Two very welcome visitors to the museum today were J. W. Hunnicutt and Nell Moody Woodcock. In 2010 they and Theresa Osbron Smith created a tremendous web site with much information and many old pictures about the history of northeast Pasco County. They plan to shut down the site in July, and they have given Jeff Miller permission to import the pages and pictures from their site into his history of Pasco County site.
J. W. was born in Lacoochee in 1937 and graduated from Pasco High School in 1955. His great-great-grandparents came here from Thomasville, Georgia, in 1872. Nell Moody (Woodcock) was born in Baxley, Georgia, in 1926, but came to Lacoochee as an infant when her father worked at the Cummer Sons Cypress Company’s Crate Mill. She attended schools in Lacoochee and Dade City and graduated from Pasco High School in 1944.
Mr. Hunnicutt donated to the museum a set of historic photos of the Cummer Sons mill at Lacoochee and allowed us to scan some of his old original photos.
Here’s the flyer with information about our major fundraiser at the Spartan Manor on January 22. We hope to see you there!
Information about the 50-year-reunion reunion is here.
Midge London-Prace and Joy Lane-Hetz smile for the camera at the museum today (1/6/17). Midge is a former President of the West Pasco Historical Society. Joy Pierce grew up in Elfers and graduated from Gulf High School in 1952.
We understand that Norma Nelson, one of the founding members of the West Pasco Historical Society, and a past president, died on Dec. 31. She was 91 years old and was living in The Villages.
Norma was one of the authors of the book West Pasco’s Heritage, the first major project of the historical society, which was the combined work of a number members, most notably Julie Obenreder.
Julie wrote that when the historical society was founded, but before the museum existed, the valuable data, scrapbooks, and historical memorabilia donated to the society were stored in “Ida Brunner’s garage, Julie Obenreder’s residence, and Norma Nelson’s attic.”
A gifted artist, she created the portraits of Spanish conquistadors and Seminole leaders that graced the walls of the museum for many years.
She retired from Community Hospital in New Port Richey after working in the data processing department for 20 years.
The New Port Richey Christmas tree in Sims Park in 1921 and in 2016!
In 1921 the park was still called Enchantment Park.
In the older picture, Mrs. George Sims is believed to be #2 and Mrs. Fred (Emma) Rowan is #5. If you recognize anyone else, let us know!
WPHS member Patrick Eddie Russ died on Dec. 1, 2016. He had an important connection with the museum because his grandparents lived in the building when it was a private residence on Little Road. He recently visited the museum and loaned us some photos of the building when it was the residence of his grandparents, Ed and Willie Maude Frierson.
Eddie was born on Sept. 11, 1947. He was a 1965 graduate of Gulf High School. His mother, Mary Evelyn (Frierson) Russ graduated from GHS in 1947. Eddie is pictured here at the Class of 1965 50-year reunion.
In a video clip from 2011 here, he recalls playing in the building as a child. Our museum was built as the Seven Springs school in 1915 but was closed in 1925 when the school district decided to close the small one- and two-room schools. It then became a private residence. It was moved to Sims Park in 1981.
Here is a view of the Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace on Washington Street in Port Richey, from a 1950s post card. This building is now located in Sims Park and is now called Peace Hall.
Clara Ann Smith, a long-time volunteer at the historical society and a retired Pasco County Extension agent, died on Nov. 13. She was born on Dec. 29, 1928, and was 87 years old. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from OSU in 1950. She is survived by 3 nieces, one nephew, and great-nieces and great-nephews. A memorial service will be held on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Landings of St. Andrew.
WPHS board member Aidan Woodham checks out a collection of historic front pages of the Detroit Free Press and Flint Journal from World War II. Thanks to Lois Cook, who recently donated the collection to us.