History

History

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.

The Short-Lived Logging Town of Centralia

Special to Hernando Sun, Cynthia Taylor

Centralia Sawmill

The Centralia sawmill site is now on Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. It was a short-lived logging town to harvest 15,000 acres of monster red Tidewater Cypress trees from the Gulf’s edge. To drive to Centralia, travel CR 476 west and take Centralia Road. When you reach US 19 you are “downtown” Centralia (Post Office was open June 10, 1910 until December 11, 1922).

Centralia Today

This area was once the float pond, where logs were floated to the sawmill.

Today, it's hard to tell that Centralia was once a community of about 1800 people. The trees which were cleared at the time to make way for a mill, town, housing and rail have taken a strong hold once again. There are relics from the past like brick used in the furnaces, glass and burnt wood/charcoal fragments.

More impressively, the ramp where the logs were rolled up into the mill from the float pond remains as well as the base of the double band saw itself.

36th Annual Brooksville Raid Reenactment

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

 36th Annual Brooksville Raid

Today at the Sandhill Scout Reservation in Brooksville, canvas tents stood clustered amongst the landscape, fire pits remained smoking from the morning cook out, ladies were adorned in elaborate hoop dresses while children played soldier with their friends. Rifle and canonfire could be heard ringing out miles away, while clashes ensued between the Union and Confederate soldiers. These are the scenes which greeted onlookers at the 36th Brooksville Raid Re-enactment.

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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).