Skip to main content

Florida Friday; Abandonment on the Brooksville Ridge

The Brooksville Ridge is a small plateau in Hernando and Pasco Counties which ranges approximately from Brooksville southeast to Dade City.  The Brooksville Ridge has several high points over 200 feet in elevation which are among the highest in peninsular Florida.  The Brooksville Ridge has various former State Road alignments and communities that have largely disappeared to time.



Ayers is located at the corner of US Route 41 and Hernando County Route 576/Ayers Road near Masaryktown.  The first reference to Ayers I could find is from a 1936 Hernando County Map where it appears as a siding of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad at the corner of US 19/41 and Ayers Road.

1936 Hernando County Road Map 

Given rail sidings have had a reduced purpose to exist since the rise of diesel locomotives suffice to say there is quite a bit of abandoned commercial/industrial structures to be found in Ayers.






Interestingly when Hernando County Route 576 original used Old Ayers Road. Comparing topographical maps on historic aerials it seems that Old Ayers Road was in use as a through route at least until 1988.





To the south at the intersection of Pasco County Routes 577 Lake Lola Road and Pasco County Route 578/St Joe Road is location of what was St. Joesph.  St. Joesph was plotted in the early 1890s and had a post office from 1893 to 1918.  According to aerial and topographical maps of the area it seems CR 578 used to traverse through St. Joseph via Old St. Joe Road until at least the mid-1950s.

'

Originally FL 41 which would become Pasco County Route 41 traversed through Jessamine in addition to Blanton.  Jessamine is located at the intersection of James Road and Blanton Road on the south shore of Jessamine Lake.  According to topographical maps on historicaerials.com FL 41/CR 41 was shifted north out of Jessamine onto Blanton Road sometime between 1988 to 2012.





According to Fivay.org Jessamine was settled in 1888 and was centered around Jessamine Gardens.  The last recorded reference to the community seems to have come from the Tampa Bay Tribune in 1919.

Fivay.org on Jessamine

East of Jessamine FL 41/CR 41 would have traversed through Blanton on what is now Spring Valley Road.  The last time I see the Spring Valley Road alignment of FL 41 is on a 1962 topographical map.

Blanton unlike many of the communities I listed above still appears much like a late 19th Florida community. 



Blanton was settled on the west side Blanton Lake in 1883.  Blanton was moved to the present site in 1887 when the Orange Belt Railroad was built in the area according to fivay.org.  The last recorded reference to Blanton I could find on Fivay.org was from 1932 when a store burned down.

Fivay.org on Blanton

Both Blanton and Jessamine appear along FL 41 on the 1956 State Highway Map below.

1956 Florida State Highway Map


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route.






The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 accord…

Trans-Sierra Highway Passes; Sherman Pass Road and Signed County Route J41

Probably the most unique Trans-Sierra Highway Pass I encountered in 2016 was the only one that isn't a State Maintained Roadway; Sherman Pass Road and Signed County Route J41.






Getting to Sherman Pass Road requires traveling deep in to Sequoia National Forest.  From the western Sierras the easiest routes are from California State Route 190 or from Signed County Route J22 east of CA 99.  When I was on my way to Sherman Pass I ended up taking J22 in Tulare County from CA 99 east on Sierra Avenue and Avenue 56 to Fountain Springs.  In Fountain Springs J22 has an eastern terminus but the road continues into Sequoia National Forest and through California Hot Springs as Mountain Route 56.





California Hot Springs essentially is a ghost town located at 3,081 feet above sea level.  California Hot Springs opened up 1882 as a health resort which grew into a small community with a shopping center.  The California Hot Springs Resort burned down in 1932 followed by the shopping center in 1968.  T…

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 2; Tehachapi to Bakersfield

After completing California State Route 155 and CA 202 I found myself near Tehachapi Pass.  That being the case I trip back down to the Central Valley on CA 58 would have been mundane so I opted for the routing of US Route 466 to through Bakersfield.






This is the 2nd Part to the US Route 466 Legacy Series.  The first entry covered California State Route 46 and the overall history of US 466.

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 1; California State Route 46

The routing of  US 466 compared to modern CA 58 is substantially different from Tehachapi west to Bakersfield.  Heading westward US 466 would have diverged from CA 58 onto Tehachapi Boulevard passing through the community of Monolith before entering the city of Tehachapi proper.  Within Tehachapi US 466 turned south on Curry Street and west on Valley Boulevard.





Since I was on CA 202 I started my trek on the routing of US 466 at Valley Boulevard and Tucker Road.






US 466 diverged from Valley Boulevard and CA 202 at Woodford-Tehachapi Road heading …