1975 – FHP Inglis Post Dedication

history – The dedication plaque reads: Memoriam – Mamie O Neeld – Dedicated by – Jennings A Neeld – Louis O Neeld..This bronze marker is on the front of the old Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Station about a mile north of Inglis on the West side of Hwy 19. The small concrete block building with a tall radio tower was built in 1975 and served as headquarters for the local Inglis FHP until it was discontinued. It was taken over as a Levy County Sheriff’s Office sub station in the south end of Levy County. Retired FHP officer Milton Johnson began his FHP career in this building. Behind the LCSO sub station is the base for our Levy County Ambulance Service. Before 1975 land for the building was donated by brothers Jennings and Louis Neeld and dedicated to their mother Mamie O Neeld. At the dedication (l to r) was Jennings A Neeld (a Tampa police officer), Senator Randolph Hodges, name unknown in hat, Senator Etter Usher, Levy County Commissioner Louis O Neeld, State Representative Frank B Marshburn. L O Neeld represented the south end of the Levy County and was responsible for promoting Hwy 121 from Lebanon Station to Williston and Butler Rd through the Gulf Hammock WMA .See the story about Lucille Neeld’s99 year birthday in this paper. If you know the unidentified man’s name or a correction please contact The Newscaster.

1893 – Red Level Church

If you have lived in the area more than a few years you will remember the old Red Level Baptist Church that sat west of Hwy 19 in the Hollinswood pasture at Red Level. The $1000 building project started in 1893 by 46 men and women who originally went to the Crystal River Baptist Church. It was used as a House of Worship until 1953 when a new building was constructed at the intersection of Hwy 19 and Dunnellon Road which eventually burned resulting in the present church east of Hwy 19 on Dunnellon Road.
This old original church my Alabama Burke grandparents went to when they came to this area when cedar logging and palm bud cutting was a major industry in the early 1900’s was used to store hay in it’s final years in Red Level. This old structure was given new life when it was relocated to the South Florida Fairgrounds Yesteryear Village in West Palm Beach, refurbished and is part of an open air living history village where history and lifestyles from the 1890’s to the 1940’s is displayed, lived and taught. (picture from Citrus County History Society.

1961 – Elvis Films At Bird Creek Bridge

This is the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley coming to Yankeetown to film a major portion of Follow That Dream. The movie is based on the 1959 book Pioneer Go Home, a satirical novel by Richard P Powell. Elvis played Toby Kwimper who came to Florida with Pop Kwimper (Arthur O’Connell) bringing along some kids and squatting on property that evolves into a government fight. Pretty 19 year old Holly (Anne Helm) is along for the ride with 2 smaller children they picked up. These pictures are scenes from the movie with Elvis and Anne sitting on the east side of Bird Creek Bridge and on the man made for the movie beach which was located on the NE side the bridge, now owned by the Felburn Foundation. Some locals were stand ins and some were lucky enough to get to play football with Elvis or talk to him. (If you look in the background you will recognize the row of palm trees which many folks have painted or photographed north of the bridge.)

Citrus County Confederate Soldiers

This is a gathering of Citrus County Cenfederate Veterans from sometime between 1901 and 1909. Location the picture was taken from is unknown. If more info is known please contact The Newscaster.
Back row L-R; Mrs. George Dame of Inverness, W. H. H. Witten of Inverness, Reverend Eugene Higgins of Floral City, J. C. Priest of Stage Pond, Richard B. Waller of Istachatta, George W. Butler the Chronicle editor in Inverness, Charles Peterson of Floral City, Obediah E. Edwards, Red Level and J. J. Brown.  
Center row L-R: Mrs. Louis Thompson, E. Y. SMith of Micanopy, Mercy of Floral City, Jacob T. Landrum of Stage Pond, Euguene Zimmerman of Floral CIty, Chambers Graham of Inverness and Alfred Tompkins of Inverness.
Bottom row L-R: Mrs. George J. Boswell and George Priest. From Florida State Archives.

1937 – Hidden Jail Room at Levy Courthouse

Helen Addison in the map room in the Bronson Courthouse brought to my attention last week an old door I had never noticed before in their office. I thought it was interesting to share it. At one time this was the old jail and the heavy metal door over in one corner of the room had never been changed out when remodeling took place. She had no idea what the door was for but it was used in lock up and presently opened into another room next to a modern installed doorway. The red brick courthouse itself was built in 1937 in the Classic Revival style according to records. (The courthouse will be featured at a later date).

1965 Inglis Post Office

The Inglis Florida United States Post Office was located in this building from 1965 to 1983. The building is located on the corner of Hwy 40 W and Risher Ave. Today it is the location of Kar Parts of Inglis owned by Ken Moran. The post office relocated here from a small real estate building owned by Dewey Allen at the north side of the entrance to Palm Point on Hwy 19 which served a dual purpose. Vivian Allen was postmaster and made the move to the new office where eventually Eva K Hawthorne and then Sally Price later served. In 1983 it moved to the present location on Inglis Ave. The Inglis office originally served about 350 box customers and about 125 on a highway contract route (HC01) that started out in Dunnellon, The route went up Hwy 336 called the Tidewater Route, to Lebanon Station, then down Hwy 19, picking up customer mail at the Inglis office and delivering to HC01 customers of Inglis all the way back to Dunnellon.

1900’s Phosphate River Barge

During the early 1900’s during the boom, phosphate was brought by train to Inglis, loaded on barges by the old Florida Power Steam Plant and pushed down the Withlacoochee River by tug boat. The product was off loaded at a place in the Gulf called the 5 Fathom Pool and put on ocean going steamers to Europe.

Centuries Old Cypress Tree Survives Goethe Fire

Among the thousands of acres of woods that encompass the Goethe Forest there is a tree known as “The Goethe Giant” that was spared in the recent forest fires. One mile north of Lebanon Station and 3.2 miles west on Cow Creek Rd is the Big Cypress Boardwalk, a pathway leading into the woods that turns into an elevated boardwalk and continues .25 mile walk (about 5 minutes) to this humble record of a tree that has stood in this place for 907 years. (the rule of thumb for estimating the age of a cypress tree is 100 years for each foot diameter per Cypress Swamps, Ewel and Odom, ed, 1986, University of Florida Press.) The Bald Cypress circumference is 342″, diameter 109″, height 105′ with a crown spread of 51′. Going on any State Forest road requires a yearly permit of approximately $30 for all state forest or pay a $2 per person fee at one of the 3 gates by dropping an honor envelope in a slot. The nearest to Lebanon Station is on Hwy 337 just north of 336 east of the triangle of 121/19 and 336. This road will soon have a pay entry box. This is a must see for those who love nature and the walk has identifying markers of other trees and the story of the transition from the upland pine flatwoods to the flood plain swamp. Photo and story by Sally Price

50s Boat Ramp – Yankeetown

This picture is a typical scene from the 50’s and 60’s of the public boat ramp just west of the U S Coast Guard Station Yankeetown and across Riverside Drive from the Parson’s Memorial Church  Past generations made their living off of the water and had to have a place to dock their boats if they were not lucky enough to live on the water. This public basin was dug out and shared by many. This picture was before the barge canal  was dug and our Withlacoochee River dissected with our flow passing through a bypass spillway. The river was very tidal and this picture is testament to the water hyacinths and healthy crop of grass on the bottom at low tide. Today the river bottom is like a barren desert from a diver’s point of view and many folks believe it is attributed to the herbicide spraying in Lake Rousseau backwaters

1950s Homosassa Springs Park

The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is like the beautiful butterfly that started off as a cocoon. Back in the 1020’s Bruce Hoover acquired the springs property and built a bridge for viewing the beauty and fish it attracted. In 1940 Elmo Reed opened and renamed the area Nature’s Giant Fish Bowl. In the 1950’s the park was sold to David Newell who built the 3 story aerial viewing tower. In 1963 Bruce Norris as Norris Cattle Company bought the property and had his glass viewing bowl made and slid into the springs using banana peels and changed the name to Homosassa Attraction. In 1984 Citrus County bought the attraction and in Jan 1989 it became a State Park. The most recent name change dedication was for Ellie Schiller from the Felburn Foundation, the woman who had an incredible love of nature and made many donations to her favored park before her too early passing..There were several other owners along the way. Photo courtesy Florida DEP collection.

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