Glimpse Florida’s ancient past at the Green Swamp

Living on Florida’s densely populated coast, it’s almost impossible to believe that a 37,350-acre wilderness exists just an hour or so inland. Known as the West Tract of the 110,000-acre Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, this environmentally protected land offers glimpses of what Florida used to look like, and, hopefully, will look like way into the future. This important natural treasure … [Read more...]

Larkin’s legacy goes beyond ‘tough guy’ reputation

William M. Larkin’s reputation for being a tough character outlasted his lifetime. Known as “The Meanest Man in Pasco County,” some people still recall that moniker applied to the Dade City man, nearly a half century after his death in 1973. Larkin reinforced that image by keeping a single-shot .22 rifle in the gun rack of his truck — a statement that often left a lasting impression with … [Read more...]

Tree farm plays starring role in annual tradition

The first thing you need to know about the Ergle Family Christmas Tree Farm is, you have to be going there to get there. Nobody leaves the house for a gallon of milk, or a package of screws, or to drop off a donation at the neighborhood church and comes home with an Ergle tree. No, unlike the neighborhood big-box retailer and those ubiquitous pop-up lots, experiencing Debbie and Tony … [Read more...]

Local man was ‘Destined to Serve’

Whether in law enforcement, military or ministry, Barry White has always been destined to serve. In 2014, the Land O’ Lakes resident detailed his 37-plus years in public service in a self-published 218-page memoir, “Destined to Serve.” In the book, White chronicles key moments during his work for the Tampa Police Department, the Florida Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Army. “It’s … [Read more...]

Bradley Massacre makes history in Pasco

A Seminole war party led the attack Various accounts, published on the historic website Fivay.org, tell the story of the Bradley Massacre, reportedly the last Seminole war party attack on a settler’s homestead east of the Mississippi River. Capt. Robert Duke Bradley was one of the first white settlers to live south of the Withlacoochee River, according to those reports. He wasn’t feeling … [Read more...]

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions reveal Florida’s wild side

Motorists zipping along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando can't see from their ribbon of asphalt how close they are to the wild side of Florida. But the Green Swamp is all around. Often called the "liquid heart" of the state, the swamp is headwaters for four major rivers: Peace, Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha and Hillsborough. Natural habitat, hiking trails, blueways and wildlife … [Read more...]