Walter J. Mallett, a life member of the West Pasco Historical Society and a World War II hero, died today (6/20). He was 94 years old. His wife Frances died five days earlier at age 97. Mr. Mallett came to Port Richey in the late 1940s and later, with his brother, operated Tropical Realty. A memorial service for both Walter and Frances will be held on July 15 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, time not yet determined. Two more pictures are in the comments. A wonderful article by Bill Stevens from 2011 is here.
At the museum in 2016: Brian Schmit, who is writing a book about the early days in New Port Richey, Frances Clark Mallett, Walter Mallett, and son Vic Mallett. Brian interviewed Frances and Walter for his book.
Frances and Walter Mallett in 1980.
Reynald Feldt Jr. was a visitor to the museum today. As soon as he puts on the finishing touches, he plans to donate a model of the New Port Richey railroad depot in 1925, which you can see in the lower right corner of this photo. Rey lived in New Port Richey as a child but graduated from Clearwater High School in 1953. His grandfather, Emil Nyman (1884-1927), was an early businessman in town, having arrived in 1912. Rey has allowed us to scan many old photos of his family in New Port Richey.
We are saddened to learn that Frances Clark Mallett, a great friend and life member of the West Pasco Historical Society, died this morning (6/15). She was 97 years old. Her father, Victor Malcolm Clark Sr., was the first elected mayor of Port Richey, and her grandfather, James Washington Clark, settled at the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River in the 1870s. He later persuaded Aaron Richey, who gave the town its name, to settle here also. This photo was taken at Port Richey Historic Preservation Sunday, an event she organized, on July 16, 2006.
This is better than a then-and-now. It’s a then-and-then-and-now. These pictures show what is now called Grand Boulevard, looking south from Main Street. The first picture is probably from the late 1920s. The second picture, by Angelo Deciucies, is probably from 1958-1962. The third picture was taken on June 14, 2017.
Then-and-now photos showing residences on Orange Lake. The old photo is from the 1920s and the new photo was taken on June 1, 2017. The first three homes in the old photo seem to be the first three homes in the modern photo, although the third homes in the two pictures do look different. The fourth home in the old photo burned. The last home on the right is the same home in both photos.
Here are some photos from May 20, 2017, after New Port Richey Mayor Rob Marlowe swore in the new leadership of the WPHS. Mr. Marlowe is in some of the pictures, as is WPHS honorary board member Dr. Rao Musunuru.
Dr. Rao Musunuru is a significant benefactor of the West Pasco Historical Society. In 2011 the museum was named in his honor.
Thanks to the Seven Springs Garden Club for a donation to the West Pasco Historical Society! Here Michele Sakalian, President of the garden club, presents the check to Bob Langford, Board Chairman of West Pasco Historical Society.
Here are two recent views of the old DeCubellis home off of DeCubellis Road, and a view of what remains from an old school bus, probably one of the earliest school buses in the county. School board minutes show that Peter DeCubellis and A. D. Baillie were being paid to provide transportation to school children by 1931. These three photos were provided by Tom Boyd. A few years ago we photographed an old storage shed on the property, which I guess is now gone. It was on the property before the DeCubellis family moved there, and it was thought to have been the oldest surviving structure in western Pasco County.
Circle Service Station, New Port Richey, Donald E. Pierce, manager. This photo is from the late 1940s or possibly early 1950s. Pierce was the nephew of Lee Coast, who came to New Port Richey in 1951 and took over management of the service station.
Here is an interesting view looking onto Main Street from the Texaco Station at the corner of Main and Grand Blvd. The photo was provided by Helen Coast. She and her husband managed the gas station for many years. She does not remember the occasion for the photo, but it looks as if her husband’s car is decorated for a parade.
Henry Lee Coast, usually called Lee, managed the Texaco Station at Grand Blvd. and Main Street for many years. He and his wife Helen came to New Port Richey in 1951.
Helen Coast, looking great at age 101, with great grandchildren Robert and Kimee Gessel, at Helen’s residence on Florida Avenue. Helen Blair was born in Clintonville, Pennsylvania, on March 15, 1916. She and her husband Henry Lee Coast (1913-1998) came to New Port Richey in 1951 to benefit their son Charles’ health. (He’s still living at age 75.) They took over the lease from Donald E. Pierce, Lee’s nephew, to run Circle Service Station on Grand Blvd. The station was a Texaco station, and had existed since at least 1940. It was owned by Tarpon Chevrolet. Mr. and Mrs. Coast lived on Pennsylvania Ave. before they moved to Florida Ave.
Audrey O’Neil and her daughter Janet Hamblin were visitors to the museum today (4/22). Audrey for many years was a volunteer at the museum.