History

History

Florida History Fair Winners

TALLAHASSEE– The Museum of Florida History is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Florida History Fair (FHF) contest held in Tallahassee May 1–3. More than 50,000 students from around Florida participated in Florida History Fair this year and the top entries from each county competed at the state contest. At the event, outstanding history teachers from across the state were also recognized and presented with awards.

Article from the Past: Superintendent Russell's Card

This week's "article from the past" is actually a candidate statement from incumbent Superintendent A.M.C. Russell in the May 1908 election.

Published in: Southern Argus, Thursday, May 7, 1908

TO THE VOTERS OF HERNANDO COUNTY:

As a faithful public servant, I offer myself a candidate for re election to the important office of Superintendent of Public Instruction of Hernando County, subject to the action of the democratic primaries.

My Dad Charles Looper

Charles Looper (the younger) grew up in Lake Lindsey's Lake Village. After his plane was shot down during WWII, he was captured by the Germans (in December of 1945). He spent several months in a POW camp in Moosburg called Stalag 7A until he was freed on April 28th, 1945. Mr. Looper recalls fond memories of his childhood in Lake Village.

He was known to many people as Mr. Looper, to others he was known as Bill Looper, to me, he was Daddy. He was a good storyteller and although I had heard many of the stories over and over, I still enjoyed them. I listened very carefully to see if he ever changed a story, but
they always seemed to ring true to form. My Dad didn't get much formal education, but I believe he was ahead of his time in many ways. For instance, he got tired of draining the

Sculpture of Confederate General to be removed from Statuary Hall in D.C.

The bronze sculpture of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith by artist C. Adrian Pillars, will be removed from National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The State of Florida gave the sculpture to Statuary Hall in 1922. A statue of the inventor of air conditioning, Dr. John Gorrie, will remain in Statuary Hall. Each state displays two statues within the Hall's collection.

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

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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.

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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).