History Springs Forth in Citrus County

By: Jodi Mailander Farrell

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When the Southwest Florida Water Management District decided to clean the spring-fed source of the Chassahowitzka River, they expected to find algae and refuse – not thousands of years of history.

A four-month dredging effort at the spring 70 miles north of Tampa has carefully pulled out a Suwannee point that likely dates to 10,000 years ago, a rare, intact Pasco Plain ceramic vessel dating back 2,000 years to the Woodland period and pottery brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers.

Also discovered: a toy cap gun dating to the mid-20th century and soda bottles dating back to the early 1900s.

During the Chassahowitzka Springs Restoration Project, underwater archaeologists have discovered thousands of artifacts that span 10,000 years of Florida’s history – from the Paleoindians to the Seminoles to the Spanish to Floridians of today.

To view some of these amazing artifacts in person, visit the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, 1 Courthouse Square, in Inverness.


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