Museum visitors

Bill and Vonnie Maytum were visitors to the museum on April 27, 2018. They are pictured with WPHS President Bob Langford. The Maytums donated to the museum some nice old photos and other documents.

Museum visitors

Museum administrator Terry Kline welcomed two visitors to the museum today (4/14). On the left is his grandson Brandon and on the right is his son Terry Jr. All three men grew up here. Terry Jr.’s Marine Corps uniform is on display at the museum. With Brandon wearing a tie, this is a rare photo.

Museum visitors

Some students from Marchman Technical College visited the museum today (4/12). Brian Schmit, one of our board members, did a presentation and tour. Mr. Schmit is a retired social studies teacher and the author of Glory Days, a history of New Port Richey. larger photo

Museum visitor

Peter Altman was a guest at the board meeting of the historical society tonight (4/11). Mr. Altman, a former accountant, has volunteered to review our financial records. He was elected yesterday to the New Port Richey City Council.

Museum visitor

Thad Lowrey was a visitor to the museum today (4/6). He has lived here since the 1960s and is best known as manager and part owner of WGUL radio station. He recalls that three weeks after WGUL signed on the air, President Kennedy was assassinated. The station borrowed classical music from Martha Oelsner to play during the mourning period. Pictured with Mr. Lowrey are Brian Schmit, WPHS board member and author of Glory Days, and WPHS President Bob Langford.

Newest book in the museum library

A new book in the museum library is The Saltworks Near Hopeville, published last year, written by William Holcomb of Largo. The salt works was an operation at Salt Springs, behind Gulf View Square Mall, which supplied salt to the confederacy. Not a lot is known about the saltworks, but probably everything that is known is in the book. Hopeville was an early name for Port Richey. The Saltworks Near Hopeville is also available at here.

School yearbooks

We have a small but growing collection of old school yearbooks at the museum. We have the Gulf Middle School yearbooks from 1990 to 2010 and the Ridgewood High School yearbooks from 1987 to 1990. We have the 1963 and 1974 Gulf High yearbooks and the 1972 and 1973 GHS yearbooks have been donated and should be available by next weekend. The 1974 GHS yearbook is actually the combined yearbooks for Gulf and Hudson high schools, as the two schools met in the same building that year and part of the next.

Museum visitors

Richard and Judy Osteen were visitors to the museum today. They have been married for 49 years. Richard is a 1968 graduate of Gulf High School. Judy transferred to Clearwater before graduating. She is Class of 1969. Richard says that Osteen Road is named for his father, Leroy Osteen, who was one of the earliest residents in that area.

Old newspapers have been digitized

We are happy to announce that the early years of the New Port Richey Press, our local weekly newspaper, have been digitized.

This is important because it ensures the long-term survival of these newspapers, as the files will be widely distributed.

The scanning of the microfilm was done by MicroImaging Source Inc. of Dunedin. The microfilm, created in 1986, has all of the surviving newspapers from 1918 to 1947.

The files will be placed on both computers at the museum for viewing by the public. In the future we plan to offer the images on a USB flash drive for a small fee. The newspapers are not currently searchable, but are arranged by date.

The Port Richey Press was founded on Nov. 21, 1918. The name of the newspaper was changed to the New Port Richey Press two years later. The newspaper eventually became the West Pasco Press and declined in influence before becoming absorbed by the Tampa Tribune.

Some issues of the newspaper are presumed lost, including all of 1932 and 1933 and the second half of 1921. So if you happen to have one of those newspapers, please let us know! There is a missing newspaper from January 1930 that probably had a banner headline announcing that Gloria Swanson would be visiting New Port Richey. It’s understandable why the newspaper is missing. Her trip to New Port Richey never took place.

The New Port Richey Public Library is looking into the possibility of digitizing the later issues of the New Port Richey Press, which they have in the Avery Room, along with some years of the Hudson Chronicle, West Pasco Chronicle, and The Good News. It would be a more expensive project, as the scanning would require manual turning of the pages of bound volumes of the newspapers, whereas scanning the microfilm was a mostly automated procedure. If the library’s newspapers are digitized, it’s likely that the historical society’s newspapers and the library newspapers would be put on line.