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.
Hernando County, located on the western coast of Florida, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back over centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Timucua and Tocobaga, who thrived on the region's fertile land and abundant wildlife.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the area, bringing with them the first European influence. Hernando de Soto, after whom the county is named, led an expedition through the region in 1539, marking the first recorded European contact. Spanish settlers later established settlements, including San Antonio and Brooksville, which became important trading posts and agricultural centers.

During the 19th century, Hernando County experienced significant growth and development. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s brought prosperity to the area, facilitating transportation of goods and boosting economic activities. The region became known for its cultivation of citrus fruits, cotton, and timber, attracting settlers and contributing to the county's growth.

In the 20th century, Hernando County saw further changes and progress. With the advent of the automobile, tourism became an important industry, as visitors flocked to the region's natural beauty and warm climate. The construction of the Suncoast Parkway in the 1990s further enhanced accessibility to the county, encouraging continued growth and development.

Today, Hernando County is a vibrant community that embraces its historical roots while looking towards the future. It is home to a thriving tourism industry, diverse agriculture, and a growing population. The county's historical landmarks, natural attractions, and strong sense of community make it a destination for both residents and visitors alike.

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

  • 1843: Hernando County is established as a county in Florida.
  • 1845: Florida becomes the 27th state of the United States.
  • 1846: Brooksville is officially incorporated as the county seat of Hernando County.
  • 1850s: The economy of Hernando County thrives with the cultivation of citrus and cotton.
  • 1860s: Hernando County experiences turmoil during the American Civil War.
  • 1885: The Florida Southern Railroad extends into Hernando County, boosting its economy.
  • 1887: A devastating freeze wipes out the citrus industry, causing a decline in economic prosperity.
  • 1902: Hernando County's first courthouse is built in Brooksville.
  • 1921: The Great Fire destroys a significant portion of downtown Brooksville.
  • 1939: Weeki Wachee Springs, a popular tourist attraction, opens its doors in Hernando County.
  • 1981: The Suncoast Parkway is completed, providing easier access to Hernando County from Tampa Bay.
  • 1992: The Withlacoochee State Forest is established in parts of Hernando County, preserving the area's natural environment.
  • 2008: The real estate market crash and economic recession greatly impact Hernando County.
  • 2019: The population of Hernando County exceeds 190,000 residents.