by Mary Sheldon, President Hernando Historical Museum Assoc., Inc.
The final resting place of many of western Hernando County’s early settlers lies deep in the overgrown vegetation of palms and vines near Bayport.
The headstones that marked the graves of those people, however, are about 20 miles away at the May-Stringer Museum.
The isolated cemetery at Bayport was, a number of years ago, desecrated by individuals who saw the headstones as a means to get cash in their pockets. It would not have been an easy task to remove these stones and transport them to Brooksville.
The headstones were later found by members of the Brooksville Police Department in a pawn shop!
A subsequent court order placed the precious headstones in the care of the Hernando Historical Museum Association.
A Civil War casualty, an Indian Warfighter, and an infant are among those remembered by their headstones. Some stones are marble, some polished granite, and there is one that is obviously hand chiseled.
These markers continue to remind Museum visitors of the long-ago residents of Bayport.