During World War II, the United States established many military bases in Florida, including the famous MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa. These bases played a crucial role in the war effort and helped to establish Florida as a major military state.
Citrus County, located on the west coast of Florida, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before European contact, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Timucua and Seminole tribes. These tribes relied on the area's abundant resources, such as fish and shellfish, for their sustenance.

The first recorded European exploration of Citrus County was by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. They named the area "Costa de Pinar" or "Coast of Pines" due to the dense pine forests that covered the area. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that permanent settlers arrived in the area. Homesteaders were attracted to the county's fertile land and temperate climate, which was ideal for agriculture.

By the late 1800s, the construction of railroads in the region brought increased accessibility and economic growth to Citrus County. The citrus industry quickly emerged as a major economic force, leading to the county's name change from Hernando County to Citrus County in 1887. Commercial citrus groves were established, and the county became known as the "Citrus Capital of the World."

In the 20th century, Citrus County experienced various economic shifts. The decline of the citrus industry due to diseases and freezes led to diversification into other industries such as fishing and tourism. The creation of the Withlacoochee River Preserve and the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in the mid-20th century also boosted tourism in the area due to its natural beauty and unique wildlife, like the endangered Florida manatee. Today, Citrus County continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, retirees, and visitors looking to experience Florida's natural wonders.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Citrus County, Florida.

  • 1887 - Citrus County is established as a county in Florida.
  • 1888 - The town of Inverness is incorporated as the county seat.
  • Early 1900s - The economy of Citrus County relies heavily on agriculture, particularly citrus farming.
  • 1941-1945 - The Crystal River Army Airfield is constructed during World War II.
  • 1970s - The construction of several power plants and the development of the nuclear industry bring economic growth to the county.
  • 1980s - Tourism starts to play a significant role in the local economy of Citrus County.
  • 1995 - The Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is designated as a manatee sanctuary.
  • 2004 - The Citrus County Historical Society's museum opens to the public.