Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Citrus

You are currently viewing Citrus


Location:8861 East Orange Avenue
County: Citrus
City: Floral City
Description: Side 1: The area containing present day Floral City has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. When Hernando De Soto came through the area in 1539, he found the Indian village of Tocaste. From the late 1700s until the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the Seminole village of Cho-illy-hadjo (meaning Crazy Deer’s Foot) was located here. The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 and statehood in 1845 brought American settlers who took advantage of the abundant timber, natural waterways, and rich farmland. By the 1860s, the area was part of the vast land holdings of John Paul Formy-Duval, a Confederate veteran and son of a French physician who had fled Napoleon’s rule in the early 19th century. Duval’s house still stands and is the oldest home in Citrus County. Floral City was surveyed and platted in 1883 by Senator Austin Mann and surveyor W.H. Havron. They named the town for the many wildflowers and blooming trees. In the 1880s, Floral City’s commercial center was located along Aroostook Way, with the New England Hotel at the south end (on Orange Avenue) and Lake Tsala Apopka at the north end. The Orange State Canal, dug in 1884, provided for steamboat transportation to the Withlacoochee River and beyond. Side 2: When the Plant System railway tracks were laid near the western edge of town in 1893, fast steam-powered trains quickly out-paced slower water vessels, which diminished the popularity of steamboat travel. The town’s commercial center shifted from Aroostook Way to an uptown location at the rail line. The Florida Phosphate Boom also began in the 1890s, and a dozen mines soon dotted the area. Mine workers swelled the village population to nearly 10,000 people, making it larger than the city of Miami at that time. The local phosphate ore was shipped primarily to markets in Germany, until World War I brought a sudden halt to trade in 1914. With the collapse of the phosphate industry, Floral City reverted to its agrarian roots as a small, rural community. As one of the oldest and most distinct settlements in Citrus County, the Floral City Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The oak tree canopy along Orange Avenue and Aroostook Way that contributed to the character of the district was planted by community residents in 1884, a year after the town was founded.
Sponsors: Floral City Heritage Council, Citrus County Historical Society, Inc.
Location:Aquaduct St. and S. Pittsburg Ave.
County: Citrus
City: Homosassa Springs
Description: The wide sidewalks of Homosassa Springs are a reminder of the 1920s Florida Land Boom in Citrus County. In 1924, at the height of the boom, the Florida West Coast Development Company bought several thousand acres in what is now Homosassa Springs and set out to create a “City Beautiful.” Locally referred to as New Homosassa, the community was laid out with 80 to 100-foot-wide streets and nine-foot-wide sidewalks. Also envisioned were plazas, parks, boulevards, a golf course, three country clubs, and 700 home sites. The city’s ambitious plan reflects the aspirations of the City Beautiful Movement in urban planning. Popular during the late 1890s and early 1900s, proponents of this aesthetic believed that living in a beautiful, harmonious setting would lead to an improved quality of life. The grand plans envisioned for Homosassa Springs were quickly abandoned after the boom went bust in 1926. Most of the city’s planned amenities were never realized, and only two commercial buildings and a few homes designed in the Mediterranean Revival style popular during the boom years were built. Today, this remaining portion of the city’s original sidewalk reflects the City Beautiful aesthetic once envisioned for Homosassa Springs.
Location:1 Courthouse Square, Inverness, FL 34450
County: Citrus
City: Inverness
Description: Citrus County was formed from Hernando County in 1887 and Mannfield, in the center of the new county, was chosen as the temporary county seat by the state legislature. After a political tug-of-war and several elections, Inverness was chosen as the permanent county seat in 1891. In June, 1911 the Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution to erect a new building to replace the Victorian style wood courthouse on the square. The 1912 Courthouse, designed by architect Willis R. Biggers, includes a copper cupola topped with a belvedere and constructed at a cost of $55,885. Its eclectic design incorporates features from four distinct architectural styles, Italian Renaissance, Neoclassical, Mission, and Prairie School. The building is uniquely situated on a square lot at 45 degree angles. It is historically significant because of its association with county government for over eighty years. A restoration returning the building to its original appearance was funded with grants from the Division of Historical Resources, matching funds from the county, and fund raising efforts by the Citrus County Historical Society. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.