Brooksville, Florida

Brooksville, Florida is just a few miles east of Weeki Wachee Springs on the other side of Spring Hill. 

It is within a long commuter's drive of Tampa and an ever increasing number of Tampa workers are making the trip.

Although a medium sized town, it is easy to get lost in Brooksville because of the many state and federal highways that meander through town in a most unusual way.

For example, US-41 comes into town from the southwest, then turns east through town before going north again.  US-98 comes in from the southeast, then turns west before going north again.

The highway network in Brooksville, FloridaThe Highways That Go Through Brooksville, Florida

State Road 50 bypasses the town on its south side, but State Road 50A goes directly through town.

All of these highway confluences result in a series of one way streets that locals have no problems with but that confuse tourists.

How Brooksville, Florida Got Its Name

Charles Sumner was a United States Senator from Massachusetts in the years before the American Civil War. He was an outspoken opponent of slavery, and known for his fiery speeches on the subject.

Preston Brooks was a congressman from South Carolina, and an equally outspoken advocate of slavery.

One day in 1856, Sumner gave a speech in the Senate that was especially insulting to the South. Brooks savagely attacked Sumner on the Senate floor and nearly beat him to death with a cane. Sumner missed the next 3 years of service in the Senate, and needed extensive therapy to survive his injuries.

Hernando County CourthouseHernando County Courthouse in Brooksville, Florida

Brooksville Florida is named for Preston Brooks. His attack on the hated Yankee senator made him a hero in the South, and Brooksville was very much a southern city in the years during and after the civil war.

Confederate Monument in Brooksville, FloridaConfederate Monument in Brooksville, Florida

The weather worn statue of a confederate soldier still stands guard in front of the Hernando County courthouse in downtown Brooksville.

Mansion in Brooksville, FloridaMansion in Brooksville, Florida on Brooksville Avenue

The violent act that inspired the town's name does not fit with its peaceful demeanor of today. Lovely ancient oaks line the brick streets. Grand old well maintained southern mansions stand proudly in quiet neighborhoods.

Brooksville AvenueBrooksville Avenue, Brooksville, Florida

The downtown area has not been gentrified like in so many Florida towns.  It is a collection of interesting old buildings and quite a few that have seen better days.

It's a real town where people live, work and play.

Brooksville Avenue homeHome on Brooksville Avenue

Unlike most of table-flat Florida, Brooksville and Hernando County have many rolling hills. Some of them are among the highest elevations in Florida.

Chinsegut Hill Manor House, Brooksville, Florida

One of the most interesting attractions in Brooksville is Chinsegut Hill Manor House, known locally also Mount Airy, Snow Hill or just The Hill.

This is a historic site that was originally the plantation of Colonel Byrd Pearson from South Carolina who named his sprawling estate "Mount Airy".  The house was partially completed before Florida became a state.  The property has had other uses and names over the years.

Right downtown, across from the County Courthouse, is the Main Street Eatery.

This homey little restaurant seats only a few people, and serves wonderful lunches. It has been under the Bell family ownership since 1989, and the owner is Peggy Bell.

One of their specialties is a multi-bean Cajun soup that is one of the best dishes in the State of Florida. The soup alone is worth a trip to Brooksville.

The friendly, laid back residents of Brooksville are another good reason to visit.


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