History of Fort Cooper and the Cove of the Withlacoochee

The Second Seminole War fought from 1835 to 1842 included several battles in the area surrounding the Withlacoochee between the Seminoles and the United States Military. The most well known of these battles was at Dade Massacre in Sumter County, where on December 23, 1835 the Seminoles wiped out 110 US troops. The troops were on a resupply mission from Fort Brooke in Tampa to Fort King in Ocala.

Some wingbone turkey call history

Toby Benoit

Cherokee Style, Wingbone Turkey Yelper

If you have spent any time around turkey hunting, you have probably heard of wingbone callers. They are turkey calls that are made from the actual bones found in a wild turkey’s wing. Historians and archaeologists say that wingbone turkey calls date back perhaps 6500 years. Native Americans made yelper calls from the three bones found in the wing of a turkey: the radius (the smallest bone), the ulna and the humerus (the biggest bone).

Church at Heart of Black History


Adon Taft

Any history — including Black history — of what now is the United States must begin with the church and the faith it represents.

When Juan Ponce de Leon planted a cross in Florida soil on Easter Sunday, 1513, and took formal possession of the land around what now is St. Augustine in the name of Ferdinand of Spain, religion lay claim to the history of the region.

Possessing the land for the Spanish sovereign was the same as taking title for the Roman Catholic Church, for the king was the secular head of the church by direct commission of the Pope.

‘Deep State,’ ‘Fake News,’ Are Not New

Adon Taft for 48 years was a reporter and editor for The Miami Herald and taught social studies at Miami-Dade Community College. He lives in Brooksville, FL, and can be reached at [email protected]

Portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale circa 1850

Adon Taft

The idea of a “deep state” and “fake news’ is not new with the Trump administration. It began with critics of our first president, George Washington, whose birthday anniversary we celebrate Feb. 19.

February: Most Historic Month?


It could be said — with a lot of evidence — that February is the most significant month in American history.

Granted, it’s hard to argue against July, in which the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776, as the most important month.

Or you might say September is the key month in our history because of the adoption of our Constitution in that month in 1787.

But the great number of historic events in February is pretty persuasive.

The Unexpected Find


Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America.   Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.

Being a hunter and an all-around outdoorsman, I spend a lot of time off the beaten-path, out in the wilds and it leads me to some interesting sites. I’ve found lots of lost treasures out in the wilderness, such as one I found while poking around an abandoned homestead on the Upper Hillsborough Wildlife Management Area. I found an old, mold crusted Mason Jar, the lid long ago having rusted away, which contained a few dozen glass, “Cat’s-Eye” marbles.

‘Mama Allie’ — Lykes Matriarch

“Mama Allie,” Almeria Belle Mackay Lykes, via International Museum of Women.

“Mama Allie,” the matriarch of the Lykes Family, mother to seven sons and one daughter, is being honored by the International Museum of Women’s Pillar Program. Almeria Belle Mackay Lykes, youngest child of Captain James Mackay Sr., a Tampa shipping and real estate tycoon and wife to Dr. Howell T. Lykes was known by her family as “Mama Allie.” In order to celebrate her contributions to her community and family, Lykes family members made generous donations to the International Museum of Women Pillar Program in her honor.  

Hernando County entries in the National Register of Historic Places

The Chinsegut Hill Manor House is set on top of Chinsegut Hill

There are eight entries in the National Register of Historic Places for locations in Hernando County. The listing that has been there the longest is the May-Stringer House which was added on March 8, 1997. The newest listing was added a little over a month ago on October 12, 2017 and is the Richloam General Store and Post Office. In addition to those two, there are the Chinsegut Hill Manor House, William Sherman Jennings House, Judge Willis Russell House, Frank Saxon House, South Brooksville Avenue Historic District, and the Spring Lake Community Center.