When Elvis Came to Town



Citrus County Historical Society

Welcome to the Citrus County Historical Society

There are still tickets available for the Music at the Museum concert on Thursday evening with the Jazz Phools. "The Jazz Phools" are a group of six musicians devoted to jazz of the 20s and 30s. Tickets are $25 and include appetizers; a cash bar is available and doors open at 6 pm. For more information, please call 352-341-6428.


The Citrus County Historical Society is pleased to announce the Coffee and Conversation Speakers Series at the Old Courthouse Museum featuring Michael Petellat. Please join us for a book signing and learn the process of how he wrote and had his book The Spirit of Crystal River published.              


The program will take place on Thursday, October 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the second floor courtroom at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum with author Michael Petellat. For more information, or to reserve a seat, please call the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum at   (352) 341-6428.

Petellat was born in Sarasota, Florida. He is an outdoorsman at heart, loving to hunt, explore the swamps, and fish. He served in the Army and eventually retired from the Clearwater Fire Department. Over the course of his career, he was the first Citrus County Fire Administrator as well as a park ranger at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park.

The book begins on April 19, 1861, when President Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of Southern states that had seceded from the Union. The stage was set for men to use stealth to get wares to Cuba and supplies to the sons of the South. Down in Crystal River, Florida, people were doing all they could to stay alive, and the businessmen to do all they could to make money.

Two businessmen needed to transport goods by ship, and Captain Jim Blackworth was called. He had a new scow called The Spirit, and he knew his way around the dangerous Florida coast. He claimed that, at night, no one would know where he was; the Indians called it the "art of invisibility." But first, the captain needed a fourth crew member to succeed.

He found what he was looking for in a young man named Red, tough and self-sufficient. Soon, the captain and his crew set out on the dangerous adventures of the high sea while the Civil War raged back home. Can they avoid detection as they help Crystal River's good people survive, or will an ocean battle sink The Spirit and her dedicated crew?

The Museum is opened Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Learn about the Relaxed, Laid-Back Citrus County Community of Ozello

Ozello - - Check out the off-the-beaten-path community of Ozello by viewing the You Tube video on the Gems of the Nature Coast and with our partners on WYKE.

The latest exhibition in the John Murray Davis Rotating Exhibit Gallery - Water's Journey: A South Florida Ecosystem

Exhibition on display through mid - November! 

INVERNESS - - The current exhibition on display in the traveling/rotating gallery at the Museum is titled, Water's Journey: A South Florida Ecosystem.  This exhibition has been brought to the museum from the South Florida Water Management District in collaboration with the Museum Exhibits and Program Team committee. We ask that visitors, while viewing this exhibit, consider the comparisons and differences between Citrus County and its water bodies as a microcosm of the south Florida ecosystem. The South Florida Water Managment District describes the Everglades, "as once covering almost 11,000 square miles of South Florida. Just a century ago, water flowed down the Kissimmee River into Lake Okeechobee, then south through the Everglades to Florida Bay. Because of efforts to drain the marshland for agriculture, development, and flood control, the Everglades is half the size it was a century ago. The "River of Grass" is a mosaic of sawgrass marshes, freshwater ponds, prairies and forested uplands that support a rich plant and wildlife community. Renowned for its wading birds and wildlife, the Everglades is home to dozens of federally threatened and endangered species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, snail kite, and wood stork. The mix of salt and fresh water makes it the only place on Earth where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side." Much work is being done to restore this great American treasure.

Today, Citrus County, like many other areas of Florida with its abundant water resources, is at a crossroads. The county, though mostly surrounded by water except for the southern boundary, has seven rivers and its own "River of Grass"; the Tsala Apopka chain of lakes which is made up of the Hernando, Inverness, and Floral City pools of water bodies. The Withlacoochee River meanders its way north from the Green Swamp in Polk County to the Gulf of Mexico in the northwest point of Citrus County. Just south of where the Withlacoochee meets the Gulf there are three first magnitute rivers; the Crystal, the Homosassa and the Chassahowitzka. In addition, to three smaller rivers the Salt, the St. Martins and the Halls rivers all run between Crystal and Homosassa rivers. Here too, much work is taking place in all these natural water resources which are in peril of being lost for our future generations. 

Please come and explore and discover through this exhibition the natural wonders of our state and find out what you can do to make a difference.

For large groups, Thompson recommends calling to schedule a tour. The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum can be reached for more information at (352)341.6436 or e-mail katherine.turner@citrusbocc.com.

Citrus County Historical Society

The Citrus County Historical Society, Inc. (CCHS, INC.) was originally formed in 1963, and incorporated in 1979. Operating as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, it accepts tax-deductible donation in the active pursuit to "preserve and further the knowledge of the history and pre-history of Citrus County and nearby areas."

Since 1985, the Citrus County Historical Society has been located in The Old 1912 County Courthouse, located at 1 Courthouse Square, Inverness, Florida. The historic Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.Call (352) 341-6428 to order historic photographs for your home, office or business. Please consider becoming a member and volunteering with one of our many programs, events or councils. 

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