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HomeUncategorizedNewspapers – A Window into the Past (Part 2)

Newspapers – A Window into the Past (Part 2)

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Last week I wrote about the interesting old newspapers I found at the May-Stringer House in downtown Brooksville. At that time there were two local newspapers – The Brooksville Herald and The Brooksville Sun.  I guess this paper wasn’t the first to come up with a name like that. The following information is from its August 13, 1925 issue. 

On that date, the top story had to do with the founding of Weeki Wachee. Just recently, the town of Weeki Wachee, with a population of less than a dozen people, was dissolved. It’s interesting to look back and see how Weeki Wachee got its start. 

According to the front-page story in The Brooksville Sun, “a group of Eastern capitalists” formed a company called the Glenarden Corporation to purchase the 5,000 acres from the actual springs to the length of the entire Weeki Wachee riverfront. A number of local businessmen got in on the deal, as well. There were plans to develop the land into “one of the greatest recreational resorts in Florida.” At that time Walt Disney was still drawing cartoons and Disney World was not even a “twinkle in his eye.” 

These entrepreneurs were far-thinking and planned to develop it into a place for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. Tourism was already big business for Florida back then. They also planned to have a golf course and a country club. A famous author of the time, Rex Beach, was interested in building a lodge on the property “as a gathering place for kindred spirits” and he didn’t mind in the least that his fellow organizers suggested that it be named after him.

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Anxiety and stress are not just a symptom of the twenty-first century life. People back in the 1920s suffered from these ailments as well. Just like an advertisement I talked about last week, one for a cure made me cringe. “Do you feel so nervous you want to scream?” (Yes, especially since the Coronavirus.) “Do you scold those dearest to you?” (My husband would affirm that.) “Try Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Tonic made especially for women.” (YIKES!) 

Just like television now seems to be saturated with commercials for medical remedies, The Brooksville Sun had its share of such advertisements. For just $1.20 per bottle you could get “blessed relief” from rheumatism, neuritis, and lumbago with McNeil’s Magical Remedy. 

The classified ads were rather interesting too. One person advertised for a “young, unattached white housekeeper.” A Lost and Found ad read like this: “Found: a real small pig Wednesday July 26.  Owner call at Sun office, identity, pay for this add and feed.” Apparently The Brooksville Sun did not employ a proof-reader. Back then, eating out was fairly cheap. The following classified ad attested to that. HAMBURGERS: That will tickle the palate at a dime a piece at BYRD’S SANDWICH SHOP.”  

To take one’s mind off their ailments or the latest bad news, there was always the humor column. Here’s a sampling of some of the jokes and sayings in the paper that day. 

“One trouble is that not enough parents are on spanking terms with their children.”

“Even when a man wants the earth he doesn’t want it thrown at him in the form of mud.” 

And last, but not least, this sage piece of advice: “Don’t talk like a Red [Communist]. That lingo is always the vocabulary of a failure, who is always jealous of others.” 

Next week we’ll jump ahead a decade to find out what was happening in Hernando and the rest of the world in 1939. Stay tuned.

Note from Hernando Sun founders: It isn’t a coincidence that we used the word “Sun” in the title or our newspaper.  We took into account the long-running and much loved Brooksville Sun and then Brooksville Sun-Journal when choosing a name.  We decided on Hernando Sun, because of the Sun tradition and our desire to bring local news to the entire county.

Editor’s Note: Typos happen in this newspaper too.  Nobody’s perfect! 

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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