Who we are
Passionate About Our History and Heritage
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.
The settlement that was named Fort Dade began to evolve when James Gibbons was issued a land patent for 160 acres in 1842, although indigenous peoples inhabited the area prior to 10,000 B.C.E. The lure of resources such as the Withlacoochee River and the newly cleared Fort King Road (1825) brought promises to settlers.
The merchants of Fort Dade moved to a new site to be near the railroad, and the new site was named Dade City. The new city needed a post office, and the most expedient course of action was to move a post office rather than apply for a new one. Minza G. Rowe transferred the existing post office to the new town and applied to change the name from Hatton to Dade City. Pasco County was established from a region of Hernando County, on June 2, 1887, by Governor Madison S. Perry. Dade City became the county seat and
served as the center of retail and commerce for the new county for a good one hundred years.
Milestones mark the path of Dade City’s history and a stroll through 21st-century Dade City reveals remnants of landmarks, institutions, traditions, and clues of frontier life and evolving American history.
It is not surprising that the Dade City Merchants Association came into existence in May of 1926, and has continued as a vital resource throughout history. A 2022 endeavor of the Merchants Association was to create a self-guided tour of the historical locations and sites.
More Fun Facts About Dade City
Having such an extensive history means that we are able to tell more stories.
Dade City Merchant's Association
Dade City Merchant’s Association is an organization promoting the historic downtown business district. They were founded in May 1926.
Begin Your Journey With Us
Embark on a fun expedition around Dade City and learn all there is about our interesting history.
She is a Historian/Author, Retired School/District Administrator (Pasco and Polk). Contribution: Historical content, research, and script writing.
She is president of the Dade City Merchants Association, Angel Tea Shop & Heavenly Treasures Gift Shop. Contribution: Leadership and coordination from Dade City Merchants.
Mary Katherine Mason
She is the Founder/ Owner/ Operator of Lanky Lassie’s Shortbread; Contribution: The originator of concept and logo as well as leadership and coordination from the Dade City Merchants Association.
Stephanie Bracknell Black
She is Executive Director, Pioneer Florida Museum & Village. Contribution: consultation on research, consultation on the integration of use of resources, and further research extension opportunities at the Pioneer Museum & Village.
Retired circuit judge; activist for trauma-informed courts; devoted to Dade City city history. We want to thank you for your dedication of service and love of Pasco County! Thank you for your contributions to help bring this tour to life.
African American Heritage Society of East Pasco, former Director of Global & Multicultural Studies at Pasco Hernando State College, journalist on African American history for Tampa Tribune for several years, author of Black America Series: Hernando County from Arcadia Publishing.
Imani D. Asukile
Distinguished Dade City and school board lawyer; beloved community member and musician. We want to thank you for your dedication of service and love of Pasco County! He was an inspiration!
She is Senior Administrative Assistant, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce. Contribution: original developer of Dade City historical house tour; consultation on resources.
He is the narrator, Technician at Verizon Communication/ Retired, Chipco Creek String Band, Reenactor/ Volunteer at Pioneer Florida Museum & Village. Contribution: Narration of the scripts.
The Art of Business (podcaster). Contribution: Technical compilation of thirty-five scripts with photo placement for videos.
He is the owner of The Social Connection, a marketing agency in the Tampa Bay area. Contribution: Created the website.
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.