Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Hernando

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Location:U.S. 41 at Courthouse in Brooksville.
County: Hernando
City: Brooksville
Description: Hernando County originally embraced Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus counties. It was created by the Territorial Legislature in 1843 and named for Hernando DeSoto. In 1844, its name was changed to Benton County in honor of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, but his moderation during the Missouri Compromise caused extremists in the legislature to change the name back to Hernando. DeSoto, now Brooksville, was the first county seat. The present boundaries of the county were set in 1887.
Location:along S.R. 50. (See Comments)
County: Hernando
City: Ridge Manor
Description: Shortly after Florida became a U.S. Territory, Fort Brooke was constructed at the mouth of the Hillsborough River and Fort King was established near the present site of Ocala. In 1825, work was begun by the federal government on an overland route connecting those fortifications. This "Military Road" was improved and soon was known as the "Fort King Road." It was an important transportation and communication link during the Second Seminole War (1835-42), a conflict over the removal of Indians from Florida. This route remained a vital mail and wagon road during the 19th century development of central Florida. Presently, U.S. Highway 301 crosses the course of one of the oldest major roads in Florida, the Fort King Road.
Sponsors: sponsored by Hernando County historical commission in cooperation with department of state
Location:398 Broad Street
County: Hernando
City: Masaryktown
Description: In 1924-26, a group of Slovak and czech immigrants moved down from New York and Pennsylvania to establish a farming community in Florida, and bought about 10,000 acres in Hernando County. They founded a town here, which they named after Thomas G Masaryk (1850-1937), "founding father" and first president of the independent republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 with the help of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. They named the town's streets for American presidents and for Slovak and Czech patriots and writers who contributed to the independence movement. Initial attempts at growing citrus and vegetables failed, but eventually a thriving egg poultry farming community developed. Slovak cultural traditions were maintained for more than one half century. The building on this sit was erected in 1925 as the "Masaryk Hotel" for initial housing of newly arrived settlers, and retained that name until 1997.
Sponsors: Masaryktown Board of Directors and the Florida Department of State
Location:Spece 2, tier 3, lot 18, Brooksville Cemetery
County: Hernando
City: Brooksville
Description: One of the area’s early white settlers, Charlotte Crum is the first known burial in the Brooksville Cemetery. Her death occurred immediately following the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), and is symbolic of the epic collision that occurred in Florida as diverse cultures struggled for control of the expanding American frontier. Born 1792 near Savannah, Georgia, Charlotte married Col. Samuel Robert Pyles who in 1824 moved his family to what later became Alachua County, Florida. Following Pyles’s 1837 death, Charlotte married Richard R. Crum who secured this portion of land through the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, settling at Chuccochattie, less than one mile south. While traveling nearby September 12, 1842, Charlotte, her daughter Rebecca Harn, granddaughter Mary Catherine Harn and escort John Francis McDonnell were fired upon by a party of Seminoles who were unaware of the war’s end and evidently retaliating for recent aggressive acts by white settlers eager to remove the area’s native population. In the ensuing struggle, all escaped but Charlotte, who was killed and whose death received sensationalized attention. She is buried here, less than one-eighth mile from her home in a grave once entombed with brick.
Location:22495 Chinsegut Hill Road
County: Hernando
City: Brooksville
Description: In 1842, South Carolinian Bird M. Pearson staked a claim on 5,000 acres and called it Tiger Tail Hill, one of the few surviving plantations in Florida and the one of the oldest houses in Hernando County. Pearson built the manor house’s east wing in 1847 and later residents expanded it, beginning in 1852. He raised citrus, cattle, and sugarcane. In 1904 Chicago residents Raymond (1873-1954) and Margaret Drier (1868-1945) Robins purchased the property and named it Chinsegut Hill, an Inuit word meaning a place where lost things are found. The estate served as a retreat from the couple’s tireless activism on behalf of workers, women, and the poor. Guests entertained here included Thomas Edison, Senator and Mrs. Claude Pepper, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, J.C. Penney and Helen Keller. During the Great Depression, the Robinses suffered severe losses and donated Chinsegut to the federal government, collaborating with the Department of Agriculture on an experimental station to benefit Florida farmers. In return, the couple could live there until their deaths. New Deal workers improved the property and built two cabins in 1933. In 1958, the University of South Florida acquired the property for use as a conference center.