Divisions & Depression
By January of 1877, Florida was growing and dividing large counties up into smaller pieces to ease the strain on local governments. Hernando, which was roughly three times the size it is now, was divided into three separate counties: Citrus, Hernando and Pasco.
This map shows the original size of Hernando in blue and the current county lines are drawn in black. Citrus County is to the north, Hernando County is in the middle and Pasco County is to the south.
The original version of this map is courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin.
By the 1880s, Hernando had become a major stop on many of the roads that traveled through Florida and the citrus, lumber and limestone industries became the county’s money makers.
Unfortunately, Florida received a sneak preview of the Great Depression and, in the early 1900s, growth slowed dramatically in Hernando County.
However, Florida’s citrus and tourism industries took off once again after World War II and the county thrived.
Entrepreneurs soon discovered Hernando’s selling power and began housing construction projects throughout the county including what are now the Spring Hill, Ridge Manor, Lake Lindsey and Hernando Beach areas.
Spring Hill was promoted heavily in the 1950s as a small development and remains the main cause of Hernando’s growth to this day.
Weekie Wachee, a small town outside of Bayport, built a park housing an underwater mermaid show that has attracted celebrities such as Elvis Presley, film maker Kevin Smith and television personality Angela Watson, famous for her role as Karen on ABC's Step by Step. The park, although recentely purched by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, has added a water park and is still open seasonally.