Florida’s first people began living in this area at least 14,500 years ago. They survived by using our local resources, and most importantly they used stone materials like Chert and flint. Chert and flint is a cryptocrystalline siliceous quartz mineral found in marl clay and limestone. Flint nodules occur as fine particle solution saturating fissured sediment, usually translucent and free of impurities. Chert contains impurities like micro sponge spicules, diatoms and coral structures. Chert is occasionally found in surface out crops of limestone. Rock exposed here locally are part of the Ocala and Suwanee Formation. These sediments were laid down as marine deposits and date between thirty to forty million years ago. It is also frequently exposed in sink hole sites in northern Hillsborough, east Pasco and central Hernando County. Flint when fractured produces extremely razor sharp edges ideal for use as a cutting blade, knife or point. Artifact collectors today covet prehistoric projectile points made of translucent fossil Chert of excellent color. Fossil Chert may range in color from gray, cream, ocher, black and tan. The silica that forms in limestone and marl will usually absorb any elements that happen chance to be In close contact to it. This absorption allows exotic colored elements to bond within it and enhance its color. Flint and Chert nodules are still collected today by rock collectors at the Vulcan Mine on CMEX property in north central Hernando County.
The first people inhabiting North America are believed to have originated from Asia. It is believed that they entered by the Beringia Land Bridge. Recently Dr. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Museum has advanced a new theory. He believes that Solutrean Upper Paleolithic sea mammal hunters ferried westward from northern Spain to North America along sea ice shelves. Stanford’s theory, called “ The Solutrean Hypotheses’”, is controversial, however recently discovered eastern USA artifact sites have produced artifacts similar to Solutrean projectile points. Several of these sites have been C14 dated from organic associated material to 17,000 years ago. Numerous artifact types have been encountered in Hernando County by artifact collectors. These artifacts represent the few remaining pieces of evidence we have of the early human inhabitants that were utilizing natural stone material of local origin. The earliest of these stone age cultures described by archaeologists in Florida is the Page-Ladson Point makers. These points are believed to be manufactured around 14,550 years ago. They were first discovered in the Aucilla River by local artifact collectors and excavated by University of Florida archeologists and paleontologists during an under water research project. These projectile points were associated with a mastodon tusk cut by flint tools and radio carbon dated. These artifacts are believed to be earlier than the Clovis Paleo-Indian phase dated at 13,000 years ago. Fluted Clovis Points were first discovered from a Mammoth kill site in New Mexico. A Clovis point was found in a sinkhole just south of Springhill and less than one mile south-east of the US19 and County Line Road intersection about 25 years ago. A possible Middle Paleo-Indian Period artifact called a Simpson Point is believed to have been made approximately 11,000 years ago. The Harney Flats Site, producing Simpson Points, was discovered during the construction of I75 in north-east Hillsborough County. Scientist believe this site was occupied near a local Chert source. This enabled Simpson hunters to manufacture their tool kits and projectile points for hunting and food processing at the end of the last ice age. Simpson projectile points have been recovered from the Withlacoochee River over the last fifty years by local divers.
At the end of the Pleistocene Period North America’s glaciers melted and sea levels rose. Our climate became warmer and the large Ice Age animals disappeared. Around 9,000 years ago climate change ushered in the Early Archaic Period of human habitation of Florida. Bolen points dating from this time period have been found many times here in Hernando County and throughout Florida. These side notched points tend to be smaller than the earlier style projectile points. One of my students on a cave expedition at the bottom of Dames Cave in the Withlacoochee State Forest found a perfect example of a Bolen Point in 2002. Our climate, soon after this period, continued to become warmer, allowing a population increase in central Florida. By Middle Archaic times around 7,000 to 3,000 years ago Newnan and Levy Stemmed Points became common and have been found in large numbers in west-central Florida. These large points occur frequently around the numerous springs and lakes in our area. I collected many stemmed points around Tooke Lake in the 1970s.
During the Early Woodland Period from around 2400 to approximately 1700 years ago triangular basally notched points such as Hernando & Citrus Points are found. They may occur on Gulf of Mexico islands and near our coastal areas. As sea levels continued to rise, these early inhabitants of Hernando County began depending more on marine animal resources. Hernando points have been found in the Weeki Wachee River and the surrounding area. By Mound Builder times, stone artifacts become scarce as more tools and points were fashioned from shell and bone. By Spanish Contact times Florida’s indigenous people began using some metal from trade.
All these wonderful artifacts may be found right under our very feet. Carefully record your artifact finds. It is extremely helpful to date and record the location of your find. Accurate records enhance an artifacts scientific and historical value. Placing specimens in zip lock bags will also reduce accidental damage to delicate artifact points during storage. Discovery of human remains must be reported to authorities immediately.
LEGAL NOTE: Artifact collecting is illegal on Federal, Florida State and County owned public land and parks. Rivers are considered State of Florida property and coast lines are subject to Federal Law. All burial mounds, their artifacts and human remains are illegal to collect. All Native American mounds are protected by law. Artifacts may be collected on private property with land owners permission.
Florida’s First People, Robin C. Brown, Pineapple Press
https//floridamuseum.ufl.edu/aucilla river prehistory project
A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Types, by Ripley P. Bullen 1968 Florida State Museum,
https//www.ufdc.ufl.edu/stonetooltechnology by Dr. Barbara A. Purdy
The Clovis Site at Blackwater Draw & the Dent Site: found in “Ancient Man in North America” by H.M. Wormington 1957
The North American Ice-Edge Corridor- A Possible Paleolithic Route to the New World by Bradley and Stanford, 2004, World Archeology
IDENTIFICATION OF FINDS: Artifact finds may be identified by contacting the Hernando Historic Preservation Society, The Florida Public Archeological Network and the Withlacoochee Rock Hound Society of Brooksville
Written by: David P. Letasi
LeeAnne Shoeman was a gifted educator and historian. She worked tirelessly for the Hernando Historical Museum Association, as well as the Historic Hernando Preservation Society. Her work on the Bay Port historical marker project was something she poured her heart and soul into. She was an individual who strived for historic accuracy, and correctness of the written word. Her work as an educator at Central High school earned her the respect of her students and colleagues alike.
LeAnne’s life was cut short by tragedy, and a memorial in the essence of the LeeAnne Shoeman Award was created by the Historic Hernando Preservation Society. The award is presented annually to someone who has contributed to the historic significance of Hernando County, and or contributed to the furthering of historic education of Hernando County.
The first award in 2015 was presented to Virginia Jackson, Hernando historian, author, and inspiration to many. Her name was placed on the LeeAnne Shoeman Award. The award itself bears the symbol of pen and scroll, a testament to LeAnne’s love of the written word. The award is housed in City Hall in Brooksville, and a new name plate will be added bearing the name of the current award winner for subsequent years.
This award should not be presented lightly, as it is a beacon of hope that the work of LeAnne will carry on with those of us who love history and wish to continue the memory of a beloved historian, writer and educator.LeeAnneShoemanAward2020
THURSDAY: November 7, 2019 @ 6:30 P.M. (TOMORROW)
Brooksville City Hall
Agenda Items– Nominations for Officers/Board Members for 2020- Membership Renewals for 2020 – LeeAnne Shoeman Award Nominations – Arts Council Grant
– Upcoming speakers
*The Smithsonian Hometown Teams Exhibit is closed.
The HHPS will be hosting a Members Only reception in lieu of our regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, October 3. The reception will be held at the Mining Enrichment Center where we are hosting the Hometown Teams Smithsonian Exhibit and will start at 6 pm. Members will be able to browse the exhibit and local image collections. Special guests will be in attendance. Refreshments will be provided.
Not a member? You may join at the door. Or sign-up here:
What: Special Hometown Teams Reception
Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019
Time: 6 -8 pm
Location: Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center
800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd, Brooksville, FL 34601
The HHPS is pleased to welcome the new Executive Director of the Brooksville Main Street, Natalie Kahler as our September Guest Speaker. Ms. Kahler will discuss the Main Street program programs and events as well as plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in 2020.
- Thursday, September 5, 2019
- Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave, Brooksville, FL 34601
- 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Remember your Little League days? Or sweaty days on the football field?The HHPS is hosting a Smithsonian exhibit this fall in Brooksville about how home team sports have shaped communities and is seeking docents. You don’t need to be a sports expert – just be friendly. Contact Jan at the number below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet, attend the HHPS monthly meeting at Brookville City Hall August 1st at 6:30 pm.
The HHPS will have its monthly meeting on August 1st in the City Hall Council Chambers. We will be discussing the coordination of the Garden Grove Historic Marker dedication and the installation of the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street Exhibit. Your input is important.
- Thursday, August 1, 2019
- Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave, Brooksville, FL 34601
- 6:30pm – 8:00pm
The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is pleased to bring a Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street Exhibit to Hernando County through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. The event runs September 28 to November 9, 2019 at the Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville, FL. See more in this Hernando Sun article: https://www.hernandosun.com/article/historic-hernando-preservation-society-hosts-smithsonian-exhibit .
The Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams traveling exhibition examines the many roles that sports play in American society. Hometown sports are more than just games—they shape our lives and unite us and celebrate who we are as Americans. We play on ball fields and sandlots, on courts and on ice, in parks and playgrounds, even in the street. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And, if we’re not playing sports, we’re watching them. We sit in the stands and root for the local high school team, or gather on the sidelines and cheer on our sons and daughters as they take their first swing or score their first goal.
Thanks to our never-ending appetite for competition and games, Americans now have a wider selection of sports to play and watch than ever before. Football, baseball, and basketball—America’s traditional hometown sports—share space on our calendars with soccer, hockey, tennis, running, wrestling, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, sailing, and many other sports. What has occurred in our hometowns is nothing less than a sports revolution.
ALL EVENTS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
OPENING DAY KICKOFF
Saturday, September 28, 2019 @ 10 AM
Grand Opening of the Smithsonian Exhibit: Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America.
FLORIDA SPORTS HISTORY
Saturday, October 5, 2019 @ 11 AM
”It’s Not Just Fun & Games” with Steve Noll of the University of Florida.
THE EARLY HISTORY OF HERNANDO COUNTY SPORTS
Saturday, October 12, 2019 @ 11 AM
“The Teams, the Stories, the Legends” with Bob Martinez of Old Brooksville in Photos & Stories.
Saturday, October 19, 2019 @ 11 AM
“Through the Lens, Images from the Sidelines” with Joe DiCristofalo of
HERNANDO YOUTH LEAGUE DAY: SHAPING LIVES THROUGH SPORTS
Saturday, October 26, 2019 @ 11 AM
Roundtable discussion with coaches, players and parents on the importance of youth league sports.
The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is pleased to partner with the City of Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Florida Humanities Council.