• Historic Sidewalk Dedication

    Contributed by: Mary Moses

    The day of January 9th may have been dreary and overcast, but the spirit of Historic Hernando Preservation Society was anything but. This day was the culmination of planning and coordinating that would save a piece of history.

    On September 22, 2014, Don Moses, on behalf of the Historic Hernando Preservation Society, presented the City of Brooksville with a proposal to save a portion of historic sidewalk from the corner of Howell and Olive Street. This particular piece of sidewalk bore the date “January 6, 1914.” This sidewalk was raised to accommodate carriages, and allowed ladies to disembark the carriage without showing their ankle. It was a piece of history that could have been lost during the 2015 demolition.

    Bill Geiger, Community Development Director of Brooksville, agreed to coordinate with Historic Hernando Preservation Society and the contractors to preserve this section of the sidewalk.

    The Hernando Historical Museum Association President, Ron Daniel, agreed to consider placement of the sidewalk at the 1885 Train Depot on Russell Street in Brooksville. The Museum Board agreed to the placement.

    Daniel Construction donated the gravel necessary to form a bed for the placement, and Accuform Signs of Brooksville donated the historical signage explaining the historical significance of the sidewalk. (See the signage text at: http://historichernandopreservationsociety.org/entries/local-history/howell-avenue-historical-sidewalks) At the dedication, President Don Moses shared the significance of historical preservation. Mary Sheldon of the Museum Association spoke of the importance of preserving artifacts. Bill Geiger of the City of Brooksville spoke of the significance of organizations working together to preserve history. All three shared in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Those in attendance enjoyed refreshments prepared by both the Historic Hernando Preservation Society and the Hernando Historical Museum Association.

    The ribbon cutting took place following the dedication of the walkway of the Countryman One Room Schoolhouse. This dedication marked the one year anniversary of the schoolhouse dedication. Gretchen Countryman and Mary Waller of the Hernando Historical Museum Association planned and executed this wonderful community event. Attendees were treated to hand embossed programs to take home from the event as souvenirs.

  • Jonathan L Yeager Presented With the LeeAnne Shoeman Preservation Award

    Contributed by: Mary Moses

    The names of many worthy nominees were presented to the Historic Hernando Preservation Society for the LeeAnne Shoeman Award. The award was established to honor LeeAnne Shoeman, an educator, historian, and gifted writer. She came to an untimely end in 2014, and both the Hernando Historical Museum Association, and Historic Hernando Preservation Society sought to find ways to honor her memory. LeeAnne was instrumental in the Bayport Shipwreck Signage Project.

    Historic Hernando Preservation Society presents a trophy to an individual who contributes to the historical significance of Hernando County. The recipient for 2014 was Virginia Jackson. She is affectionately known as the museum “mother”, local author and historian.

    This year’s nominee, Jonathan L. Yeager worked tirelessly to develop a relationship between Historic Hernando Preservation Society and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. His research on the Seminole Indian Village of Chocochatti (1760ʼs-1835), led Seminole Tribe Chairman James E. Billie to sponsor the historical marker that was placed on May 30, 2014. It was a careful orchestration of the Historic Hernando Preservation Society, USF, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the City of Brooksville, FDOT and Hernando County. Jon managed to spearhead the project, and successfully see it through.

    Dr. Brent Wiesman of USF stated concerning the dedication “this dedication ceremony was a historical first. Here we have a marker sponsored by the Seminole Tribe in partnership with the Historic Hernando Preservation Society. To my knowledge, this partnership is the first of its kind. Let it not be the last.”

    Mr. Yeager also arranges for speakers for the Historic Hernando Preservation Society, several of which have come from the Humanities Council. He has served as Treasurer and Secretary. He has worked on research for Hope Hill, and is currently working on research for a Florida Heritage Landmark for Centralia.

    The LeeAnne Shoeman Award was presented to Jon at the Historic Hernando Preservation Society meeting on January 7th at City Hall.

  • A Note from Great Brooksvillian Jan Knowles

    “I would like to send out a sincere thank you to the City of Brooksville, the 2014 Great Brooksvillian committee and the Tomanian Society for their elegant Award Ceremony on my behalf.

    For the many years I served as volunteer for many organizations. I never  thought I needed any recognition for the work I loved to do and received great gratification doing it until now.

    This award bestowed on me  by many many people and organizations has brought me great honor and such respect to be in the same honorable standing as those before me.   As the 13th recipient of this prestigious award  I will continue my work as always and remember this award and why I received it every day with my memories of everyone who helped me along the way. And a special thanks  to all who shared that  magical, special evening with me and my family and also to those who sent me congratulations but could not attend.

    Let us  always take a moment and  look around and enjoy the rich heritage our City and County have and decide what we can do to preserve it always.

    Jan Knowles

    2014 Great Brooksvillian.”

  • LeeAnne Shoeman Preservation Award

    LeeAnne Shoeman was a gifted educator and historian.  She worked tirelessly for the Hernando Historical Museum Association, as well as the Hernando Historic Preservation Society.  Her work on the Bay Port sign 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 LeAnnes 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.

  • “Bubble Gum” the Spring Hill Dinosaur

    On Sunday, October 11, HHPS President Don Moses gave a Certificate of Appreciation to Al Madden, owner of Fudge Factory USA on US 19 for his efforts to repair and restore the 22′ tall pink dinosaur on US 19 that helps add a unique flair to our County. The dinosaur was constructed in 1962 as a mascot for the Foxbower Wildlife Museum, which closed in 1998. In recent years, the dinosaur’s tail had developed a hole and the paint had faded and flaked off. When Mr. Madden and his wife opened a new Fudge Store in the building behind the dinosaur, they took it upon themselves to restore the icon, including its bubble gum pink coat of paint, to the delight of visitors.

    For more information on the dinosaur’s history, please see: http://hernandocountyhistory.wikia.com/wiki/Spring_Hill_Dinosaur. And to see more about the restoration efforts, please see: http://hernandosun.com/fudgefactory_usa_pink_dinosaur

  • Howell Avenue Historical Sidewalks

    When the Howell Avenue historic sidewalks were slated for removal, Historic Hernando Preservation Society executed a plan.  Don Moses, current president of the organization, wrote a proposal to the City of Brooksville to save a portion of the historic sidewalk.  He began by choosing a section that might be of some significance. Simply walking the sidewalk led to a portion at the corner of Howell and Olive streets that bore the date of January 6, 1914.  When Don submitted the proposal to Mr. Bill Geiger, Community Development Director of Brooksville, it was accepted.

    Next was finding a home for this charming piece of history.  It was only natural for Historic Hernando Preservation Society to approach their sister organization, Hernando Historical Museum Association.  Ron Daniel, president, agreed that the 1885 Train Depot would be the logical choice for the sidewalk’s new home.

    Why the hoop-la over a piece of concrete one might ask;  the answer is quite enchanting.  The raised sidewalks were just the right height for a carriage to pull alongside.  It allowed the passengers to disembark without experiencing the dust and mud of the roads.  It also allowed ladies to exit the carriages without showing their ankle.

    When Historic Hernando Preservation Society was searching for gravel prices to bed the sidewalk into, Daniel Construction graciously offered to donate to this worthy cause.  The ground outside the depot was graded, and finally the sidewalk was nestled into its new home on October 15, 2015.  Mr. Jon Fields led his crew in performing this task.

    When a community pulled together, a piece of Hernando History was preserved for future generations.  Later this week, a sign will be placed to let visitors know important facts about the sidewalk.

    A dedication ceremony will be held in the near future to celebrate the installation of this historic sidewalk.

    The sign shall read:

    Historic Sidewalk

    This historic sidewalk, dated January 6, 1914, was taken from 

    the corner of Howell Ave and Olive Street in Brooksville, FL.

    The sidewalks were raised to accommodate the entry and exit

    into horse drawn carriages, allowing passengers to be raised from the

    dusty and muddy streets, a fact which the ladies especially appreciated.

    The sidewalk was installed close to the development of the

    assembly line by Henry Ford.  The conveyor driven assembly line 

    allowed for the production of the Model T Ford in ninety three minutes.

    The operation of the first assembly line was December 1, 1913,

    thus allowing average citizens the availability of automobiles.

    The sidewalk was installed close to the development of the

    This historic sidewalk was installed and outdated in nearly

    the same calendar year.

    Presented By:

    Historic Hernando Preservation Society

    Hernando Historical Museum Association

    City of Brooksville

    October 12, 2015

  • Mary’s Fish Camp

    Mary’s Fish Camp has been a landmark in Hernando County since 1946.  Situated on the beautiful Mudd River, it creates memories of lazy summer days past.  Four cabins are being restored to provide guests with opportunities to create their own Florida memories.  In addition 17 camp sites will be available for booking. A huge, preserved cast iron sink is situated on the dock to help facilitate cleaning what you catch.

    “The vision for the camp is simple,” Blair Hensley, one of the eleven investors stated. “We just want to have an old time fish camp.”  Blair has many ideas for the camp, even extending an offer to Historic Hernando Preservation to hold an event in the future.  They plan to have RC colas and moon pies for sale, creating even more nostalgia.

    Historic Hernando Preservation Society President, Don Moses presented Blair Hensley with a certificate of appreciation for doing his part (as well as the other investors he represents), to promote and preserve Hernando history.  A one year membership was also extended to the group.  Historic Hernando Preservation Society cannot wait to see what other ventures this team may have in store.

  • New DVD of Seminole History in Hernando Available

    The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is pleased to offer an original video production entitled From Creek to Seminole: A Native American Documentary of Chocochatti. Written by HHPS board member Jon Yeager, the video was produced by honor student Leonesse Gagnon. The DVD chronicles the development of early Seminole settlements in the Hernando County area and the current search for the exact location of Chocochatti Village. DVD copies of the video are available to HHPS members for $10 each. Non-members can pay $15 for a DVD and 1-year HHPS membership (a $5 discount). Please select the appropriate pricing from the drop down menu below.

    DVDs will be mailed. 

    Choose One


  • New Brooksville History Book


    “One hundred years or thereabout”




    Well-known local educator and historian, Dr. Roger R. Landers has just published a fascinating book of first-hand accounts of many of the events which have become a part of Hernando County history, some mythical, some controversial, and many down-right funny. Included are pictures, maps, and illustrations which add to the richness of the story. This work will reward you with its gems of local history.

    The book  can be purchased at the The Hernando Historical Museum Association Gift Shop or here on Amazon. Proceeds benefit the Museum.

    Book description on Amazon:

    An enthralling example of local history at its best, Hernando County, Florida presents a “one hundred years or therebout” of eyewitness accounts through people who saw or heard about events and people like “Hub Williams the Florida Robin Hood”, “Selecting a New Preacher”, or “Dad’s Moonshine Still”. Local history always contains as many myths as truths and separating the two is the goal of Dr. Landers who has woven together in this history an enchanting picture of Indians, black and white settlers, travelers, government officials, scoundrels, and heroes. Many of the people and events described are amplified by well-chosen illustrations, maps, tables, and photos. This history is the result of a lifetime interest in and devotion to telling students and the general public about the county where the author lives and continues to collect oral histories, historical anecdotes, and forgotten family archives and memories.