History

Critical time for home of Hernando's relics

Article and Photography by JULIE B. MAGLIO

Where East Jefferson Street takes a sharp left turn heading into downtown Brooksville, a stately home overlooks the vehicles that take the curve- some gingerly, others not so much and still others a little distracted by the appealing seven gabled home of Queen Anne architecture.  It’s called the May-Stringer House, well known for its rumoured spectral inhabitants and the local treasures it keeps.  

Port Richey was originally named Hopeville

Hopeville was the early name of the settlement that would eventually become Port Richey. According to Pasco County Historian Frances Clark Mallett, Hopeville was named for members of the prominent Hernando County family the Hopes. David and Henry Hope were involved in the creation of Hopeville near the salt springs. Ms. Mallet stated that according to oral accounts the name Hopeville dated back to the 1850s. It only appears on a few maps around the time that there was a post office at Hopeville.

Florida Courthouse fires following the Civil War

The burning of the Hernando County Courthouse in 1877 is indicative of the lawless period that followed the Civil War. Many of the men returning from the war had seen unspeakable things. The people who had stayed behind had been raided by both sides either seeking supplies or destroying them. 

After the Civil War the reconstruction laws put the Military incharge of running the former Confederate states. The reconstruction laws also disenfranchised all officers and elected officials of the Confederacy.

The Fabulous Mizells

As you drive down Culbreath Road shortly after you pass the sign for Fort Taylor Cemetery there is a road off to left called Mizell Road.The Mizell’s were a prominent early family in Hernando County.

The Florida Mizells are descendants of Huguenots who migrated to the North Carolina area before the Revolutionary War. In 1838, David Mizell Sr. moved to Lake City with a large family. His sons spread out across Florida.