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THE ISSUE: The Chronicle’s 125th birthday.

OUR OPINION: Thanks for the support.

Today we are officially celebrating the 125th birthday of the Chronicle.

It was back in 1894 that Albert Williamson of Floral City first started the newspaper to serve the newly created county of Citrus.

The paper was put together by a craftsman — one letter at a time. The small press was cranked by hand. The news was very local. Citrus County’s population was tiny.

Times have changed.

For the last 125 years the Citrus County Chronicle has been the newspaper of record for this community. It has been the place where issues important to our community got debated.

“You may differ with my choice, but not my right to choose” was the way one-time owner David S. Arthurs of Inverness put it.

That slogan appears in the masthead of the paper every day on the editorial page and we live by the philosophy.

Everyone’s opinion counts and we make every effort to give access to all.

Free and open debate is only possible if a vehicle exists for citizens to practice that right.

After all that time, the Chronicle has become the oldest and longest-running business serving Citrus County. There have been more than a dozen owners of the newspaper over the years and the focus and practices of the organization changed over the decades.

But the core believe has remained the same — the newspaper serves the community.

Those of us who run the newspaper today appreciate the support Citrus County has given us over all these decades.

We especially appreciate and respect that partnership today when changing times have put other small-town newspapers in jeopardy.

We are humbled to know that in Citrus County your loyalty has helped us remain viable and strong.

The Chronicle, with the help of the museum staff at the old courthouse in Inverness, has put together a display that touches on the history of our newspaper and the community.

Tonight (Thursday) we will celebrate with an opening ceremony at the museum. The display will run for the next two months so you can stop by whenever you want to take a look.

To the many generations of readers and advertisers of the Chronicle — we say thank you for your support. It’s what keeps us going each and every day.

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