Pasco County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 464,697. Its county seat is Dade City, and its largest city is New Port Richey. The county is named for Samuel Pasco.
Pasco County is included in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Tampa Bay Area and is primarily a bedroom community for Tampa.
It includes numerous parks and trails including along rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, lakes, and highway/ railroad right of ways. Several nudist resorts are located in Pasco. West Pasco includes retirement areas, commercial fishing, and suburbs of Tampa. The Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 19 both pass through Pasco.
Pasco County was created on June 2, 1887, from the southern third of Hernando County. The same legislation also created Citrus County from the northern third of Hernando County. The county was named for Samuel Pasco, who had just been elected to the United States Senate.
Dade City was named the temporary county seat until a popular vote was held in 1889, at which time voters made Dade City the permanent county seat. As early as 1917, residents of the western part of the county proposed forming a separate county or merging with Pinellas County, as Dade City was not centrally located in the county. The issue was finally resolved in the late 1970s with the construction of identical government centers in both Dade City and New Port Richey.
The earliest towns were Anclote, Blanton, Dade City, Earnestville, Fort Dade (not to be confused with Fort Dade on Egmont Key), Macon (Trilby), Lacoochee, Saint Leo, and San Antonio.
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