Pine Island: Only Public Beach in Hernando County

Photography by Elizabeth Dentato & Kevin White

Beach Day at Pine Island by Elizabeth Dentato

There is only one public beach in Hernando County on the Gulf of Mexico. The beach is called Alfred McKethan/Pine Island Beach Park. The coast line of Hernando County is naturally saltwater marshes, so to get to the barrier islands requires crossing these salt marshes. There is a two and a half mile causeway that is dredged through the salt marshes that leads to the barrier island on which the beach is located.

Prohibition Era Murder at the the Tangerine Hotel

Photographs from the State Archives of Florida

The Tangerine Hotel was on Howell Avenue. It is now the Tangerine Cove assisted living facilities. The Tangerine Hotel was the site of a famous murder. The City Attorney in 1931 Herbert Smithson was meeting with Judge Bird and Prosecuting Attorney J. R. Kelly. Smithson is said to have been gunned down by three men in a small sedan as he left the hotel. It is rumored that Smithson was helping federal agents fight the illegal alcohol trade in Hernando.

Transition of Florida

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Historic Hernando Perservation Soickety President Don Moses with Dr. Steve Noll (right). Photo by Alice Mary Herden

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society guest speaker Steve Noll, Ph.D. University of Florida held a lecture at City Hall Thursday night. The guest speaker teaches the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the History of Disability in America, and Florida History at University of Florida. He has published three books: Feeble-Minded in our Midst, Mental Retardation in America, and Ditch of Dreams: The Cross-Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future.

The "Crown" of Hernando County


BROOKSVILLE- The Hernando county courthouse has quite a history. Jimmy Carter spoke from the steps of the courthouse while campaigning in 1975. William Jennings Bryan a former presidential candidate and cousin of William Sherman Jennings, the Florida Governor from Brooksville, also spoke from the steps while campaigning in the 1900s.

Article from the Past: "Varnada Hotel Destroyed by Fire Sunday"

Published in The Southern Argus, Thurs. May, 2 1918

The Southern Argus Thurs. May 2, 1918

The people of Brooksville were awakened early Sunday morning by the fire alarms sounded soon after fire was discovered in one of the rooms of the Varnada Hotel. It appeared to the observers that the hotel could not be saved from the destructive flames. Some of the furnishings were removed from the building, though the owner, Capt. L.B. Varn, reports that not any great portion were saved.

For nearly 130 years, local newspapers have served Hernando County


For nearly 130 years, local newspapers have served Hernando County. When Hernando Today closed their doors in November of 2014, many were saddened by the loss. That is why we ventured into the world of newspaper publication. A newspaper serves to bring a community together and keep community members abreast of recent changes in government, education and business as well as significant events. It also provides an avenue for recollection, giving new residents an opportunity to learn about the history of their home.

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.


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