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.

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.


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