By ROCCO MAGLIO
The Richloam General Store celebrated the unveiling of their second Historic Marker. They have a Historic Marker at the general store. The second marker was a few hundred feet further down the road at the current ranger station. This marker denotes the site of the Schroder Land and Timber Company (SLTC) Clubhouse. The SLTC was a large timber and turpentine producer who also split up and sold small portions of their land to the public. The clubhouse was built in 1916 and was sold to the U.S.
Government in 1936 under the Resettlement Administration (RA) part of the New Deal.
The marker dedication was well attended with several elected officials present including US Congressman Daniel Webster, Hernando County Commissioner John Allocco, Hernando County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller Doug Chorvat Jr., and Sheriff Al Nienhuis. Congressman Webster and Eric Burkes pulled the veil from the historic marker. There was a festive atmosphere with free hotdogs and hamburgers along with a bounce house and waterslide near the Richloam General Store.
The marker reads:
“Richloam - This is the site of the former Schroder Land and Timber Company (SLTC) clubhouse. John Schroder, owner of the SLTC, purchased large tracts of land in Hernando and Pasco counties, including the area later known as Richloam. Built around 1916, the clubhouse served as both the company headquarters and the home of its foreman, Lucius Sidney “Sid” Brinson. While SLTC used much of its land for logging and turpentine production, other parts were sold to prospective farmers. The company brought buyers to the area on a train, nicknamed “The Goat,” and the clubhouse included a demonstration farm to showcase local crops. In 1926 SLTC sold the clubhouse and most of its land in the area to the Richloam Land Company (RLC). Hoping to take advantage of the Florida Land Boom, RLC continued to sell lots to new farmers, but had limited success. In 1936, as part of the U.S. Land Resettlement Program, the federal government acquired the land in Richloam from the SLTC, RLC, and other private owners. Some landowners resisted resettlement. The Works Progress Administration began replanting previously clear cut pine trees. In 1954, the State of Florida purchased the Richloam land and incorporated it into the Withlacoochee State Forest.
Sponsors: Eric and Donna Burkes”
The railroad, clubhouse, and almost everything that would let you know that at one time there was an old community has faded away. The historic markers and general store are helping the community to remember its history.