Scientists believe they have found remains of Spring Hill’s first settler

remains
By Frank Fencil | frank.fencil@springhillcourier.com

SPRING HILL — Archeologists have uncovered the remains of a man believed to be among the first to settle in what is now Spring Hill more than 60 years ago.

Pasco-Hernando State College researchers first discovered several relics from that time period, including a pocket watch and two old car tires, off of Kass Circle about a month ago and soon after unearthed an almost completely intact skeleton.

Rigorous DNA testing and examination of the clothes the man being called Howie was buried in date back to roughly the mid-1950s.

“This revolutionizes what we know about Spring Hill,” said PHSC’s Steven Clark, the lead archaeologist on the dig. “For decades we thought the first Deltonites migrated here from the north, possibly what is now New Jersey, in the 1960s. But this find proves people were coming here long before that, maybe by as much as 10 years earlier.”

We all know the Deltonites first settled in Spring Hill in 1967 in the that same area and become the predecessors to many of the indigenous modern-day peoples of the area, including the Hillies and Springers.

But what happened in the region prior to that had been a mystery, and researchers often assumed the lack of evidence meant the Deltonites were the first to migrate here.

Howie’s remains were found in the in a rudimentary two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, where Clark said the man possibly could have lived before a sinkhole is believed to have swallowed up the dwelling, which Clark described as light years ahead of other known civilizations from the era.

“They had a glass shower door, two bathrooms and a pool,” Clark said. “There was a card table on what appears to have been the back porch, and they had what appears to be some crude version of terrazzo in what we today would call a kitchen. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we may find that this man was some sort of king.”

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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