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Warm Welcomes & Cool Stories: A History of Wesley Chapel

Last Updated on May 5, 2023 by Eric

The Birth of Pasco County

On June 2, 1887, Pasco County came into existence as Florida’s 45th county. Named after Samuel Pasco, a U.S. Senator from Florida (who was actually born in London!) our coastal county has seen significant growth and transformation since its inception. As the home of our thriving community of Wesley Chapel, this area has become a popular destination for both tourists from out of state as well as fellow Floridians.

Back in the Day: Wesley Chapel’s Legacy

Mills and Stills

In its early days, Pasco County’s economy was primarily driven by cypress mills and turpentine stills. Cypress trees were abundant in the area we call Wesley Chapel today, and their wood was highly sought after for its durability, resistance to decay, and natural beauty.

  • Cypress lumber was an especially valuable resource, because it could be used in a wide range of applications—from construction to furniture making.
  • Turpentine, a volatile oil distilled from pine resin, was another significant product of the area. It was used for various purposes, such as a solvent for paints, varnishes, and as a raw material for the production of other chemicals.

Agriculture also played an essential role in Pasco County’s development during this period. Our mild climate here—relatively speaking of course—and fertile local soil made it ideal for growing citrus fruits, vegetables, and raising livestock.

The Tampa Bay area’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and… well, Tampa bay, contributed to a thriving local fishing industry—which continues to thrive today (when red tide isn’t putting a damper on it).

Roots and Routes

Once known as “Double Branch,” after the twin creeks running through it, or “Gatorville,” for obvious reasons, Wesley Chapel, FL eventually took its name from a local church. This marked a new chapter for our community, one where it started to truly come into its own and forge its identity as a unique, thriving place.

Warm Welcomes & Cool Stories: A History of Wesley Chapel

While those cypress mills and turpentine stills were the cornerstone of our area’s early development, other smaller industries like charcoal production also played a critical role. Settlers began arriving in bigger numbers in the years following the American Civil War, which also played a crucial role in the area’s growth.

The transportation of all that turpentine and lumber led to the creation of trails—which eventually became the roads that still exist today!

The Transformation of Pasco County & Wesley Chapel

Over time, Pasco County and places like Wesley Chapel have really changed a lot. When the cypress milling and turpentine industries started to decline, along with the tough times during the Great Depression, we had to get creative with our local economy.

Following World War II, we shifted our focus to things like manufacturing, service, and tourism. We’re lucky to have such natural beauty here in Pasco County – our stunning beaches, parks, and wildlife preserves are a big draw for tourists.

Wesley Chapel is a shining example of how far this area has come over the years. What used to be a small rural locale known for its mills and stills is now a bustling Tampa suburb. Although our community had a solid foundation, the area experienced a significant boom in growth in the early 2000s. As a Census Designated Place (CDP) with over 60,000 residents, we’re pretty proud to be part of the Tampa Bay Area.

Wesley Chapel has become quite popular with folks from both inside and outside the state, and it’s no surprise—the continuing development of beautiful luxury communities are a sign of how much people want to live here. It’s a fantastic place to be, and we’re happy to call Wesley Chapel home!

Present-Day Wesley Chapel (2023)

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Today, Wesley Chapel ranks among the fastest-growing communities in Florida and the United States. The catalyst for this expansion was the opening of State Road 56 back in 2003. This new thoroughfare paved the way for the development of retail hotspots.

Our area now offers an array of amenities and commercial services for both residents and tourists—including shopping malls like The Grove at Wesley Chapel, The Shops at Wiregrass, and a short drive away, Grand Cypress Drive’s Tampa Premium Outlets, which is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH. (And accordingly, plenty of banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase to keep the money moving!)


Wesley Chapel offers a wide range of recreational activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Our parks and conservation areas provide opportunities for hiking, biking, and bird watching, allowing nature enthusiasts to appreciate the local flora and fauna. Great egrets, sandhill cranes, ibis, and even the occasional bald eagle can all be spotted locally.

Water lovers can venture to the nearby Tampa Bay/Gulf of Mexico or explore the Tampa Bay area’s many lakes and rivers for boating, kayaking, and fishing, both saltwater and freshwater.

Golf Courses & Country Clubs

Residents who golf have several options for teeing off, with multiple golf courses and country clubs nearby. Two located here in town are Saddlebrook and Lexington Oaks, and for golfers who don’t mind driving to Zephyrhills you also have Southport Springs, Links of Lake Bernadette, Silverado Golf and Country Club, Scotland Yards, and many others nearby.

Parks & Preserves

As mentioned above, Wesley Chapel is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, thanks to its lush landscaping, parks, and conservation areas. We’re right next to some amazing nature preserves like the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve, Cypress Creek Preserve, and Conner Preserve.

Warm Welcomes & Cool Stories: A History of Wesley Chapel

You can really get a feel for Central Florida’s incredible ecosystems in these protected spots and see all kinds of native plants and animals. You can wander through scenic trails, marvel at the majestic cypress trees, or just admire the serene wetlands.

All these beautiful natural areas not only enhance our community’s beauty and quality of life but also contribute to our local economy by attracting tourism.

Other Places to Check Out Near Wesley Chapel:

  1. Tampa: This one is pretty obvious, but we had to include it. Tampa offers big-city attractions and a wide range of dining and entertainment options.
  2. Zephyrhills: Our neighbor to the East is known for its natural spring water, and it’s a great spot for outdoor activities like golfing and skydiving.
  3. Land O’ Lakes: Another growing community near Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes is home to several lovely parks, lakes, and nature preserves.
  4. Dade City: A charming little town of only about 7,000, Dade City is known for its historic architecture, antique shops, and annual events like the Kumquat Festival.
  5. Plant City: Known as “The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World,” Plant City is a nearby agricultural hub of about 40,000 people.

The Future of Wesley Chapel?

Warm Welcomes & Cool Stories: A History of Wesley Chapel

Our community’s strategic location just an hour away from Tampa makes our community an attractive destination for those who wish to experience the best of both worlds: a peaceful suburban lifestyle with easy access to the amenities and opportunities of a major city.

Wesley Chapel has even explored the possibility of incorporating as a city of its own. Although these attempts have been unsuccessful, and regardless of any advantages or disadvantages, this is a testament to the community’s aspirations and confidence in its future. Who knows? With Wesley Chapel continuing to grow, it may someday revisit the idea of cityhood. Only time will tell.

As a rapidly-growing area, Wesley Chapel stands out as an ideal destination for those seeking to visit the Tampa Bay area or settle down in Florida. Along with all the great recreation, amenities, and nature mentioned above, our numerous luxury communities make it a prime location for families and retirees.

(Plus, its proximity to Tampa ensures residents that they’ll never run out of things to do in our small community.)

While the old nicknames like “Double Branch” and “Gatorville” might still be fondly remembered by long-time residents, it’s the name “Wesley Chapel” that truly reflects the heart and spirit of this amazing place we call home.

Helping Out Our Neighbors in Wesley Chapel

Wesley Chapel has become the heart of Pasco County; it just keeps growing and getting better, drawing in both visitors and new residents. People can’t seem to get enough of our charming community, and who can blame them? It’s a fantastic place to live, work, and play.

Being able to keep people comfortable in their homes and businesses with our HVAC services really makes us proud. We know that maintaining a pleasant environment is essential for both homes and offices, and we’re more than happy to do our part in making this wonderful community even better.


Moreover, as our community continues to flourish, it’s exciting to see new businesses popping up and adding even more value to the area. This thriving local economy is something we’re proud to contribute to, and we’re committed to providing the best HVAC services in Wesley Chapel to keep everyone comfortable, whether it’s keeping cool during the hot Central Florida summers or staying cozy in the cooler months.

We couldn’t be happier to be a part of our local community, and we’re looking forward to helping it continue to grow and prosper by offering our expert HVAC services to both new and long-time residents. We’re here to make sure that everyone can enjoy the fantastic quality of life that this amazing community has to offer, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Wesley Chapel!

Need AC Repair, Installation, or HVAC Maintenance in Wesley Chapel, FL? Contact Redeemed Air at 813-997-3140 or click here to email us.