West Pasco Historical Society, Inc. Museum and Library
Mailing address: P. O. Box 1904
New Port Richey, Florida 34656
Physical address: 6431 Circle Boulevard
New Port Richey, Florida 34652
Telephone : (727) 847-0680
Email : email@example.com
Special times can be arranged for tours by school classes or other groups. Our regular hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m.
In 1971 a letter to the editor appeared in the New Port Richey Press in which Janet Lewis, librarian of the New Port Richey Library, recommended that a local historical society should be formed. The suggestion had been made to her by Roscoe Henderson (1906-1998), a lifelong resident of western Pasco County. In 1973, the West Pasco Historical Society was formed. Julie Obenreder was the first President. In 1974-1975 the society published West Pasco’s Heritage. In 1981, Alex Acey donated to the WPHS the building which became our museum and library.
The museum is housed in a building which originally served as the Seven Springs school house. The school was apparently in operation from 1913 to 1925, but the schoolhouse which became our home was apparently built in early 1915. The building subsequently became a private residence. It was moved to Sims Park over several days in October 1981 and dedicated on January 16, 1983. The Library addition was added in 1992. The interior of the building was extensively remodeled in 2010-11. At the grand re-opening ceremony on Sept. 10, 2011, the museum was re-named the Rao Musunuru, M. D., Museum and Library, in honor of a significant donor for the museum renovation. The museum is handicapped accessible.
While the Library does stock novels, biographies, etc., it is primarily used by historians searching for details of early settlers and historical facts concerning local areas, the county, and the State of Florida. It also contains a large selection of photographs and maps.
The list of books in our library is here.
Our library includes a collection of local school yearbooks, as follows:
Bayonet Point Junior/Middle School: 1974-with GJHS, 1975, 1986, 2000, 2001, 2005
Cotee River Elementary School: 1997
Gulf Junior/Middle School: 1972, 1973, 1974-with BPJHS, 1984, 1987-2014
Gulf High School: 1940, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1953, 1958, 1963-1965, 1972, 1973, 1974-with Hudson, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982-87, 1989, 1994, 2000-02, 2006-2015.
Hudson Middle School: 1999-2003
Hudson High School: 1974-with Gulf, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2006
Land O’ Lakes High School: 2008
Mitchell High School: 2006
Pasco High School 2006, 2009
Ridgewood High School: 1979-1985, 1987-1994, 1999, 2001-05, 2007, 2011-13
Schrader Elementary School: no date
Shady Hills Elementary School: 1996-1998
Zephyrhills High School: 2006
The Museum has many permanent displays of early businesses in the area such as: the Zane Rankin Grocery, McKay Shoe Repair, Thomas Meighan Theater, and the New Port Richey Press. Also shown is a typical early 1900s Pioneer Parlor. Numerous items of early origins are from local residents. Other exhibits are changed often for special holidays or events, e.g., Santas, glassware, African art, valentines, books, etc. Seminole and Timucuan Indian artifacts, along with Mayan items, are displayed in the Indian Gallery.
General meetings are usually held on certain Saturdays at 1 p.m. Talks and presentations of local interest are given periodically and are announced through the media. The public is invited to all programs. Board meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm.
Unusual items, the best from area crafters, unique gift items, works of art in wood, ceramic, and mixed media, jewelry, and more.
We stock the following books:
The Genesis of New Port Richey – Elroy Avery (1924), soft-cover, $5
Tales of West Pasco – Ralph Bellwood (1962), soft-cover, $5
The Story of Hudson, Florida – Harry G. Miller (1973), soft-cover, $5
West Pasco’s Heritage – West Pasco Historical Society (1974), soft-cover, $20
Now and Then in New Port Richey – An Artist’s Viewpoint – Kathleen Strode (1995), soft-cover, $5
Etty of Elfers – C. S. Hubach (2012), soft-cover, $10
Historic Pictures of Western Pasco County – West Pasco Historical Society (2013), soft-cover, $14.95
These books can be ordered by mail at the address above. There is a $3.50 shipping and handling fee per book.
Our membership application is part of a PDF file here.
OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS 2018-2019
Updated March 31, 2019
Chairman: Bob Hubach
President: Bob Langford
Vice President: Judith Koutsos
Recording Secretary: Ken Weightman
Corresponding Secretary: Diane Faulkner
Treasurer: Ann James
Special Events: Antonia Miernik
Librarian: Jeff Miller
Digital Archivist: Jeff Miller
Membership: Trishia Rich
Curator: Brian Schmit
Director: David Prace
Director: Derek Smith
Director Emeritus: Rao Musunuru M.D.
PAST AND CURRENT PRESIDENTS
Julie Obenreder* 1973-76
Norma Nelson* 1976-77
Julie Obenreder* 1977-78
Norma Nelson* 1978-80
Julie Obenreder* 1980-83
Alex Acey* 1983-89
Harry Hall* 1990-92
Adele Gregos* 1992-94
David Spriggs* 1994-96
David Prace 1996-99
Ann Hildebrand 2000-02
Midge London-Prace 2002-04
Leon Flood 2004-06
Terry Kline 2006-08
David Prace 2008-10
Bob Hubach 2010-14
Bob Langford 2014-
* – Deceased
Sheila & Alan Parry*
Jessie C. Hyde*
* – Deceased