History of Trilacoochee (or Trilcoochee), Florida


Trilacoochee (Trilcoochee)

2010 photo

Eastern Pasco County Pictures

Trilacoochee is so named because it is located between Trilby and Lacoochee.

The phrase Trilcoochee Gardens appears in the Dade City Banner beginning in 1926.

On Feb. 25, 1927, the Banner reported that vol. 1, no. 1 of the Trilcoochee Methodist, edited by Rev. H. L. Graybeal, pastor of the Methodist churches in Trilby and Lacoochee, has been published.

On June 29, 1928, the Banner reported, “G. E. Beach has opened a garage and service station located on the main road between Trilby and Lacoochee, to be known as the Trilcoochee Garage and Service Station.”

On April 15, 1932, the Banner carried the headline, “Candidates to Speak at Trilcoochee Tomorrow.” This is first instance we have seen in the Banner of Trilcoochee as a place name.

The earliest spelling of Trilacoochee we have seen in the Banner is in 1938. In the Dade City Banner of Sept. 13, 1940, it is spelled Trillacoochee. (The name is still spelled Trilcoochee on published maps and lists of town names, but it is now usually spelled Trilacoochee locally.)

The Causeys

Photo courtesy of Wanda Causey Brown Russell. larger

This article originally appeared on the EPHS web site. It was written by Theresa Osbron Smith and edited by Wanda Causey Brown Russell.

Charles Aaron and Lucy Addeline “Addie” Rowlett Causey settled in Trilacoochee in late 1926. They were accompanied by their son, Roy and her brother Henry along with a friend by the name of Frank. The group left Tennessee with the plans to join other brothers of Aunt Addie and Uncle Henry in Lakeland. Like many others of that time, they left their home to find work. They encountered many problems on their trip south and made several stops to repair their car. They had stopped in Trilacoochee to repair a flat tire when they heard that Cummer and Sons were hiring at the mill in Lacoochee. And so that is how the Causeys became members of this community. Henry Rowlett settled in Trilby and my grandmother, Theresa “Merce” Rowlett Osbron and her family joined them later.

Charles or Charlie as he was known, started a garage, in a two-story building facing 575. The family lived upstairs above the garage. Because the top floor would not support the chains required for pulling motors out of cars in order to work on them, he had a new garage built at the corner of 575 and US 301. The downstairs was then converted to living space. The two-story building was later torn down with a new home built for Aunt Addie. The garage is currently owned and operated by Dwight Tadlock along with a used car lot.

The Cafe at Trilacoochee

Bowman’s Trilacoochee Restaurant larger

This article originally appeared on the EPHS web site. It was written by Theresa Osbron Smith and edited by Mary Carmen Andreu Smock.

The cafe at Trilacoochee was a familiar landmark at the crossroads of US 301 and CR 575 in the early 40s, 50s and 60s. It was located halfway between Trilby and Lacoochee. I don’t remember eating in the cafe but I remember the Andreu family who owned it during the 40s and 50s.

Vasco “Big Boy” Andreu and his wife Mary Anne Acosta, had two daughters, Mary Carmen and Mildred. They purchased the cafe in 1940/41 from Henry Hancock, the father of Martha Jewell Hancock May (C.D. May) and Helen Hancock Walters (Dr. W. H. Walters).

Mr. Andreu worked for Cummer and Sons at their other mill sites and followed them when they started the mill at Lacoochee. He was a train engineer and worked with Mr. Philip Mickler.

Mrs. Andreu ran the restaurant, cooking along with her mother-in-law Mary Magdaline “Mamie” or “Ma” as she was commonly called, and Mae Gideons (my maternal grandmother). Other workers in the restaurant included Bessie Robbins, Mildred Polk Hartzog and Etta Stanley.

Mary Carmen remembers that her grandmother, Mrs. Mamie Andreu, would take her and her sister to Mr. Harvey’s chicken farm, Feather Hills Farms on Mt. Zion Road west of Dade City, to purchase little yellow chicks. Mrs. Mamie would then raise those biddies to butcher for meals at the restaurant. She was very proud that her chickens never touched the ground and felt that her chickens were the cleanest in the area. Many Dade City residents traveled to the “Crossroads” on Sunday after church to have fried chicken. Mrs. Mamie was also famous for her chicken and dumplings.

Mr. Andreu died in 1962 at the age of 60; Mrs. Andreu died in 1966 at the age of 64. They are both buried in the Dade City cemetery.

The Andreu family lived in the restaurant which was “L” shaped. The restrooms were outside at the end of a boardwalk on the west side of the building with access from the restaurant.

On the property was a building that contained two cabins. These cabins were mainly used by traveling salesmen. They were not advertised as a “motel”. When Mr. Andreu’s father, Newton Elred “Ba”, passed away, the building was converted into a house for his mother. When the property was sold, the front part of the house was moved to Florida Avenue in Dade City which is still standing today.

Mary Carmen’s son and her sister Mildred’s first two children were born in their grandmother’s house.

The Andreus sold the restaurant to Hassell “Red” and Ruth “Trudy” Bowman in the early 50s. The Bowmans had two sons, Hassell, Jr. “Freddie” and Albert. They were from Maryland and we thought they talked funny. And to top it off, they wore SHORTS. No boy in our area would be caught dead wearing shorts, they were for sissies. However, these boys did become part of our neighborhood and very close friends of our family. My brothers and I spent many hours with Freddie and Albert, playing Monopoly when we were young, then riding around in Freddie’s green Dodge convertible when we were teenagers. Freddie had to have that top down, even if it was 40 degrees. He just rolled up the windows and turned the heater on full blast. And no one can forget the taste of Red Bowman’s hamburgers. Oh, the memories of going to sleep listening to the jukebox playing songs like “Down Yonder”, “Cold Cold Heart”, and “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, just to name a few.

I was saddened when they tore down the old cafe/bus station and built a new one further back from the corner as it seemed to take the heart out of Trilacoochee for me. The same people were still there but a special place with many memories was no longer standing.

One memory in particular still remains so vivid to me. Several of us would catch the school bus at the cafe to be bussed to Dade City. One morning a circus truck was parked in front of the bus station where we were waiting for the bus. Imagine our surprise when we saw the men unload an elephant out of the back of that truck. We all looked at each other wondering where do we go from here? The cafe was closed so we couldn’t go inside; we must have looked like a bunch of chickens scurrying around, trying to find a place to go. I don’t remember all the details after that but I think they used the elephant to push the truck to get it started as I do remember the elephant pushing the truck forward. That was our first encounter with a major wild animal, a far cry from a raccoon or possum.

Red and Trudy Bowman

This Little Piggy Went to Market And Other Trilacoochee Memories


He was one of those black pigs with a white ring around his midsection. I was two years old and he was my first pet. I do not remember his name but I do know he liked me and we were constant companions. I would scratch him on the top of his back and he would roll over. The neighbors always marveled at my animal training skills.

He grew from a piglet to a full grown pig and one day he disappeared. I was probably three by then and I’m sure that any questions regarding his leaving were answered with sympathy.

Years later my sister told me my pig was butchered. I never associated the presence of bacon and ham that year with the absence of my pig. I also did not recognize this as a glimpse into the future when my sister would tell me my goat had run away and my palomino pony had died. She seems to have the gift of conveying bad news about my pets.

Some might question my ability to remember an event that happened when I was two years old. Until recent years I was blessed with almost total recall. I have vivid memories of my Granny Hunnicutt (my father’s grandmother) who lived with us in Lacoochee. Several years ago I was recording dates of birth and death of family members who are buried in the Lacoochee cemetery. I discovered that Granny died three months before I was born.

The Bowman boys, Freddie and Albert, had a horse at one time. We used to ride him without a saddle or bridle. A dog chased him one day while I was on board and he jumped over a ditch. I became airborne and landed in the ditch.

In the early to-mid 1940’s, a couple of Yankees were traveling south on 301 pulling a small house trailer. The trailer came unhitched and turned over in front of Uncle Johnnie Morgan’s house north of the Crossroads. The couple were not injured but the trailer was a total loss. They had a basket of the largest apples I have ever seen. They gave one to each of the kids who came out to investigate. That’s when I realized Yankees are good too.

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