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
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
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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
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