Historic Markers Across Florida


Marker ID:  
Location: 1627 Chesapeake Dr, Odessa, FL
County: Pasco
Coordinates: N 28° 10.957    W 082° 34.677
  28.18261666    -82.57795
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMGYHY


Odessa was named by Peter Demens, the developer of the Orange Belt Railway, in 1888. An emigrant from Russia, he named both this community and St. Petersburg for cities in his native land.

The town had approximately 2000 residents at the height of the timber boom in 1917. The Mueller & Lutz sawmills and later the Dowling and Lyons sawmills thrived until the 1920s. The combined output reached 180,000 board feet daily. Sawmill magnate WH Dowling had the wheels of his Buick adapted for the rails in order to get to Tampa for supplies.

Pasco County Sheriff B.D. "Bart" Sturkie and Deputy H.E. Whitfield ended a shootout in 1915 when they returned fire and killed the instigator, Will Hyatt. It was said that Sturkie never again carried a gun.

With the depletion of the timber resources and the burning of the mills, citrus trees were planted. In recent years, due largely to freezes, citrus production has given way to light industry and residential development.

The Pasco Board of County Commissioners and The Pasco County Historical Preservation Committee