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Why do they call it that? Wesley Chapel LIVE on the road!

9:45 AM, Dec 3, 2010   |    comments
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This Tampa Bay town is probably a lot older than you think -- yes, it got its name from a church, but who's the Wesley in Wesley Chapel?

We took The Morning Show LIVE to The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel on Wednesday, November 24th!

Photo Gallery: 10 News LIVE at Wesley Chapel!

Thank you to The Shops at Wiregrass, Wiregrass Ranch High SchoolFITniche fitness store, Grillsmith, Wesley Chapel Civil Air Patrol, Pasco County's 4-H Clubs, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Wesley Chapel Medical Center, and many other people for their support!

Why do they call it Wesley Chapel?

"Wesley Chapel is -- I think -- older than most people would think. It was settled by the Boyette family in the 1840's," said Rodney Kite-Powell, curator of history at the Tampa Bay History Center.

And the Boyettes had good reason to move here.

Eastern Pasco County was nearly all uninhabited woods. That made it a prime spot for a new government program designed to keep the Seminole Indians away.

"You were given land and a gun, and if you built a house and tilled the ground, so to speak, and stayed there for long enough, you'd get everything for free," Kite-Powell said.

"The government would just give you land. And that's what the Boyette family did."

The future Wesley Chapel area was first called Double Branch, like two branches of a creek. Another early town nickname was Gatorville.

Eventually, the area picked up the name of the Methodist church that stood at what's now the corner of State Road 54 and Boyette Road.

The church was called Wesley Chapel, and was named in honor of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.

Why do they call it that? Now you know.

If you want to ask "Why do they call it that?" send an e-mail with a name that has you curious to Grayson Kamm using this link.

We'll be featuring new places and stories each Wednesday on 10 News. Watch them on The Morning Show from 5-7 a.m. and on 10 News at 5:30 p.m.

Check out previous editions of "Why do they call it that?" plus links to photos and maps from Tampa Bay's past at our "Why do they call it that?" website:





















Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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