History

History

The Bradley massacre: "last such attack east of the Mississippi"

Billy Bowlegs, Seminole Chief from History of the Indian tribes of North America (1872) McKenney, Thomas Loraine, 1785-1859; Hall, James, 1793-1868

The Bradley massacre was an indian attack on a Capt. Robert Duke Bradley's homestead during the Third Seminole War. Two of Bradley's children were killed in the attack which happened in Hernando County on May 14, 1856. On June 2, 1887, Hernando county was split into three counties the site of the Bradley massacre was located in the new Pasco county. It is located about five miles south of Hernando county on Bellamy Brother's Road. There is a historical marker on the east side of the road just past Darby Road as you head south.

J.C. Burwell: Innovator, Publisher & Businessman

First car in Brooksville - Florida. 1909. Black & white photonegative, 4 x 5 in. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. J.C. and Sally Burwell are in the car; Lucy and Grace Burwell are on the porch of the Burwell home.

In the early days of Hernando county and Brooksville an important figure was John Cabell (J.C.) Burwell. J.C. Burwell was the editor and publisher of The Brooksville Star which he started in 1888. The Brooksville Star was a weekly paper which came out on Friday and was associated with the Democratic Party. It had a circulation of around 500 people.

Hernando County's contributions to World War II

A concrete bunker that was used in testing and alignment of aircraft machine guns during WWII at Brooksville - TB Regional Airport.

The genesis of the Brooksville Army field now known as the Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport came during World War II. A multi-county committee representing the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce met with US Senator Claude Pepper asking for his help in convincing the Army Air Force to create an army base on the lands controlled by the Withlacoochee Forest land use development program. The committee was comprised of John Wallace who served as Project Manager for the creation of the Withlacoochee Forest for the Resettlement Administration, Sheriff Neil F.

Opening a connection to our past

Donna Burkes and Kylee Hill ring up customers at the  Richloam General Store grand opening on Feb. 25th, 2017.

On the eastern outskirts of Hernando County, a few miles east of 75, about a half mile south of 50, down a limerock road stands a small general store and post office whose history is connected to several early industries of Florida: timber, turpentine, the railroad and agricultural development. Proprietors Eric and Donna Burkes, who also operate a sign production business, rebuilt the structure in 2016 as a way to attract customers. The Burkes began the sign business in their home next door three years ago, following Eric’s retirement from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Spring Hill was almost named Spring Lake

Spring Lake?

The waterfall on US19 almost had a different name on it. Spring Hill was not the first choice of the developers. The original name of the development was Spring Lake after the twenty mostly spring fed lakes that were scattered throughout the development’s property.

Spring Hill was developed by the Deltona Corporation. The Deltona Corporation was the development company that was formed by the Mackle Brothers: Elliott, Robert and Frank Jr. They had developments started in Marco Island and Deltona Lakes at the time, but their main focus was Spring Hill.

Brooksville: 'UFO Capital of the World'

Replica UFO where Western Way Plaza now sits, Photo Courtesy of Old Brooksville In Photos & Stories, Bob Martinez

Near where the Western Way Plaza now sits, in Brooksville, there was a replica UFO. It was built by John Reeves who reported that he frequently saw UFOs in that area.

He enjoyed taking walks through the sandy pine covered area around his home. He reported that on March 2, 1965 in the woods he came across a strange object sitting on the ground. The object was disc shaped and held up with four stilts keeping it a few feet off the ground. The disc was 40 feet in diameter and 9 feet tall at the center.

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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).