Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
Out and about

Four-mile tour of downtown Brooksville offers glimpse into past


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BROOKSVILLE - History is at your feet, just steps away.

Brooksville dates back to the 1850s and the Civil War era. It is home to many historical homes and shops waiting to be discovered.

A walking tour of historical Brooksville is just the ticket. So lace up those comfortable shoes.

A complete listing of all of Brooksville's historic homes can be found on the City of Brooksville's website at http://www.ci.brooksville.fl.us/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=83&Itemid=234, with directions on what streets to travel and where to look.

Carole Knudson, information specialist at the Hernando County Tourism Bureau, says: "The tour is awesome. It takes you along many of the old brick streets; many canopied with the old oaks dripping with the hanging moss. The tour will take you along major street-ways and on the small secondary streets and avenues where the homes are situated. Several of the buildings are now 'homes' for local businesses. You will see large, ornate antebellum and Victorian-style homes, small Florida "cracker" homes, Craftsman-style bungalows, churches, restaurants and some surprises."

The entire route of the walking tour is about four miles.

"The full walking tour can be done in three to four hours of casual walking," Knudson says. "There is basically a north route and a south route, with the government center as the central point. Many people divide it into a couple of sessions. The walk is easy because the route is all paved."

A few highlights include the Jennings Estate at 48 Olive St., the Rogers House at 45 Olive St., and the Coogler House at 133 S. Brooksville Ave.

The Jennings Estate is a Queen Anne style home, built in 1888. It was once the home of William Sherman Jennings, elected governor of Florida in 1900.

The Rogers House, a Gothic Revival house built around 1890, was the home of Junius and Alice Rogers. They owned Rogers' Department Store on North Main Street, the forerunner of the Rogers' Christmas House.

The Coogler House was the home of Theodore Sylvester Coogler, a lawyer and educator from South Carolina, who was elected the county's first school superintendent in 1870. The home's impressive Colonial Revival fašade with two-story classical columns was built in 1913.

For more info, visit http://www.hernandotourism.com/places-things-of-interest-hernando/historic-brooksville-walking-tour/.

Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at toheatherfrancis (at) gmail.com.

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