About Hernando

Today, Hernando County is the heart of Florida's Nature Coast. But there was a time when Hernando County's borders encompassed almost the entire body of what is now Florida's Nature Coast.

Hernando de Soto, the county's namesake, first explored this region circa 1540. Three-hundred years later a settlement, Fort Desoto, was established as a safe haven from Seminole Indians and a trading center near in what is now the county seat of Brooksville. At the time, Hernando County included all of present-day Citrus and Pasco counties, as well as parts of Hillsborough, Alachua and Orange counties.

Two years later, in 1845, Florida was admitted to the Union, and in 1856, Brooksville became the county seat. There were about 1,000 people, mostly farmers and cattlemen, living in Hernando County at that time. But it was not until well after the Civil War, in 1887, that the Florida Legislature divided Hernando into three counties, Citrus to the north and Pasco to the south.

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