Lacoochee – Cottage industries



Cottage Industries


In the early 1940’s my uncle, Jim Head, and my dad, J. W. Hunnicutt, Sr., built cypress fishing boats at Uncle Jim’s house in the Cummer Quarters of Lacoochee. The company houses had sufficient electrical power to run the power saws.

Several years later we finally got electricity at our house north of Trilacoochee. My dad bought some Craftsman power tools from Sears and started building boats at home. In the beginning my cousin, Billy Head, helped him and then I took over when I was about eight.

The boats, all cypress, ranged from twelve to twenty feet in length. Most went to fish camps on the Withlacoochee River and lakes in the Inverness/Hernando area. We averaged one boat per week and usually delivered them on Saturday.

Floyd McElory who had a boat and outboard motor shop in Inverness had an open order for all the boats we could provide.

My dad worked at the planing mill and the boat building occurred from 5:30PM to 9:00PM daily. We also built porch swings and picnic tables which were popular with the fish camps.

In 1949 we moved our house from Lacoochee to Dade City and the boat building continued until I graduated from Pasco High in 1955 and enlisted in the Navy.

J. W. Hunnicutt Sr. inspecting his work

Pictures courtesy of J. W. Hunnicutt

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