History

History

Unveiling the Layers: Oriole

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Dave Thomas, Chris Harbig , Joe Dunn, Robert Bechard and Frasier Mountain. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Unveiling the Layers: Oriole

In a recent article, I met with three history hikers in the town of Oriole, Robert Bechard of Taped From Florida, Chris Harbig of Dirt Medic and Joe Dunn of Florida Trailblazer. This sparked my interest in discovering a little more about the forgotten town. So, on the property of Dr. William LaRosa and his wife Dorothy which encompasses part of the town, I spoke with two Hernando County residents who have an extensive background of Hernando County history, Frasier Mountain and Dave Thomas.

Will History Repeat Itself: Stolen Primary of 1916

Sidney J. Catts

One hundred years ago, the 1916 Democratic primary for Governor of Florida featured several strong candidates including former state legislator Frank A. Wood, former Speaker of the House Ian Ferris, and state Treasurer William B. Knott. It also featured an outsider candidate: a one-eyed, red-haired baptist preacher Sidney J Catts known as the "Cracker Messiah."

The Ghost Town of Mannfield

Steps located in what was once Mannfield.

Mannfield is a ghost town similar in appearance to many others in the area, the better known being Fivay and Centralia. The two latter towns sprang up and provided lumber for the building booms. They only lasted a few years before the booms ended and the people moved on. Mannfield is a little different in that it's demise was a multi-step process, with the federal government providing the final nail in the coffin.

Students transform themselves into historic US figures

Mrs. Maher's 2nd grade class at Winding Waters K-8

On February 18, 2016, Mrs. Maher’s second grade class at Winding Waters K-8 transformed themselves into historically significant figures from the United States. Parents, administrators and school board members came face to face with “wax” impersonations of Neil Armstrong, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jonas Salk, Benjamin Franklin and many others.

Memories of Chicken Farming in Masaryktown

Special to Hernando Sun, John Bartko

credit: Florida Memory

I helped as best I could. I don’t remember anyone else helping my father Otec. We came to have four chicken houses and about 4000 chickens. That was a lot. We picked eggs three sometime four times a day. We did this to minimize breakage in the nests. The chicken houses had to be cleaned of the manure of course. The manure under the roosting areas was much easier to shovel and haul to the manure barn than were the alleys. They packed down hard and we had to use scrapers to loosen it up before shoveling it into the wheelbarrow.

Why Hernando, Florida is not in Hernando County

Hernando Beach and Community Park in Hernando, Florida

If you try to map Hernando, Florida on your phone you will wind up in Citrus County. This is because there is a Hernando in Citrus County. The city was formed in 1881 by the Van Ness and Croft families. The city of Hernando disincorporated in the 1970's.

The city is named in honor of Hernando De Soto just like the county. Hernando De Soto marched through the area while exploring America for Spain. Hernando De Soto died of fever on the expedition in Louisiana.

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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?

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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).