying high, marches, children playing, political discussions accompanied by food and beverage as well as vendors selling their wares.


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).