Spring Hill was almost named Spring Lake

The waterfall on US19 almost had a different name on it. Spring Hill was not the first choice of the developers. The original name of the development was Spring Lake after the twenty mostly spring fed lakes that were scattered throughout the development’s property.

Spring Hill was developed by the Deltona Corporation. The Deltona Corporation was the development company that was formed by the Mackle Brothers: Elliott, Robert and Frank Jr. They had developments started in Marco Island and Deltona Lakes at the time, but their main focus was Spring Hill.

According to Frank E. Mackle III the son of Frank Jr. they purchased 21,440 acres for $5 million “but - true to the Three Mackle Firsts - only 15,000 of it would be included in the master plan.” The Three Mackle Firsts: 1. A Coordinated Growth Plan, 2. Limited Size (No larger than 15,000 acres), 3. A Central Water System to Every Lot. The Mackle Brothers set the remainder aside for future development. “The area had a gentle roll to it reaching 130 feet in elevation at its highest point,” said Frank E. Mackle III.

They chose the area, because heading north from Clearwater there was a development gap. As they headed north there was Tarpon Springs and then very little development until you reached Weeki Wachee Springs. So the Deltona Corporation decided that this was a prime area for a development.

They created a master plan that contained all the facilities necessary for a town. The plan included seven schools, 23 churches, and 500 acres of property zoned for commercial-business. They even had two golf courses laid out.

Frank E. Mackle III remembers, “During the planning process the working name for the community was Spring Lake (after the small town where Dad and the family summered) until it was discovered that there already was a Spring Lake, Florida.”

Spring Lake was a nearby community with a church and community center, so the Deltona Corporation had to choose a different name. Spring Lake still exists on the eastern side of Hernando County. The Mackle Brothers chose the name of another smaller nearby community, called Spring Hill. Spring Hill was the name of the Lykes Brothers’ home and the community that grew up around it at the Corner of Citrus Way and Fort Dade Avenue. This is why there is a Spring Hill Cemetery in that area.

The Spring Hill name was on maps for many years, but that referred to the Lykes Brothers’ home. In the 1960s, the Deltona Corporation appropriated the name for their development after being denied the name Spring Lake, because of a nearby town that was already using that name.

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