Historic Hernando Preservation Society

Preserving Hernando County's PAST

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Centralia Historic Marker Project

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is undertaking a project to place a historic marker at the site of the historic Logging and Sawmill town of Centralia. Your support is appreciated!

 

See details on this project and more at: http://historichernandopreservationsociety.org/markers

Tarpon Springs to Boom Town

by:  Mary J. Moses

Historic Hernando Preservation Society ventured to Tarpon Springs Saturday, September 24th. The group was there to take in the museums, shops and fabulous food Tarpon Springs had to offer. The trip, in itself, was a nod to the fifty Greek sponge divers who left Tarpon Springs in 1910 for a new life in Centralia.  

Centralia beckoned people from the silver and gold booms to a new resource, red Tidewater cypress. The seemingly inexhaustible supply drew workers from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, Finland, Canada, and yes, Tarpon Springs. Centralia, born in 1910, was named after a lumbering and agricultural town by the same name in Wisconsin. It’s many workers, 1,500 in number, required services which Centralia gladly provided. Centralia boasted a one room school house where about two dozen pupils attended, it doubled as a church for Protestants and Catholics. There was a boarding house, the Centralia Hotel and a restaurant called the Hungry None, which served meals day and night. A drug store and a movie house called the Flicker Palace flanked its streets. Centralia was best known for George Gambles Commissary. The huge store supplied dry goods and hardware needs to the town, it stayed open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It carried more stock than any retail store in Tampa or Jacksonville.

Edgar Roberts who owned the Central Cypress Lumber Company, had the most efficiently run saw mill in the area. Double band saws cut rough timber into finished boards. Power for winching and sawing was provided by large steam boilers. Logs were hauled in by train, dumped into a pond, and floated to the mill. Yet, due to the lack of land management, the lumber source ran out in six short years. In 1917 Centralia had 160 acres of land stacked with lumber piles 15 feet high. The mill could turn out 100,000 board feet a day, and on many days it did, but no more.   

Centralia’s final whistle blew on the last day of operation when Robert’s daughter “Queen” pulled it for the last time in 1917. The sound meant to call loggers to work now signaled Centralia’s end.  Centralia officially closed on December  11, 1922 with the closing of the Post Office. Today, all that remains of this once vibrant logging town are the float pond and the ramp up which the great logs were winched, the concrete slab where the water tower stood, and the brick foundations of the sawmill and depot. 

Historic Hernando Preservation Society is currently working on a project to place the nearly forgotten history of Centralia on a Historic Marker. Centralia was located 4-1/2 miles north of Weeki Wachee Springs and east of US 19 Highway, just north of Tooke Lake. The Historic Marker project should be completed in 2017. Donations for the marker can be made on the Centralia Marker Page. You can learn more about Historic Hernando Preservation Society by visiting their web page at historichernandopreservationsociety.org.

Authentic Brooksville: Brooksville Main Street

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is pleased to welcome local historic preservation consultant, Jo-Anne Peck as the guest speaker at the October 6, 2016 monthly meeting.

Ms. Peck is the Chair of the Design Committee for the recently designated Brooksville Main Street program. She will talk about the Committee's plans for helping the revitalization of the historic downtown area, including goals, financial incentives, design guidelines, and how residents can get involved.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

6:30 pm

Brooksville City Hall

201 Howell Avenue, Brooksville

Croquet Anyone?

The Hernando Historical Museum Association invited the Historic Hernando Preservation Society for a croquet match on the lawn of the May Stringer House, Sunday, August 28th. The event was to encourage growing friendships as well as provide a pastime of a by-gone era. It reflected days of summer afternoons sipping cold drinks in the shade, while rocking on the porch.

The Stringer House was the perfect backdrop for this friendly game. The lawn stretched beyond the welcoming porches inviting participants to “come play.” Some wore period dress, adding to the enchantment of the evening. A light supper was spread across white linen cloths for the enjoyment of all. After the match, deserts were served as the sun began to set. Historic Hernando Preservation Society member, Debbie Charlow may have won the match, but everyone considered themselves a winner at this years event.

Museum President Mary Sheldon was the event coordinator. She and her board provided everyone with hospitality and charm. They food they served was excellent, and the fellowship was enjoyed by all. Preservation Society President Don Moses and Museum President Mary Sheldon hope this event will be the beginning of many more. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend the Historic Hernando Preservation Society meetings at CIty Hall the first Thursday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Hernando Historical Museum Association is also extending invitations to the community to be a part of their organization as well. You can get more information about them by visiting http://www.hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com .

Third Quarter Business Meeting and Potluck Dinner

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society invites you to attend the 2016 1st Quarter Business Meeting. We will discuss upcoming projects and plans, as well as scheduled speakers. A potluck supper will follow the meeting.

  • Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Location: Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Avenue, Brooksville

Upcoming 2016 Historic Hernando Preservation Society Field Trips

August: Sunday August 28th at 6p.m., croquet match at the May Stringer House. The Hernando Historical Museum Association has invited us to join them for a friendly match of croquet. White linen dress is encouraged. A light picnic supper and beverages are provided. Please sign up at the August HHPS meeting.

September: Saturday September 24th at 2:00 p.m. Join Historic Hernando Preservation Society Members for a tour of Tarpon Springs. This trip is perfectly coordinated to compliment the historical contributions of the Greek Community to Centralia. Dinner will be enjoyed at Hella’s Restaurant in Tarpon Springs at 4:40 p.m. You may enjoy the bakery that is attached to the restaurant as well. Cost of the trip is the price of dinner. Sign up sheets available at the September meeting.

October: Join the HHPS in celebrating Founders Week at the Market on Main and Brooksville Main Street kickoff event October 8 from 9 am to 3 pm. 

November: We will be traveling to Deland Florida to the Stetson Mansion. It was the home of John B. Stetson family, of Stetson Hat Fame. The house was originally built in 1886, and was recently restored to its former glory. The field trip will take place AFTER November 15th because the mansion will be beautifully decorated for Christmas. Date and Time to be announced. Price of admission is $21.30 Per adult CASH ONLY! This is a private residence, not a museum, so they do not benefit from any type of public funding.

 

Brooksville Main Street Gets Top Recommendation

Exciting news for the Brooksville Vision Foundation’s newest project “the Brooksville Main Street Program”; the program was placed at the top of the list of probable candidates by the Florida Main Street Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to receive a Main Street designation.

A delegation of interested citizens from Brooksville/Hernando County along with City Officials traveled to Tallahassee, Monday July 25, 2016 to make a presentation to secure the advisory board’s recommendation to further the process. The City of Brooksville and the Northwood Village of Brevard County were two of the three applicants recommended to move forward.

Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner will render a final decision of approval at the Secretary of State’s Awards Banquet on August 9, 2016 in Deland, Florida. The Brooksville Vision Foundation Executive Board is very pleased with the positive recommendation from the Advisory Committee, and is anxiously awaiting the Secretary’s endorsement.

For additional information go to www.brooksvillevisionfoundation.org

Member Highlight: Deborah Charlow

By Mary J. Moses

When one meets Deborah, one becomes aware that Deborah, “Debbie”, is a woman who is beautiful, confident and educated. She was born in Bayonne New Jersey, but raised in Point Pleasant on the Jersey Shore. She grew up as a child who loved the arts, and by age eleven already began forming her foundation in that area. As a small child, Debbie loved to dress up, and was already displaying her artistic abilities. Later, she acquired a degree in Speech and Drama with a focus on design.

Debbie has two sons and one daughter. She began sewing for them because she found what was available in stores was not always what she wanted for her children. She stated she found that design interested and excited her imagination. It was like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Design, fabric, even common items found in everyday life began to fuel and ignite her creativity.

Debbie first came to Historic Hernando Preservation Society with a desire to see the potential unlocked for the historic buildings in our area. She wants to raise an awareness of their design and importance, and make Hernando County a place people want to visit. Her natural love and respect of history make Debbie the steadfast researcher that she is. She recognizes the importance of preserving our rich history for future generations.

The Society for Creative Anachronism has played an important role in Debbie’s life. Here she met people dedicated to history, people who were willing to do the arduous research required to bring the results of their research to a higher level. SCA’s Arts and Science competitions requires research likened to that of a doctrinal level. Debbie learned from the research, and honed her skills to create beautiful pieces.

Debbie is extremely humble concerning her sewn creations and is quick to point out that they “are not perfect.” Little does she realize that the results of her labor are beautiful and captivating. When asked to describe some of her favorite creations, she mentioned a 1635 gown created in black and yellow. It boasts a fitted waist and bodice and is based on a VanDyke painting. Another of her favorites is a navy blue Civil War outfit. It has a pagoda sleeved jacket with a Garabaldi blouse. She even created a parasol to match. 

Debbie takes a lot of pride in being period correct, and although today's fabrics are not the same as the wool, silk, linen and cotton of yesteryear, she works diligently to find something as close to original as possible. Looking at the world through Debbie’s eyes requires something of a knack. She can look at an ordinary beach hat and unleash it’s potential as a period bonnet.

She draws much of her imagination from her extensive collection of books ranging from the Roman period through the 1920’s. Not only does Debbie enjoy creating, she also loves to teach. She dreams of inspiring creativity in others, and touching them in a way that brings dimension to the work of the person she is teaching. Debbie has been a substitute teacher for nearly 27 years and she has learned the patience and love of teaching. Substituting afforded her the flexibility to raise her family, and pursue other interests.

Debbie and her husband live in a country setting. Although it is far from the convenience of fabric and craft stores, it offers her the opportunity to enjoy her garden. She says that in her garden, she is able to enjoy some "happy accidents", which cause her to take pause and enjoy the beauty of it all. I would imagine it is here where she dreams of the dress she is creating to wear to her nieces upcoming wedding. Her cat, Mr. Peanut, a black and white tuxedo clad gentleman, can sometimes be found lounging lazily in her lap. Creativity and love of beauty come together to spin the dreams of Debbie’s future creations.

Heraldry: Armorial History and How to Design your own Coat of Arms

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is pleased to host Roger Sherman for a hands-on presentation.

Heraldry: Armorial History and how to design your own coat of arms.

Bring a sketch pad and pen if you'd like to participate in the event!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Brooksville City Hall

201 Howell Street

6:30 pm

 

There will be no July HHPS Meeting

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