Sumter Historical Society

Sumter Historical Society “To collect, preserve, promote and communicate the history of Sumter County.”

Operating as usual

Pictured is the Pemberton Ferry crossing the Withlacoochee river about 1878. The ferry used the old crossing of the Semi...
08/30/2020

Pictured is the Pemberton Ferry crossing the Withlacoochee river about 1878. The ferry used the old crossing of the Seminole Indians. A place where the banks on either side of the river had been worn down. This place was an ideal landing for the ferry. James T. Pemberton became the owner of the ferry in the early 1870's and Transporting the wagons and buggies back and forth from Sumter County to Hernando County was a profitable business. Pemberton would go on to transform the small settlement along the Withlacoochee into a functioning town. Nothing of the town remains today and is only known for the Iron Bridge park in Croom.

Harry Ethelburg Coverston in perambulator, Bushnell Florida 1870.
08/23/2020

Harry Ethelburg Coverston in perambulator, Bushnell Florida 1870.

Cornerstone of the Bushnell Public School. This school was built in 1906 and torn down in 1931. A Bible and a souvenir f...
08/16/2020

Cornerstone of the Bushnell Public School. This school was built in 1906 and torn down in 1931. A Bible and a souvenir from the World's Fair that was held in St. Louis were placed in this cornerstone on August 31, 1906. The school was located on the same property that would go on to be the location of Bushnell High School and later Bushnell Elementary School.

St. Catherine School 1912. Sumter County Florida.
08/09/2020

St. Catherine School 1912. Sumter County Florida.

This very old and very rare photo of the Sumterville Courthouse was shared to the Historical Society recently. On Octobe...
08/02/2020

This very old and very rare photo of the Sumterville Courthouse was shared to the Historical Society recently. On October 10, 1881 Sumterville became the third county seat of Sumter County.

The first Board of County Commissioners meeting held in Sumterville was on November 7, 1881. This courthouse burned down January 30, 1909.

Lumber Mill Oxford, Sumter County Florida 1915.
07/27/2020

Lumber Mill Oxford, Sumter County Florida 1915.

A rarely seen photo of Bushnell High School. This photo isn't displayed anymore due to it's fragile condition. Thankfull...
07/12/2020

A rarely seen photo of Bushnell High School. This photo isn't displayed anymore due to it's fragile condition. Thankfully it has now become part of our digital archives and can once again be shared with the public through social media.

A street scene of Webster Florida 100 years ago.
07/06/2020

A street scene of Webster Florida 100 years ago.

Looking west from US 301 down Anderson Avenue toward Bushnell High School. Pictured Left is Allen Hardware. Pictured Rig...
06/29/2020

Looking west from US 301 down Anderson Avenue toward Bushnell High School. Pictured Left is Allen Hardware. Pictured Right in the distance is the Baptist Church. Directly across the street from the church is the Baptist Church Parsonage.

The Bank of Center Hill was once located at the corner of Magnolia Ave. and Market Street. J.S. McMullen, Bank President...
06/22/2020

The Bank of Center Hill was once located at the corner of Magnolia Ave. and Market Street. J.S. McMullen, Bank President, is pictured here with his wife and son in 1925. Center Hill was once an Agricultural boom town, that was known as the Green Bean Capital.

Charles
06/15/2020

Charles

Here is an almost complete set of Sumter (Sumpter) County Porcelain License Plates issued to residents of Sumter County before the state of Florida started issuing License Plates back in 1918. Still looking for a 1916 to complete the year set. Note the 2 different spellings of the 1915's, both types, Private & For Hire. Enjoy.

Construction for the jail began the same year as the Courthouse in 1912. It was finished in 1913 and was located behind ...
06/14/2020

Construction for the jail began the same year as the Courthouse in 1912. It was finished in 1913 and was located behind the partially finished Courthouse. The courthouse would be completed a year later in 1914. The Old Jail would be used for the next 80 years before being demolished in 1993.

There are very few pictures of this old building, and this is the only one in the Historical Society's Digital Archive. We would like to add more if possible. If you have any photos of the Old Sumter County Jail, feel free to post them in the comments.

An interesting piece of Sumter County Florida history. This key was found on the former site of the Sumterville Courthou...
06/05/2020

An interesting piece of Sumter County Florida history. This key was found on the former site of the Sumterville Courthouse. The Sumterville Courthouse was constructed in 1883. It was destroyed by fire in January of 1909.

This photos was taken of a local Alligator hunter posing with his kill from a hunt 100 years ago. We would like to ident...
05/25/2020

This photos was taken of a local Alligator hunter posing with his kill from a hunt 100 years ago. We would like to identify this man. Photo was taken in the Wildwood area of Sumter County in 1920.

Bushnell Plaza area 1914. We are looking for information about the two story house near the Courthouse shown in this pho...
05/19/2020

Bushnell Plaza area 1914. We are looking for information about the two story house near the Courthouse shown in this photo. The house was used for Fire Department training and burned down in the mid- 90's.

Oxford Depot 1900
05/10/2020

Oxford Depot 1900

History of the Beville Hotel Bushnell Florida.Write up  and photo submitted by: Liz Sumner
05/04/2020

History of the Beville Hotel Bushnell Florida.
Write up and photo submitted by: Liz Sumner

For those interested in learning more about the Historic Black Seminole Village of Pilaklikaha (Also known as Abraham’s ...
05/01/2020
Our Freedom Makes Us Different: The Story of Pilaklikaha and the Black Seminoles of Florida

For those interested in learning more about the Historic Black Seminole Village of Pilaklikaha (Also known as Abraham’s Old Town) check out this site:
https://pilaklikaha.omeka.net/

In 1992, Black Seminole descendant Miss Charles Emily Watson commented on the important role that freedom has played in shaping the history of the Black Seminoles. She stated that "we have never lost an awareness of our identity and a pride in our freedom, because it is our freedom that makes us dif...

As promised! A follow up for you, on the Thomas R. Pierce House! This is the floorplan and a little history on the struc...
04/28/2020

As promised! A follow up for you, on the Thomas R. Pierce House! This is the floorplan and a little history on the structure that is included in the NRHP report about the home.
We are still looking for more photos of this historic home and others, located in Sumter County. If you have photos to submit, please send them to our inbox, and we will save them to the archive. Thank you!

Write up was done by Liz Sumner

Have you ever wondered what an area used to look like? FloridaPast Has been hard at work adding fades to this site so lo...
04/27/2020
1895 - Historic Home of Thomas R. Pierce Bushnell FloridaPast, Bushnell, FL, US

Have you ever wondered what an area used to look like? FloridaPast Has been hard at work adding fades to this site so local residents can connect the past, to modern day locations here around Sumter County! He just completed this newest fade of the Thomas R. Pierce House.

http://www.whatwasthere.com/browse.aspx?#!/ll/28.664905825258,-82.1150963356352/id/91198/info/sv/zoom/14/

Check out this and other historical photos at WhatWasThere.com

A look at one of the most talked about houses in Bushnell... History compiled and submitted to the Historical Society by...
04/26/2020

A look at one of the most talked about houses in Bushnell...
History compiled and submitted to the Historical Society by Liz Sumner.
We will have more to post about this house soon, so be sure to follow for more history!

Sumter County Pioneer Spotlight: Granville BevillePhoto and history provided by Liz Sumner
04/24/2020

Sumter County Pioneer Spotlight:
Granville Beville
Photo and history provided by Liz Sumner

Liz
04/21/2020

Liz

Granville Beville Chapter UDC charter members - 1956

As promised, here is a look at the Bridge to Istachatta. Built around the same time as the Pemberton Iron Bridge it also...
04/17/2020

As promised, here is a look at the Bridge to Istachatta. Built around the same time as the Pemberton Iron Bridge it also fell into ruin and was torn down.

Happy Easter! Enjoy this old advertisement for spring hats from the 1930's. Hats like these, would have been worn by nem...
04/12/2020

Happy Easter! Enjoy this old advertisement for spring hats from the 1930's. Hats like these, would have been worn by nemours Sumter County ladies, on Easter Sunday.

Built in the very early 1900's Iron Bridge helped people cross the Withlacoochee River from Sumter and Hernando Counties...
04/09/2020

Built in the very early 1900's Iron Bridge helped people cross the Withlacoochee River from Sumter and Hernando Counties. Iron Bridge was used by wagons, early automobiles and foot traffic. It was never used by the railroad. The train crossed the river a little further to the south. At the time it was built, Pemberton Ferry was in a decline. The Depot had been moved from the town of Pemberton Ferry on the Sumter side of the river across to the town of Croom on the Hernando side, many years before. Trains no longer stopped in Pemberton Ferry, the area had become mainly overrun with Phosphate Mines. Pemberton Ferry had stopped being a destination and the local economy was suffering because of it. Today nothing is left of Pemberton Ferry and only a small piece of Iron Bridge can still be seen in the river.

We have found the location of the original, wooden Wildwood School building! After looking through the Board of Educatio...
04/05/2020

We have found the location of the original, wooden Wildwood School building! After looking through the Board of Education land grants, we found that the property (outlined in red) on Cleveland Ave. was school property as early as 1881. There isn't much information on the school other than it was torn down by the 1920s so a new building could be built on the same property. Looking at this 1941 aerial photo of the property, shows the newer building and also faint foundations that are the same shape as the original building. It can be seen here, located in the upper left hand corner of the property, outlined in yellow. Thank you to everyone who helped solve this mystery.

We know this is the 1890's era school building was located on Cleveland Ave. (Highway 466A) Wildwood Florida, but we don...
03/30/2020

We know this is the 1890's era school building was located on Cleveland Ave. (Highway 466A) Wildwood Florida, but we don't know the exact location. Can you help identify its location?

Bushnell: Some buildings are still recognizable, others have changed over the years or no longer exist.  What is somethi...
03/26/2020

Bushnell: Some buildings are still recognizable, others have changed over the years or no longer exist. What is something you remember from this period of Bushnell history?

We want to know what our followers would like to see or know more about. Please comment and tell us if you want to see m...
03/23/2020

We want to know what our followers would like to see or know more about. Please comment and tell us if you want to see more post about certain topics relating to Sumter County History.

A Wildwood Furniture Co. advertisement for hope chest published in the Wildwood Echo 1948
03/20/2020

A Wildwood Furniture Co. advertisement for hope chest published in the Wildwood Echo 1948

The Sumter County Historical Society will not have monthly meetings until our stay at home order has been lifted.  We ar...
03/17/2020

The Sumter County Historical Society will not have monthly meetings until our stay at home order has been lifted. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we feel it is important to do our part to keep our friends and neighbors safe during this public health emergency. Follow us, to stay to date on the status of next month's meeting. Thank you!

Sumter County's Woman Sheriff.After the unexpected death of Sheriff M.W. Baldree in December 1945, the citizens of Sumte...
03/08/2020

Sumter County's Woman Sheriff.
After the unexpected death of Sheriff M.W. Baldree in December 1945, the citizens of Sumter successfully petitioned the Governor to appoint Baldree's widow as the new sheriff. Mrs. Baldree was appointed to finished out her husband's term, then went on to be re-elected as Sheriff of Sumter County Florida, with 1336 votes.

The Bushnell Army Airfield was acquired by lease from various owners beginning in 1940. The airfield was constructed the...
03/06/2020

The Bushnell Army Airfield was acquired by lease from various owners beginning in 1940. The airfield was constructed the by the 841st Aviation Engineers Battalion.This aerial photo taken 1943 is the the only known photo showing an aircraft on one of the two Bushnell runways. An unidentified single-engine aircraft is visible in this photo at the very southern end of the runway. If you are interested in learning more about Sumter County's involvement in WWII, stop by Dade Battlefield this weekend March 7-8 for the World War II Commemorative Weekend. It starts at 10:00 am both days, and is $4 per-person. The Sumter County Historical Society will be there. Stop by and say hi!

Address

217 N Market St
Bushnell, FL
33513

Opening Hours

Friday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

+13527933962

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Sumter County Historical Society

The Sumter County Historical Society meets every 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Sumter County Museum (Old Library Building) located at 217 N. Market Street, Bushnell. Our museum is open to the public every Friday from 1-4pm.

Sumter County has a rich history, that we strive to collect, and communicate to the residents of the county. Because of this, the Sumter County Historical Society solicits historical information from the residents of the county so it can be passed on to the next generation. In particular we are interested in information on the following settlements: Edenfield, Cumpresco, Pemberton (Pemberton Ferry) Warnell, Wilson’s Corner, Croom-a-Coochee, The Green Settlement (Green Plantation), Beville’s Corner, Carlson’s Landing, Kelven, Jerry Taylor Landing, Tema, Abraham's Town (Pilaklikaha), Terrell, Scott’s Mills, Bamboo, Rerdell, Long Hammock, Rockhouse Gardens, and Cherry Lake. Additionally, the Sumter County Historical Society request copies of photographs of Sumter County. The older the better! Especially photographs of: Schools, Towns, Churches, Festivals/Fairs, Farm Life, Aerials, Exterior/Interior photos of historic buildings/homes, and any photos of the Sumter County Courthouses past and present. Courthouses were located in these following cities: Adamsville, Leesburg, Sumterville and Bushnell.

The mission statement of the Sumter County Historical Society is: “To collect, preserve, promote and communicate the history of Sumter County.” The Sumter County Historical Society, is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 member-supported organization, it is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of the County Of Sumter Florida. In fulfilling this goal, the Society will:


  • Collect, preserve and interpret genealogical, biographical, architectural, cultural and historical matter pertaining to the county of Sumter

  • Own, preserve and open to the public such historical buildings, as it shall acquire

  • Make its resources accessible to researchers, genealogists, and the general public

  • Hold meetings, create exhibits, sponsor programs and run special events for the education and enjoyment of its members, and the general public

  • Act in cooperation with public and private entities to promote awareness of and interest in Sumter's history and heritage and the present and future development of the county.

  • As an educational and research institution, Sumter County Historical Society teaches Sumter County history through collections, scholarly publications, and research services
  • Nearby museums


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    Comments

    There was a post of the Porcelain License Plates of Sumter County, What happened to it? Can't fine it!
    Here is an almost complete set of Sumter (Sumpter) County Porcelain License Plates issued to residents of Sumter County before the state of Florida started issuing License Plates back in 1918. Still looking for a 1916 to complete the year set. Note the 2 different spellings of the 1915's, both types, Private & For Hire. Enjoy.
    Sumter County Times, 3/28/2003 - Historic Sumter County Celebrates 150 Years - "Permit 206 was issued to the families of Elethorn and John Mobley on March 4, 1842." ... I'm looking for that now.
    Any old photo's out there of the St. Catherine railroad depot, or of St. Catherine in general?
    Articles about Sumter County History
    Granville Beville Chapter UDC charter members - 1956
    Hello from the greater Dunnellon historical society. We found a photo marked Christmas day parade. We think its in Dunnellon in the 1940 -50s but not sure. But the float was definitely dome in your area. Thought we would share with you.
    We are Celebrating our 108th Birthday with Homecoming at the York Street Church Of God in Bushnell on Sunday 11-18-2018 starting at 11:A.M. we will also be having our Thanksgiving Dinner following the morning service all are invited. 202 York Street Bushnell.
    I am looking for afind on The Historic Settlements much information as I can of the Tema Cemetery in Bushnell Florida North of Bushnell on highway 301 in Sumter County any and all information will be greatly appreciated thank alot.