Thanks to the Pasco County Tax Collector

Thanks to Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano, who has designated the West Pasco Historical Society (New Port Richey) and the Pioneer Florida Museum (Dade City) as the joint charities of the month at the tax collector’s offices during August. Taxpayers during August will see flyers describing the activities of both organizations and have an easy way to check off a contribution if they wish. More information is here.

Museum will be closed Aug. 2-4

The Rao Musunuru M. D. Museum and Library in Sims Park will be ***CLOSED*** this weekend (Aug. 2-4) because of construction.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, Bob Langford, President of the Friends of the Hacienda and Historic New Port Richey, will do a presentation on the history and renovation progress of the Hacienda Hotel at 1 p.m.

Join us for “Sunday in the City” on Aug. 11, from noon to 5. Artists and activities will be in our front yard.

Museum renovation

Volunteers worked at the museum this morning (7/27), as we are making major improvements to the building and our displays over the next several months. Thanks so much to all of our great volunteers! Pictured are: Rick Mascia, Lou Galambos, Steve Meyers, Rady Goucher, Bob Potter, Tracy Potter, Kirk Williams, Jerry Hodges, and Museum Curator Brian Schmit. Not pictured: Al Couture, who was not present when the picture was taken. The museum is open this weekend, 1-4 both Saturday and Sunday, but there is no admission charge as not all displays are currently available.

Museum acquires prehistoric artifacts

WPHS Curator Brian Schmit went to the Florida State Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee yesterday (7/24). He was able to acquire 25 prehistoric artifacts on loan for the museum. The artifacts date back 10,000 years and were discovered by Hudson resident Herb Elliott. The archaeologists were delighted that the artifacts were going back to their home in Pasco County. The stone lithics will be showcased in our new Native American display opening at the end of August. Pictured with Brian are archeologists Marie Prentice and Dr. Sam Wilford.

Sarazen Items Donated

WPHS Museum Curator Brian Schmit was happy to receive a donation on July 8, 2019, from Mary Ann Sarazen, who is Gene Sarazen’s daughter. Gene Sarazen, a famous golfer of the 1920s and 1930s, owned a home on the Cotee River in New Port Richey. The items donated include Gene’s hat, a pair of his knickers, and an Earl Benham jacket he owned. Brian is holding an autographed picture of Thomas Meighan, signed by him with a note to Gene Sarazen and his wife. There is also a photo of Sarazen and Meighan together while golfing probably in New Port Richey. The Sarazen articles will be displayed as part of the exhibit redevelopment project at the museum scheduled for this fall.

Museum volunteers

Our volunteers at the museum on June 23, 2019, were Bette Conde, Stephanie Kleemichen, George Kalfas, and Sheila Fecenko. Incidentally, Bette Conde claims to be named for the actress Bette Davis, and that could account for her dramatic appearance.

Doug Sanders will be our next speaker, on July 13

Our next speaker at the museum is Doug Sanders, the history writer for The Laker-Lutz News, a former city planner for Dade City, and a former news director of WDCF radio station in Dade City. He will ask and answer some questions about Pasco County history that you may not know about. At what venue in Pasco County did B. B. King, Ray Charles, and James Brown perform? Did Calvin Coolidge have lunch in Dade City? What man from Atlanta brought the first railroad to Pasco County? What actor who appeared on the Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, and the Dick Van Dyke Show was born in Dade City? Where was the last Indian attack on a settler’s homestead east of the Mississippi River? Does a Dade City woman have a document signed by Abraham Lincoln? To learn about these topics and more, join us on Saturday, July 13, at 1 p.m. at the museum in Sims Park. There is no charge for admission.

Museum visitors

Among the visitors to the museum on June 14, 2019, were David Gallion, his daughter Tina Levasseur, and her sons Reid and Brendyn Lavasseur. David Gallion grew up in both Levy and Pasco counties, but he did attend some grades at Elfers Elementary School and he graduated from Gulf High School in 1960. His parents were Howard and Laura Gallion. Laura’s parents were Franklin Butler Sr. (1867-1951) and Sarah “Sally” Hudson (1875-1964). Sarah Hudson seems likely to be a daughter of Thomas Byrd Hudson (b. 1852), one of the sons of Isaac Washington Hudson Sr., from whom the town of Hudson gets its name. However, Jeff Cannon, the expert on the Hudson family genealogy, says the offspring of Thomas Byrd Hudson are unknown, so there is no confirmation at this time.