Hernando de Soto Mural
100 S. Main St., Brooksville, FL 34601
Bobby Meadows Printing
On back of building on Liberty St. side
Mural Creation Sponsors
Bobby Meadows, Brooksville Printing
Photo Credit: Photographs marked “John Cornell” on this page are the property of John H. Cornell, Jr. and can be used by the Hernando County Fine Arts Council. Any other use of the photographs must have his permission (email@example.com).
History in Bayport
Designed and painted by Bobby Meadows in 2015. It depicts Hernando de Soto and native-Americans from Sarasota who came up and traded at Bayport with the citizens and military. In 1539 Hernando de Soto’s expedition lands in Tampa Bay and marched through several villages. The first was at the Plain of Guacozo, thought to be on a north-south
trail near Dade City in Pasco County. It was at this location, about fifty miles from their campsite on the Little Manatee River and forty miles from Tocobaga, that the Spaniards
saw the first native cornfields in Florida. Another village, Vicela, is thought to have been near modern Istachatta in northeast Hernando County. European artifacts have been found at sites all around Tampa Bay and at sites in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties. With the incursion of Europeans, the relatively small native population was hard hit by disease and warfare, a double blow. Following de Soto’s army’s excursion through the region, the Spaniards never again mounted an overland expedition to Tampa Bay or the area immediately to the north. Perhaps they knew what those sixteenth-century armies had done to the native populations.
On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state in the Union with William D. Moseley being elected the first Governor. Hernando County was established as DeSoto County on February 24, 1843 two years prior to Statehood. Shortly afterward it was renamed Benton County in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, US Senate, Missouri; who had sponsored the 1842 Florida Armed Occupation Act. After his stance on the Missouri Compromise, which angered some of the Florida Politicos, Benton County was once again renamed on December 24, 1850 in honor of Hernando DeSoto, this time taking DeSoto’s first name.
Mr. Meadows was also the owner of the building, which was built in 1885 by Wesley Grimsley and was originally known as Grimsley Country Store, later called the Pantry. In 1977 it became Brooksville Printers. Bobby Meadows passed away not long after the mural was completed.