From what once was an area known for its simple beauty, where Seminole Indians roamed freely, to a strong community bringing settlers in search of land to farm and raise their families, a county grew.
From a portion of Marion County, Sumter County was established by legislation on January 8, 1853, and proves today to be the same small community with big dreams.
Sumter County is known as the "Crossroads of central Florida" because of the location of interstate 75 and the Florida Turnpike. The population is over 97,700 with Bushnell being the County seat of over six cities and municipalities. Some are economically thriving cities and some having their own small town charm. All are growing with room and economic growth.
The Sumterville Courthouse was completed, and the County continued to help implement the many changes needed for its future growth. The courthouse remained in Sumterville until a fire destroyed the building and nearly all contents on January 30, 1909. Commission meeting minutes prior to October 18, 1881 were lost in the fire. This set the Commission back for a short time until another location could be secured and a new Courthouse could be constructed. Mr. Rutland was approached by the Board, and the County rented a site for $150 per year until the new courthouse was completed. Soon the temporary location proved inadequate for County business, and it was determined a more suitable location was needed. After bitter political fighting, another election was held in 1912 to determine the courthouse location. Votes were cast between the town of Wildwood and Bushnell. By a margin of only nine, Bushnell was selected the new County Seat for Sumter County - Bushnell 657, Wildwood 648 votes. The process of constructing a building to house County Government began once more. William A. Edwards, an Atlanta architect who designed campus buildings for Florida State University and the University of Florida, was employed to design the plans for the Bushnell courthouse. Acreage was purchased in Bushnell for an unknown amount, and the construction contract was awarded to J.F. Jenkins for $49,759.
Sumter County has a wide variety of attractions - from historic battlefields to scenic outdoor recreation, you're sure to find plenty to do.
The numerous Wildlife Management Areas and State Parks in Sumter County offer a wide array of activities - from family-friendly camping and picnics to hunting and fishing adventures. Explore the Parks and destinations below for endless things to do including Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Horseback Riding, Biking, Motorcycles, ATV, Boating, Kayaking, and Canoeing. You'll find several boat ramps throughout Sumter County for access to numerous rivers and pristine lakes.
The Sumter County School Board has four elementary, two middle, one middle-high, two specialized and one charter schools with 7,735 plus students. The county is proud to say all the schools are "A" district and "SACS accreditation. The county provides transportation to and from school. Their vision "To improve the quality of the community by providing opportunities that produce ethical workers, global thinkers and productive citizens." Sumter County School Board (352) 793-2315