Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former students of Spring Lake School to get together

Students around 1905 gather outside the old Spring Lake School building, which was replaced in 1919. The school, founded in 1884, closed for good in 1967. 

Special to the Times

Students around 1905 gather outside the old Spring Lake School building, which was replaced in 1919. The school, founded in 1884, closed for good in 1967. 

SPRING LAKE — Spring Lake is often referred to as "God's country" because "it's so beautiful," Fred Blackburn says.

Blackburn's family has lived in the rolling hills of southeast Hernando County since the 1870s, and, like many families in the area, the Blackburns have held onto their roots. Several generations have grown up and grown old in the rural community.

All of which makes Saturday's first-ever Spring Lake School reunion a family reunion of sorts.

"It's for everyone who ever went to school there," said Blackburn, who has helped organize the event.

Spring Lake School was founded in 1884, and classes were held in an old Methodist church until Frank Saxon donated an acre in 1889 for a schoolhouse. The school had three classrooms and initially housed grades 1 through 12. Later, only students from first through eighth grades attended, and eventually first through sixth grades. The building was demolished in 1919 and replaced by another school. Spring Lake School closed in 1967 because of consolidation, and students were sent to finish their education in Brooksville.

The property was purchased and maintained by the Methodist church. The school building eventually was torn down.

Blackburn, 66, said that over the past few years, several longtime Spring Lake residents began talking about having a reunion, "while we're all still around."

Among those who have worked to put together the event are George Lee, who has written a history of the school, and Alice Black.

For students who attended Spring Lake School, the reunion will be an opportunity to recall their youthful days — a time when Hernando County had far fewer people and the local economy was driven by agriculture.

Blackburn said attending a small school in a place like Spring Lake was quite different from the educational experience students get today.

"Everyone knew everyone else," he said. "They become lifelong friends. In a small community, there's a closeness, a spirit among the people that you don't have in bigger schools and bigger classes."

Many former students have remained in the area. Those who left and became successful in other places did so, Blackburn said, because of lessons learned in Spring Lake: "to be self-reliant, self-disciplined and self-dependent."

The reunion will be at the historic Spring Lake Community Center building, which served as the school's cafeteria. It will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. People will have an opportunity to mingle from 10 a.m. to noon. At noon, there will be a group photo and then lunch, which will include chicken pilau, coleslaw and green beans. The afternoon will be spent reminiscing, eating watermelon and swapping stories about "the good old days," Blackburn said.

There is no cost to attend the reunion, but donations are being accepted to help with expenses. Anyone planning to attend is asked to call Black at (352) 796-0023.

Spring Lake School reunion

When: 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday • Where: Spring Lake Community Center building • Cost: Free, but donations are being accepted to help with expenses. • RSVP: Anyone planning to attend is asked to call Alice Black at (352) 796-0023.

Former students of Spring Lake School to get together 05/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011 8:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Apollo Beach woman dies while scalloping in Crystal River


    An Apollo Beach woman died on Monday while scalloping with her husband in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Crystal River, according to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

  2. Editorial: Trump's vague, shifting strategy for Afghanistan


    President Donald Trump's strategy on Afghanistan makes two things abundantly clear: He has no better idea than Barack Obama how to break a political stalemate between the Afghan government and the insurgents, and he intends to turn over the losing military campaign to the ex-generals who have chewed on this for years …

    President Trump failed to make a convincing case for deepening America’s involvement in Afghanistan.
  3. Three students arrested over BB gun at Brandon middle school


    BRANDON — McClane Middle School was put on lockdown Tuesday after the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received social media reports of a gun on campus, the agency said.

    McLane Middle School in Brandon. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  4. Bill Nelson: Confederate statues belong in museum


    A day after saying decisions on Confederate monuments should be left to "communities," Sen. Bill Nelson changed his stance:

  5. Missouri governor halts man's execution after DNA questions


    ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens halted Tuesday's scheduled execution of condemned killer Marcellus Williams after DNA raised questions about his guilt.

    This February 2014 photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Marcellus Williams. [Missouri Department of Corrections via AP]