Hope Springs in Spring Hill
Spring Gardens Florida Recovery Center offers the convenience of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area without the stress and congestion of Tampa or the unrealistic buzz of the tourist attractions. We chose to establish our alcohol and drug detox on Florida’s Nature Coast, in Spring Hill.
Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties form the heart of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, which also includes Hernando and Pasco Counties to the north. Spring Hill is located in Hernando County, Florida, a little north of Tampa and the run of the mill detox in Tampa. We wanted a location where we could provide the utmost care and comfort while eliminating the fear and pain associated with detox.
Apparently, Spring Hill first appeared on Hernando County maps in 1856. What we consider Spring Hill today, however, was founded in 1967. It began as a planned community developed by the Deltona Corporation and the Mackle Brothers. The developers originally wanted to call the community Spring Lake but that name was already taken. The community’s proximity to Tampa, which is located 40 miles south of Spring Hill, and the completion of the Suncoast Parkway in 2001 have made the community easily accessible to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
The area is home to a famous natural spring, that may have inspired our community’s name. The spring was named “Weeki Wachee” by the Seminole Indians. The name means “Little Spring” or “Winding River.” In 1947, Newt Perry, a stunt-swimmer and attraction- promoter, turned the site into a tourist attraction by offering underwater shows featuring mermaids. These mermaids were women adorned with mermaid tails and fanciful costumes who used air-hose breathing techniques. Visitors could sit in an 18-seat theater, which was later expanded to 50 seats, embedded in the lime rock of the spring with viewing windows below the surface of the water that allowed them to see the mermaids perform in the clear waters of the spring. With a depth of 407 feet fresh water, the cave system under Weeki Wachee Springs ranks as the deepest known fresh water cave system in the United States.
Weeki Wachee Springs remains a popular tourist attraction today and the underwater performances by the mermaids can still can be seen there. In 1982, Buccaneer Bay was opened with water slides, a lazy river, and a white sand beach for visitors to enjoy alongside the theater with the mermaid shows. Since 2008, the park has been owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and is a member of the Florida State Park System.
Over the years, a variety of celebrities have visited the spring, including Elvis Presley, Don Knotts, Esther Williams, Kevin Smith and Larry the Cable Guy. English rockers Supergrass filmed a music video at Weeki Wachee Springs. While they were there, they also filmed a short documentary about the spring, played at a local bar and swam with the mermaids.
In summer of 2006, stand-up comedian Thomas J. Kelly became the park’s first ever male mermaid. His adventures were chronicled in a Web television series. called “The Little Merman.” Scenes from Kelly Clarkson’s video “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” include the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs.