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Florida State Road 52

Upon crossing the Courtney Campbell Causeway I made my way up US Route 19 north to Bayonet Point.  I turned east towards Dade City on Florida State Road 52.


FL 52 is an approximately 33.2 mile State Road entirely contained within Pasco County.  FL 52 is an east/west highway starting at US 19 in Bayonet Point and ending to the east at US 98/301 in Dade City.  What makes the normally mundane appearing FL 52 intriguing to me is that the section between modern US 19 in Bayonet Point east to US 41 to Gower's Corner has a storied back history dating back to the Fivay Sawmill.

The Fivay Sawmill was located directly east of Hudson just north of FL 52 on Pasco County Route 1/Little Road.  Fivay opened in 1904 and spurred early growth to the western extent of Pasco County.  Despite Fivay shuttering in 1912 the growth spurred by the sawmill led to the development in Hudson and the first paved road in Pasco County.  Said paved road ran from US 41 in Gower's Corner west to Pre-1945 FL 15 in Hudson which can be on the 1931 Florida State Road map below.

1931 Florida State Road Map

When US Route 19 was extended to Florida in 1930 it initially split from US 41 in Brooksville on Pre-1945 FL 15B (modern FL 50) and FL 15 (modern CR 595 and Old Dixie Highway) towards Hudson.  Said multiplex of US 19/41 can be seen on the above 1931 State Road Map.  At some point during the 1930s the Florida State Road Department obtained the road between Gower's Corner and Bayonet Point which became the split point of the US 19/41 multiplex.  The road east of Gower's Corner to Dade City became part of Pre-1945 FL 210.  These changes can be seen on the 1939 Florida State Road Map.

1939 Florida State Road Map

By 1940 US 19 was shifted back to a split in Brooksville and Pre-1945 FL 210 was extended west from Gower's Corner to Hudson.

1940 Florida State Road Map

In 1945 the Florida State Roads were renumbered.  FL 210 between Hudson and Dade City was assigned a new number of FL 52.  At some point between 1940 and 1951 US 19 was shifted to a new route near the Gulf Coast north of Weeki Wachee.

1951 Southeast United States Road Map

FL 52 eastbound begins from US 19 in Bayonet Point.  FL 52 east is signed as a connecting route to FL 589 on the Suncoast Parkway.





San Antonio is signed 27 miles to the east on FL 52 while Dade City is signed as 33 miles away.


Pasco County has it's own County Route numbering convention that is different than the State Road grid.  Only 2 miles east of US 19 the route of FL 52 meets CR 1 at Little Road.







Fivay was located just north of FL 52 on CR 1/Little Road at Fivay Road.  The old mill pond for Fivay is accessible off of Cricket Street and was a previous Ghost Town Tuesday feature.

Ghost Town Tuesday; Fivay, Florida

FL 52 east continues through unincorporated Pasco County meeting CR 587 at Moon Lake Road.





East of CR 587 Dade City is signed as 26 miles away on FL 52.


FL 52 east meets FL 589/Suncoast Parkway and drops to a two-lane highway near Shady Hills Road.






At Kent Grove Drive FL 52 east crosses a set of rails.


FL 52 east meets US 41 in Gower's Corner.  This would have been where the second alignment of US 19 would have split from US 41.



East of US 41 the route of FL 52 is shown as a connecting route to I-75.  Dade City is signed as 20 miles to the east on FL 52.



At Ehren Cut-Off Road FL 52 east meets CR 583.



East of CR 583 Dade City is signed as 15 miles away on FL 52.


Approaching I-75 the route of FL 52 east is being expanded to a four-lane road.  FL 52 east meets CR 581 at Bellamy Brothers Road.




FL 52 east continues through the construction zone to a junction with I-75.






East of I-75 the route of FL 52 drops back to two-lanes approaching San Antonio.  Long term plans for FL 52 east of I-75 having it bypassing much of San Antonio, St. Leo and Dade City to a new terminus either with US 301 or US 98.  FL 52 begins to curve with the terrain approaching the Brooksville Ridge which begins near the City Limits of San Antonio.






San Antonio dates back to 1881 when it was plotted on the shore on Lake Jovita.  The Orange Belt Railway once stopped in San Antonio starting in 1887.  San Antonio was one of several planned communities that was plotted by City Founder Edmund Dunne but the only other to survive to modern times is St. Joseph to the north.

At Curley Road FL 52 east meets CR 577 in downtown San Antonio.




St. Leo is only 1 miles east of San Antonio on FL 52, Dade City is signed as 7 miles away.


FL 52 east curves through the Town of St. Leo before passing by St. Leo College on a large ridge south of Lake Jovita.  St. Leo and St. Leo College were established in 1889.









FL 52 east descends down a large ridge meeting CR 579 at Happy Hill Road.




East of CR 579 the route of FL 52 enters the Pasco Seat of Dade City where it becomes 21st Street.



FL 52 takes a turn towards downtown Dade City on Merdian Avenue where it meets CR 578 at St. Joe Road and picks up a brief multiplex of CR 41.



CR 41 splits south from FL 52 off of Meridian Street onto 17th Street.


FL 52 east enters downtown Dade City where it meets the former route of US 301 at 7th Street.




The Pasco County Courthouse is located at the southwest corner of Meridian Avenue and 7th Street.


Pasco County split from Southern Hernando County in 1887.  Dade City was selected the interim County Seat but it was made permanent in 1889.  The current Pasco County Courthouse was completed in 1909.







FL 52 east ends at US 98/301 east of downtown at the Dade City Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot.  The Depot dates back to 1912 and presently only carries Amtrak bus service.



Comments

senecawind said…
The Dade City Railroad Station has Amtrak Thruway Bus service only, no passenger trains stop at the station or travel through Dade City. Active Amtrak Service can only be found in Tampa, Plant City, Lakeland, Winterhaven and Orlando.
Challenger Tom said…
Made an update regarding the bus service.

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