The community of Spring Hill was founded in 1967 by the Mackle Brothers’ Deltona Development Corporation. The Mackle Brothers had already successfully started developments in a number of areas: Key Biscayne, Marco Island, Deltona, and many others. The main entrance to the original development was at the Spring Hill waterfall located at Spring Hill Drive and US 19 (Commercial Way). The original master plan only included 15,000 acres. The plan included seven school sites, 23 church sites, 500 acres of commercial property, and 2 golf courses.
The name for the community while it was in the planning process was Spring Lake. The name was changed, since there was already a Spring Lake, Florida. The name chosen was Spring Hill, which was the name of the Lykes’ Brothers home site.
The marketing for Mackle Brothers was innovative. The Mackle Brothers set up a model home in Grand Central Station in New York City. They were also said to have had a model home/sales center on Long Island, New York. They established a fly and buy program where they would fly potential buyers down on a DC-10 and have them play golf, see the community, and buy a lot in Spring Hill. Spring Hill opened to huge crowds in May of 1967. Sales of home sites at Spring Hill went very quickly and the 28,500 platted lots were mostly sold out in three years!
The Spring Hill marketing strategy was as equally unique as it was innovative. The marketing team came up with the idea of a chicken plucking contest. They also crowned a Miss Drumstick, who was the contestant with the most beautiful legs. Here is a description of the contest from the Mackle Brothers:
Another interesting fact is that Spring Hill is the only major Mackle Brothers community that does not have a street named Elkcam. Elkcam is Mackle spelled backwards.
"They were also said to have had a model home/sales center on Long Island, New York."
Yes the model homes were on Old Country Rd. in Hicksville, LI, NY.
I used to pass them on my way to church with my family back in the 60s and early 70s.
Never thought that 35 years later I'd be living in Spring Hill:-)
I remember the ground breaking, too, David Hope. My Dad was in the American Legion and I was in the Girl Scouts, we participated in the flag presentation ! I remember thinking that waterfall was so cool! - Trica
I lived in Pinellas Park and came up here and clogged at one of the Chicken plucking festival. . And thought these people are crazy. . Who plucks chickens. . ?? - Christy