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Wesley Chapel

The pioneer Boyette, Gillette, Godwin, and Kersey families received land grants in the area in the 1840s. The real influx of settlers, however, began around the War Between the States when the Stanleys and Coopers arrived. Originally called Double Branch for the twin creeks that flowed across the Boyette land, the community was named for the Methodist chapel that stood on the northwest corner of SR 54 and Boyette Road. A popular nickname for the area was Gatorville.

Since its founding in 1878, the Double Branch Baptist Church (now the First Baptist Church) has served as a focus for community life. The church has had three buildings in its long history. Henry Ryals was pastor in the first building in 1880, Ed Bryant the second in 1935, and Lynn Foster the third in 1970.

The turpentine still and sawmill represented early industries, though cattle ranching and hog farming on the then open range, crop farming, and citrus growing predominated. When times were hard people turned to charcoal making and even moonshining to survive. Construction of I-75 and the 1979 opening of the Saddlebrook Resort marked the beginning of the current growth of the community. Wesley Chapel was settled in the mid 1800’s with original land grants, and was named after a local church which owed its name to the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. In the 1890’s, the church stood across from where the Double Branch Baptist Church currently stands. As early as 1897 Wesley Chapel had its own post office, although it was later closed in the early 1900s. Early industry in the area consisted primarily of cash crop farming, logging, citrus, and cattle ranching.

Growing by leaps and bounds, Wesley Chapel’s citrus fields and pasture lands have given way to beautiful upscale neighborhoods and fantastic commercial districts with restaurants, shopping, and more. Many families have chosen to live in Wesley Chapel in order to enjoy the quiet suburban lifestyle it offers, while still remaining accessible to local highways for commuting. The world famous Saddlebrook Resort, which opened in the early 1980s, is one of Wesley Chapel’s most well-known sites.

 

 

Wesley Chapel

Community Links

Neighborhoods:

  • Aberdeen
  • Ashley Pines
  • Bay at Cypress Creek
  • Bay at Cypress Creek
  • Belle Chase
  • Boyette Oaks
  • Bridgewater
  • Brookside
  • Chapel Pine
  • Country Walk
  • Fairway Village
  • Forest Oaks
  • Fox Ridge
  • Hamilton Park
  • Homesteads of Saddlewood
  • Lexington Oaks
  • Meadow Pointe
  • New River
  • Oak Creek
  • Palm Cove
  • Pinewalk
  • Quail Hollow
  • Saddle Creek
  • Saddlebrook
  • Seven Oaks
  • Tampa Highlands
  • Wesley Chapel Acres
  • Westwood Estates
  • Villages at Wesley Chapel

 

 

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