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

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it. 


The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use.  The…

California Ferry Routes; CA 84 over the Real McCoy II Ferry and CA 220 over the J-Mack Ferry

This past weekend I had was up in the Sacramento River Delta and drove both State Highway Ferry Routes; California State Route 84 via the Real McCoy Ferry and CA 220 via the J-Mack Ferry.


Both State Highway Ferry routes crosses the waters of the Sacramento River Delta to Ryer Island.  My approach to Ryer Island began in Solano County on CA 12 heading westbound over the Rio Vista Bridge.  As traffic is approaching the western flank of the Rio Vista Bridge there is an exit for the north segment of CA 84.  Said CA 84 exit directs traffic to downtown Rio Vista and Ryer Island.  Oddly CA 84 isn't signed on westbound CA 12 but is on eastbound CA 12.



CA 84 is actually signed north of Rio Vista just not very well.  I only encountered two reassurance shields; the first being below the Rio Vista Bridge.  Traffic on CA 84 is advised that Ryer Island is only two miles to the north.





Most of the signage on CA 84 is old and still has button-copy.  Sacramento is signed as 36 miles northward from…

California State Route 99/Old US Route 99 Freeway Part 2; US Route 50/California State Route 51 south to California State Route 145

Earlier this month I drove back from home from Sacramento on the California State Route 99/Old US 99 freeway.


This blog serves as the Second of Two posts in the California State Route 99/Old US 99 Freeway series.  This entry covers the route of CA 99 southbound from US 50/CA 51 in Sacramento to CA 145 in Madera.  Part One covered the route of the CA 99 freeway northbound from I-5 in Wheeler Ridge to CA 145 in Madera and can be found here:

California State Route 99/Old US Route 99 Freeway Part 1; Interstate 5 north to California State Route 145

My approach to the CA 99 Freeway was from US 50 eastbound in Sacramento in central Sacramento County.  The exit for the CA 99 Freeway south bound splits for the I-80 Business Loop/CA 51 northbound.  CA 99 is actually multiplexed south through Sacramento on I-5 and US 50 before it becomes a stand alone route south of US 50/CA 51.





The I-80 Business Loop/CA 51 Freeway was once part of US 99E.  I wrote about the history of the I-80 BL/CA 51 Freeway i…