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The town that came to be known as

Zephyrhills was first settled in 1882 with a

thriving lumber and turpentine industry.

It was originally called Abbott and later

Abbott Station when the Seaboard

Coastline Railroad established its

depot here.

In 1910 the town’s name was formally

changed to Zephyrhills after Howard

Jeffries, a retired Union Army captain,

established a retirement community for

other veterans called the Zephyrhills

Colony Company. It’s said that the name

was derived from the warm breezes,

zephyrs, which blew across the rolling hills.

During WWII, the U.S. Army built an

airport for training pilots. The airport is still

in use today for business and recreation

with a decided international flavor featuring

skydiving and cutting edge research into

civilian applications for unmanned aircraft.

The 1950s and 1960s saw an influx of

tourists, winter visitors and retirees, all

lured by the balmy weather, the low cost

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Connecting To The Past

of living and the tranquil surroundings.

Mobile home and RV parks sprouted up to

accommodate these new residents.

Zephyrhills Water Corporation began in

1961 when Don Robinson took advantage

of the area’s good-tasting water and

established a company bottling spring

water and shipping it all over the state.

The town soon became well-known as

“The City of Pure Water.”

To celebrate the town’s rich history,

Zephyrhills holds an annual Founders’

Day festival featuring a large parade,

vendors, children’s activities and local

entertainment. This year’s festival marked

the town’s 106th birthday.

Yes, over time Zephyrhills has grown and

has weathered many changes. The historic

district’s quiet streets and hometown

events are as cherished as the hustle and

bustle of the growing commercial district.

Zephyrhills maintains its connection to the

past so that it will never lose its distinct

sense of place, nor its strong sense

of community.

For more information on the history of Zephyrhills visit the Zephyrhills Depot Museum

at 39110 South Avenue or call (813) 780-0067.

www.ZephyrhillsChamber.org

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