HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
A Walk Down Memory Lane
By RONALD STANLEY
My name is Ronald Stanley, and I was born in Lacoochee and raised there and in Trilby. As I grow older I find myself reflecting on fond memories of the past. It has been my experience when thinking of the past I remember people, events, businesses and organizations that were a part of those communities and of the lives of the people who lived there.
When my thoughts stray to Lacoochee and Trilby I remember Cummer’s Mill, the Company Commissary, O’Quinn and Brabham’s grocery stores, Abraham’s drug store, Tommy’s pool room, Vivian’s theatre, Morgan’s Ford on the Withlacoochee river and Lacoochee’s baseball park.
In Trilby we remember Joe O’Berry’s store, Tom Blitch’s store, Hilliard and Edwards stores, Trilby Hotel, the old depot and restaurant and Ma Dick’s beer joint. Also, who can forget Trilacoochee and those wonderful hamburgers at Andreu’s Crossroad Restaurant?
When you wanted to know what was going on in the county or wanted political advice you went to my grandfather, Leslie Nott, who you would find sitting on his front porch in Trilby, dispensing advice and information.
One of the first things I think of in Trilby is the Trilby Masonic Lodge #141, Free and Accepted Masons, not only because I am one of oldest members but because of contributions the Lodge has made over the years in Lacoochee and Trilby.
A brief history of the Lodge shows that on January 17, 1894, Twin Lakes Lodge #141 was chartered with William N. Dowling, Worshipful Master, James Howell, Senior Warden, and Daniel M. O’Berry as Junior Warden. The Lodge met at the member’s homes.
In 1902 the Grand Lodge of Florida sanctioned a change in the Lodge’s name to Trilby Lodge #141 and it moved to upstairs in O’Berry’s store, over the pond. When fire destroyed the building, the Lodge moved upstairs over Tom Blitch’s store and later bought the building. In 1964 an acre of land opposite the old school was given to Trilby Lodge. Following two years of construction by the members, the present building was dedicated on November 11th, 1966.
In 1964 an organization called the Trilby Social Club was formed with Jesse Stanley as president. Its purpose was to help the Lodge raise money and to assist the Lodge in its efforts to be a viable member of the community. Small amounts of money were given to local charities on a monthly basis. The club met once a month for a covered dish supper.
The Lodge has always been involved in the community and when called upon has made every effort to help. As you read the names of the past Masters of the Lodge I feel sure you will recognize most of them, and feel as I do that those men and their families were part of the bedrock of our community. Each of them evokes a memory of growing up and living in Lacoochee and Trilby.
Frank Archibald, William Edwards, Robert Tyer, Richard Pitts, Tom Blitch, Daniel Pippins, David Stewart, Henry Revels, Frank O’Berry, William Mahaffey, Alvin Harper, Marion O’Berry, Richard Sedwick, Johnny Morgan, John McElveen, Robert Pope, Claude Andrews, Tom Beaver, Henry Moore, Jesse Stanley, Brantley Rosier, R. S. Rosier, Alan Swanson, Paul McLendon, Henry Lee Davis, Dewey Green, Kenneth Lowery, Enoch Mullins, C. Wynne O’Berry, W. P. Gramling, Riley Mills, Louis Abraham, Eugene E. Liles, Elbert Whidden, Frank Cannon, Carl Pitts, Keith Pire, Jeff Couey, Bill Allen, E. R. O’Berry, Ray Townsend, George Mills, Walter Black, Larry Barnes, Bill Head, Rufus Jones, William Brannen, Lynn Raposa, Louie King, Ronald Stanley, Billy Burkett, James Austin, Lawrence Pitts, John Myrick, Jack Baum, Pat Lindner, J. W. Kirksey, Michael Barnes.
The Lodge has sponsored a number of Little League teams over the years and is now in the process of putting together a bar-b-que for the benefit of the Boys and Girls Club that is to be built at the 30-acre Stanley Park on Cummer Road in Lacoochee.
I hope this brief walk down memory lane has brought fond memories to you as it always does for me.