WELCOME TO CITRUS COUNTY
The area covered by present-day Citrus County is thought to have been first occupied at least 10,000 years ago. About 2,500 years ago, mound-building Native Americans settled in the area and built the complex that now forms the Crystal River Archeological Site. The site was occupied for about 2,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is currently unknown.
Citrus County was created in 1887. The Citrus County area was formerly part of Hernando County. It was named for the county's citrus groves. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895: today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove; additionally, some residents have citrus trees on their personal property.
After the Big Freeze the next major industry was phosphate mining, which continued until World War I. Planned industrial development surrounding the construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal never came to fruition when the partially-built canal was terminated after environmental opposition. A later attempt to create a port (Port Citrus) from the portion of the canal that was completed resulted in no significant progress and the county voted in 2015 to scuttle the project.
The original Citrus County seat was Mannfield (also spelled, incorrectly, Mansfield or Mannsfeld in some sources). The county seat was later moved to Inverness; only a street and a pond remain of the original town.
The first library in Citrus County was founded in 1917 in Inverness. Other branches opened in Floral City in 1958, and Hernando in 1959, as well as the freestanding Crystal River and Homosassa Libraries. These libraries joined together to create the Central Florida Library System in 1961. Beverly Hills Library opened in 1970 and joined the Central Florida Library System. A Special Library Taxing District was created by the voters in March 1984. In October 1987, the Citrus County Library System was established which allowed the county residents to administer their own system.