Bay Port


The Village of Bay Port, located at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River sprang up in the early 1850s as a supply and cotton port. During the American Civil War, Union naval squadrons blockaded Florida’s coasts to prevent goods and supplies from passing into and out of the State. By 1863 the East Gulf Blockade Squadron effectively closed the larger ports along the Gulf Coast. Small rivers, such as the Weeki Wachee, became important trade routes. Shipping at Bay Port attracted the attention of The Union Blockade Squadron which intercepted eleven blockade runners near there between 1862 and 1865. Various skirmishes took place at Bay Port between Union troops and the Confederate Home Guard during the course of the war. The Confederate cannon battery site can still be seen on the wooded point just north of the Bay Port fishing pier at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River.

After the war Bay Port became Hernando County’s major outlet for lumber and agricultural products, and continued to serve as its transportation center until railroad service came to Brooksville in 1885.

Since that time, Bay Port has primarily served as a retreat for area fishermen, and many families from nearby Brooksville have weekend homes and fishing camps in the area. Redfish, trout and snook exist in abundance in Bay Port’s waters. Tarpon and cobia are seasonal visitors. However, the extremely treacherous, rocky seafloor and shallow marsh creeks can be dangerous for the uninformed angler or pleasure boater.

The Bay Port Post Office was established May 6, 1854, with Thomas H. Parson Postmaster.  It was on the Gulf of Mexico due west of Chocochattee, on a post road that the two towns.  The spelling of the town name was changed to “Bayport” on September 24, 1895.  The post office was in operation until it was discontinued on May 15, 1955.

See Statehood Period Manuscript Cover and Post Office “Last Day” Closed Covers for Bay Port under the Postal Covers Category.

bayport logo

John Parsons (engraved 1862)

All notes are signed by Major John Parsons who received land in place of money for his service in the Second Seminole War, along with other settlers who were granted land under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.  Parsons built a house which soon became a hotel.  He issued scrip of the Orange Spring style with engraved dates of 1862 and 1863.

1862 75 Cent Note

1862 75 Cent Note

1862 $1 Note. Harley L. Freeman Collection

1862 $1 Note.
Harley L. Freeman Collection


John Parsons (engraved 1863)

1863 5 Cent Note (Probably unique denomination R8)

1863 50 Cent Note. Gunboat Type

1863 50 Cent Note.
Gunboat Type

1863 75 Cent Note. Harley L. Freeman Collection

1863 75 Cent Note.
Harley L. Freeman Collection

1863 75 Cent Note. Gunboat Type

1863 75 Cent Note. Gunboat Type

1863 $1

1863 $1