With the establishment of the post office in 1885 the community of Bushnell came into existence. The community was named in honor of J.W. Bushnell, who surveyed the route of the Florida Railway and Navigation Company Railroad which had recently been constructed through this area. The first public school was established in 1886, and after numerous elections to select a new county seat after the court house in Sumterville burned, the court house was moved to Bushnell in 1912. This event brought about a great anticipation of growth and one result was the incorporation of the community into the city of Bushnell. Bushnell had it’s own opera house. It was located on the corner of Main Street and McCollum Avenue. Local plays and occasional road shows were performed there. With the coming of motion pictures, patrons gathered to watch the early movie stars such as Charlie Chaplain and Mary Pickford. Located southwest of Bushnell, is Dade Battlefield. Eighty acres were purchased and set aside as a memorial to Major Francis L. Dade and his men who were massacred in 1835 during a famous battle of the second Seminole War. Bushnell is the home of the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park that hosts events and educational workshops throughout the year. The Kenny Dixon Sports Complex which features regulation baseball diamonds, Frisbee golf, racketball courts, a skate park, walking trails, tennis courts, and more. The Florida National Cemetery is the second most active national cemeteries in the country and is located in Bushnell.
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