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Welcome to Dade City

Dade City Historical Self-Guided Tour

Brought to you by the dade city merchants

Explore Dade City

There are plenty of activities to do downtown and so many historical hotspots to check out.

Preserving Our Proud Heritage

We are so proud of our past and can't wait to share it with all of you.

Learn About Our History

Immerse yourself in Dade City's rich history and learn about our past.

About Us

Proud Heritage, Promising Future

Dade City was initially incorporated in 1889. Dade City, a quintessential turn-of-the-century southern town, exudes charm and charisma that unveils Florida history! We invite you to experience it first-hand through the Dade City Merchant’s Self-Guided Historical tour.

Dade City Historical Self-Guided Tour
Intriguing History

Fascinating Facts About Dade City

Having such an extensive history means that we are able to tell more stories!

Yellow Fever Outbreak

Did you know in 1887 DADE CITY QUARANTINED ITSELF AGAINST ALL OUTSIDERS as yellow fever break-outs were huge in Tampa Bay? Guards were posted at entry points. They discovered a few years later, the culprit was the mosquito.

Marriage License

Prior to 1887, if you were getting a marriage license, you would have traveled to the county seat in Brooksville! In 1887 Pasco County was created from the southern one-third of Hernando County and Dade City was designated the temporary county seat!

Sears Roebuck & Company

1912, James Ambrose “J.A.” Peek ordered a SEARS ROEBUCK & COMPANY HOME kit from the Sears & Roebuck Catalog. Almost like Amazon in 2023, it arrived by freight train and was assembled at the SE corner of 5th Street & Church Avenue. Peek was Mayor of Dade City in 1918. (Sears sold 100,000 house kits from 1908 to 1940) You can see it as the Lighthouse Books ABAA!

WWII Observation Towers

World War II Observation towers in Dade City were manned around the clock by the observation corps, documenting planes in the air!

A Real Irony

A real irony that is unknown! As Dade City Mayor Frank Ashbrook was preparing for the 250 Nazi Prisoners of War who were being sent to Dade City during World War II, it was largely unknown that Ashbrook's own son, Corpora Frank Ashbrook, Jr., initially an MIA was placed by the Germans in Stalag Luft4, a Nazi Prison Camp in Poland. The Mayor's demeanor kept the community calm while he himself was dealing with real emotion!

"Walls of Isolations"

The opening of the National Highway (also known as Road 23) on November 23, 1923 brought 7,000 people to Dade City. Two invisible curtains dubbed the "Walls of Isolations" (constructed from the netting of the Sunnybrook Tobacco Company) were placed at the Hernando County Line and the Hillsborough County Line for the motorcades to christen. At the city yard on 10th Street, then the main park, Dade City hosted an enormous free barbecue for dignitaries and delegations from every neighboring county!


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A BIG Thank You to Our Sponsors!

None of this would be possible without our awesome volunteers and organizations who help to support us. We are grateful for your continued support and to everyone who has pledged a donation to help our cause. To see the people who made all of this possible behind the scenes, click here.

Make a

Your generous contribution helps us with the continual maintenance and upkeep that is required with this initiative. To make a donation, please email us at You can also call 813-469-8627. We greatly appreciate your support!

Become A

Thank you for your interest in becoming a sponsor!  For more information and to register, please email us at You can also call 813-469-8627. We greatly appreciate your support!

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