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Chinsegut History – Post Robins Ownership

c. 1954 – Present

Chinsegut c. 1958

Chinsegut c. 1958

After Raymond Robins’ death, Chinsegut Hill was leased for four years to the University of Florida (UF) who used it as a research library with the Robins’ 8,000 volume personal collection. At the end of the four years, UF removed the books to their Special Collections at the main library in Gainesville and chose not to renew their lease. In 1958, the fledgling University of South Florida (USF) leased the property to use for educational purposes. USF created a conference center and numerous educational retreats took place on the property. USF maintained the property and added a dining room building, classroom building, and cabins for attendee lodging. In 2009, USF decided that they no longer had use for the property.

At that time, a group of local residents formed the non-profit group, Friends of Chinsegut Hill, Inc., with the intent of finding a new caretaker for the property. Friends of Chinsegut explored several possible options for the care of the property, but none came to fruition until Hernando County offered to lease the property from the state, subleasing it to the non-profit Friends of Chinsegut Hill, Inc. The current plans for the property include the continued use of the cabins and other buildings as a conference center, with the main house used as the focal point for special events.

In 2013, through a special appropriation in the state legislature, the Friends of Chinsegut Hill were awarded a $1.5 million grant to make much-needed repairs to the historic Manor House. The grant is being administered through the Florida Division of Historical Resources. The house will be closed to the public during construction but will reopen in 2014.