A community that stands today as a symbol of ingenuity and hard work, Masaryktown also was begun during the boom periods. The vision of constructing a town on the Hernando-Pasco border was conceived in New York City, in 1924, by Joseph Joscak, editor of a Czechoslovakian newspaper. It was to be named in honor of Thomas G. Masaryk (1850-1937), first President of Czechoslovakia and resistance leader during World War I. Joscak and others formed the Hernando Plantation Company, composed solely of Czechoslovaks, they purchased land and developed the town by purchasing 24,000 acres; 9,500 in Hernando and 14,500 in neighboring Pasco on December 1, 1924. It was to be â€œa modern town, set in the midst of nearby 10,000 acres of rich arable land ... (situated) within six miles of Brooksville on the State Highway Road Number 5 South of the City.â€ The streets were to be named after Presidents of the United States.
The first contingent of settlers came in mid-1925 and immediately set out to work constructing homes and a large hotel to accommodate future newcomers. The Masaryk Hotel opened on January 1, 1926, and the Landmark still stands today as The Masaryktown Cafe. The Hernando Plantation Company purchased an o1d sawmill located in the area and supplied building materials to the settlers at cost. It also constructed a rock crusher plant to prepare limestone for roads and agricultural use. By early 1926, 800 acres had been cleared and Masaryktown then had twenty-four dwellings in place and about forty-three families. The hotel was often filled beyond its capacity with some recent arrivals sleeping in tents and in an old abandoned black church. Thomas Hafner was elected as the settlement's first Mayor in 1926. The first civic group was a citizenship club, which was organized to instruct the residents concerning their American privileges and responsibilities.
Masaryktown's growth was rapid during the spring and summer of 1926 and by August of that year, it contained upwards of 300 inhabitants. Masaryktown remained small during the Depression years, and only thirty-six families lived there in 1941, with few changes taking place. It revived ruing the 1950's and 1960's, as chicken farming emerged as a firm economic base for expansion, and when a number of retirees settled there. In fact, so many of the latter subsequently moved into town that by1963 they made up more than one-half of its inhabitants.
Excerpts from A History of Hernando County 1840-1976 by Richard J. Stanaback.
Next Board Meeting - November 20, 2018
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Board of Directors:
President - Rebecca Adair
Vice President - Angel Schwieterman
Treasurer - Randi Hogan
Secretary - Debbi Marsh