Saint Leo in Pasco County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
On Feb. 15, 1881, Judge Edmund F. Dunne and captain Hugh Dunne, his cousin, came across this clear lake and named it for Saint Jovita whose feast day it was. Judge Dunne established San Antonio Catholic Colony on land he received for legal services in negotiating the Disston purchase of four million acres from the state at 25 cents an acre. The colony was named to honor St. Anthony of Padua in thanksgiving for an answer to prayer. It was originally planned as a central city surrounded by farm villages. Judge Dunne’s home was built where St. Leo Abbey and St. Leo College now stand.
Erected 1981 by Placed by the Pasco Board of County Commissioners and the Historical Preservation Committee 1981.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 28° 20.145′ N, 82° 15.768′ W. Marker is in Saint Leo, Florida, in Pasco County. Marker is on Bowman Drive, on the left when traveling east. Marker is on a frontage road that parallels State Road 52 at bottom of the hill overlooking Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Leo FL 33574, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Anthony School (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Anthony of Padua Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Joseph J. "Joe" Herrmann 1912-2002/Edward J. "Eddie" Herrmann 1936-2017 (approx. 0.6 miles away); City of San Antonio, Florida (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lake Jovita Club (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pasadena Church (approx. 2.8 miles away); St. Joseph Community (approx. 3.1 miles away); Christmas Day, 1835 (approx. 3.9 miles away).
1. Corrected info on the Marker regarding the date
When the Pasco County Historical Preservation Committee had his marker made, we made an error regarding the date. Subsequent research proved Judge Dunne did not arrive in Florida until August 1881. Thus the actual date of Dunne's christening the lake as Lake Jovita was February 15, 1882.
You, of course, cannot correct the wording but, perhaps you could add a note.
I am a member of the PC Historical Preservation Committee and have been since its inception.
Editor's Note: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and for explaining the actual year of the lake's
— Submitted March 3, 2011, by Edward Herrmann of Dade City, Florida.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 9, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2010, by Fr. Len Plazewski of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 767 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 8, 2010, by Fr. Len Plazewski of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.