The 1921 Hurricane in Pasco County and Tarpon Springs, Florida


The 1921 Hurricane

This page was last revised on Oct. 11, 2018.

This page discusses the 1921 hurricane as it affected Pasco County, Florida, and Tarpon Springs, Florida.

The hurricane, later estimated as category 3, made landfall around Tarpon Springs on Oct. 25, 1921. Maximum winds recorded at Tarpon Springs were 100 miles per hour.

Peter Joseph (“Joe”) Baillie later recalled that damage in New Port Richey was extensive, boats that had been moored along the river were floating in the streets and many homes were without roofs.

The New Port Richey Press (unseen) reported, “A heavy storm struck New Port Richey and vicinity on Nov. 1, causing considerable damage, but no loss of life.”

The Tarpon Springs Leader reported on Oct. 28, 1921, “Elfers and New Port Richey, where citrus culture is among the principal industries, suffered heavily on account of the storm.”

In a 1972 newspaper interview, Leland Poole recalled, “I remember it like yesterday. It happened Oct. 27, 1921. Elfers was just about solid citrus then. It stripped the trees. No oranges or grapefruit that year. It hit New Port Richey too. They were just building the Community Congregational Church. Blew the whole back out. Knocked down wires all over.”

In 1976 Maxine Gause recalled attending the Elfers school. “Only perhaps 10 kids came that day to school, out of about 75 usually. But my mother was a substitute teacher that day, so we attended. When our upstairs classroom door blew in, my mother tried to tie it shut, but couldn’t. So we had to take turns standing against it, a few at a time, until the storm finally eased up. We were frightened!”

In 1976 Pauline Stevenson Ash also recalled attending the Elfers school. “During that hurricane, most of the windows blew out, and we took turns sweeping out the water, for almost seven hours!”

The Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Port Richey sustained significant damage from the hurricane. The bell tower was blown off and not replaced. The church continued to be used after repairs.

At Fort Dade, near Dade City, an old two-story building which had earlier housed the Mount Zion Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge was destroyed by the hurricane. According to a historic marker, the building was constructed in 1872.

On May 12, 1922, the Dade City Banner reported, “The October hurricane blew several trees down on the Prospect church, almost completely destroying it. The people of the neighborhood have just completed the rebuilding of the edifice and on Easter night had their first service. As no clergyman was present, a lay service of prayer and song was held”

On May 19, 1922, the Dade City Banner reported, “The October hurricane certainly had it in for the churches of Pasco [the community of Pasco -jm]. The Baptist church was lifted off its foundations and now stands with a zigzig look as if it had just woke up ‘the moraine after the night before.’ It is still in usable condition though and the regular services are being held as usual. The Methodists’ place of worship was completely destroyed. It was an unusually fine building for so small a community and its loss is a distinct calamity. Plans are on foot for re-building before the year is out.”

The Dade City Banner reported, “The turpentine business in the Darby section, known as the Amelia Still, suffered severely in the tropical storm of October 25, when the building was damaged and possibly a third of the timber blown down.”

More information can be found below the photos, in the newspaper articles from the Dade City Banner and Tarpon Springs Leader. Unfortunately, the New Port Richey Press from this period apparently is lost.

Community Congregational Church in New Port Richey, under construction, damaged by the hurricane.

Damage to the Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace on Washington Street in Port Richey.

Sunnybrook Tobacco Co. barn no. 3 in Dade City destroyed by the hurricane. A Burgert Brothers photograph taken on Nov. 2, 1921.

Dade City in Path of Tropical Storm (1921)

Sunny Brook Tobacco Company Loss $100,000. Fifty Percent Fruit Lost

This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Oct. 28, 1921.

Pasco county was struck by the terrific tornado that passed over south and central Florida Tuesday. The loss is inestimable. Probably fifty per cent of the citrus fruit was blown off the trees and many fruit trees were blown over, houses and small buildings were damaged and even destroyed, and fine shade trees uprooted, broken off or spangled.

The storm began Sunday morning as a slow steady rain, increasing in volume through the day and Monday. Monday night the wind began to blow from the southwest and increased until it reached destructive velocity. It was at its worst in Dade City between 3:30 and 5:30 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

Nine of the large barns and 110 acres of half shade of the Sunny Brook Tobacco Company were destroyed at a loss estimated at $100,000. The south end of the packing house of the Dade City Packing Company was crushed in at a possible loss of $1,000. The damage to racks and loss of veneer blown away at the Veneer mill may amount to another thousand. The smoke stacks of the Dade City Ice, Light and Power Company went over.

Great damage was done to electric current, telegraph and telephone lines. The Light company were able to turn the current on the down town circuit Wednesday night but it required two days more to repair circuits in residence districts. All phones of the Pasco Telephone Company but 18 were put out of service.

County Agent Merrin estimates that 40 to 50 per cent of the citrus fruit was blown off the trees. Some estimates of single groves run as high as 90 per cent. The packing houses are working day and night to save all fruit possible.

Rain was blown through sided walls seemingly like a sieve and most housewives were busy mopping up and trying to stop the destruction in their homes. One lady said she would like to have watched the storm but was too busy mopping to see any of it.

A loss it will take years to replace is that of many pines and beautiful oak trees which has been one of the charms of Dade City to visitors. The notable big oak on the corner of Church and Lockridge street was completely crushed down early in the day. Main street at the north end of Cherry street was completely blocked by two large oaks that fell across it. Three pines and several oaks in the school yard toppled over. The same destruction extended all over the city.

A big oak tree fell on J. H. Green’s house, but came down so slowly that no damage was done. Trees and big limbs also fell on E. Muller’s, J. A. Hendley’s and Eustis Futch’s porches. Everywhere the story was the same, trees and shrubbery down, vines torn from houses, windows out and fences down.

The roof was blown off the G. B. Spencer home and much damage done by the rain. This was the most serious damage reported done to a private residence in the city.

The Standard Limited from St. Petersburg … [illegible paragraph]

The Banner force had a rough experience. The office occupies the first floor of the Masonic building, a two story frame building fully exposed to the gale. Several windows were blown in and half the glass in the front window broken. The boys did what they could to protect the stock and cover the linotype and as the building became too tipsy to be comfortable they hiked for safer quarters. A rusty linotype and cylinder press occupied their attention Wednesday.

A tree fell on the barn of Ruben Jordan north of town and crushed his Dort (?) car along with the building. A tree fell on the garage of J. S. Woodward at Lake Pasadena and crushed his Ford. H. A. Aughenbaugh had run the Scofield truck to his home on the Ft. King road and left it in front of the bars (?). A pine fell across it and sank it in the ground up to the hubs. Then the barn caved in and took off the top of his Ford, and the roof of his home sailed away.

The kitchen and dining room were torn off J. F. Revel’s house and the contents destroyed. The homes of A. A. Austin, John Burks and other residents of the San Antonio road were damaged.

E. H. Schuyler reports from a third to one fourth of the old orange trees in his grove blown over.

In San Antonio several buildings were moved from their foundations.

In Trilby damages similar as reported elsewhere but nothing special.

In Zephyrhills the old city hall was moved four feet. The Zephyrs hotel lost part of its roof and much window glass. The Nicholson barn and an old land mark, the Tom Gill barn, were destroyed.

San Antonio Old Timers Never Saw the Like (1921)

Buildings Wrecked, Trees Uprooted and General Devastation

This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Oct. 28, 1921.

San Antonio, October 27.—Tuesday’s storm swept through San Antonio at a terrific gale, wrecking many buildings and uprooting hundreds of trees. The citrus crop is more than half on the ground, and growers have suffered a great loss. Some of the oldest residents here, who have been in or near San Antonio for forty years, do not remember having witnessed such a storm before. The gale was terrific.

The home of Bernard Lyons, a little over a mile from town, was so badly wrecked that Mr. Lyons will probably not attempt to repair it, but instead will build an entirely new house. Mr. Lyons had to take his family to the St. Charles hotel until another home is provided. J. A. Barthle’s warehouse near the station was damaged to such an extent that the contents were practically destroyed. he had over a thousand dollars’ worth of fertilizer stored there. Water tanks went down by the wind at the homes of S. J. Murphy, Oswald Freible, J. A. Barthle, and at the Holy Name Academy. The old garage on the Halsema property was blown down; the front was blown out of the store building near the railroad station, now occupied by John Tucker; Jesse Dunne’s dwelling was shifted from its foundation, and the house occupied by Adam Chiselbar is in the same shape, and many other homes have been damaged to some extent.

Storm Loss in New Port Richey Heavy (1921)

The Greenhouses of Herms Floral Company a total Loss. Buildings Damaged

This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Oct. 28, 1921.

New Port Richey, (Special)—October 25—The worst storm in the history of this town culminated today in a hurricane which destroyed thousands of dollars worth of property, but so far as known without injury to any person.

The Herms Floral Company are the greatest sufferers. All their green houses together with hundreds of valuable trees and thousands of plants and flowers being a total loss.

The tower of the Catholic church was blown off and the building wrecked. The south wall of the new Congregational church was blown out and one fourth of the roof torn off. Nearly all the windows in the school house were broken and the plastering down. Extensive repairs will have to be made before reopening the school.

Industry park, the home of various industries, was leveled to the ground with the exception of Bronk’s cabinet shop. The hotel garage was destroyed, leaving several cars to the mercy of the weather.

T. I. Lindsey’s house was blown from its foundation.

J. J. Burns’ residence was unroofed, two small houses at Port Richey were wrecked, and several more or less damaged.

All the stores were damaged by water, some of them suffering severely. The wooden awning over the dry goods store was blown down, breaking the show window and doing considerable damage to the stock.

Hardly a house in town escaped damages of some kind, mostly by water and in some instances residents were driven from homes.

The fruit crop is a total loss. The Dignum Rothera grove with an estimated crop of 800 boxes is entirely stripped of its fruit and will not be marketed. The groves of Messrs. Stulting, Fluke, Elder, and Northup are in a similar condition and very little if any fruit will be shipped from this vicinity this season.

For the first time since the office was established, no mail arrived today, nor was any sent out. No train has arrived this week and none are expected for some days on account of washouts. The electric light plant is out of commission but hopes to turn on the juice Wednesday night.

Hurricane Sweeps South Florida (1921)

Considerable Damage to Property; Nobody Killed or Injured in Tarpon Springs.

Wire Connections With Neighboring Towns Cut off; Rumored South End of County Suffered Severely, with Some Loss of Life.

The following article appeared in the Tarpon Springs Leader on Oct. 26, 1921.

The people of Tarpon Springs are congratulating themselves today on their good fortune in having come through a severe hurricane without the loss of a life or the physical injury to a single person, so far as can be learned. Quite a number of people suffered considerable damage to their property as a result of the heavy rain which was accompanied by winds that raged from 11:30 yesterday morning until nearly 3 o’clock in the afternoon, attaining an estimated velocity of between eighty and ninety miles an hour.

The principal damage in Tarpon Springs consisted in blowing off of roofs, the breaking of windows, and the destruction of many fine trees. Telephone and electric wires are down in many parts of the city, but a partial service is being maintained by the telephone office and it is expected that lights will be available in certain parts of the city by late this evening. The power plant was not damaged appreciably, and while the poles and wires are considerably mussed up, it is thought normal service can be restored within a few days.

It would be useless to attempt to enumerate the houses that were damaged to some extent by the storm, as there were many. Most of them, however, suffered only slight damage, such as the losing of window screens and small patches of roofing. The business section of the town suffered more from water than from wind. Rain began falling early Sunday morning and continued to fall almost constantly until late Tuesday evening. By Tuesday morning rain was falling in torrents, with increasing winds. The hurricane broke about 11:30 and continued to grow in severity until about 3 o’clock, when the wind began to subside. The hurricane came from an easterly direction, but a strong wind came up from the west shortly after 3 o’clock, bringing in an unusually high tide. The waves broke over the seawalls along the bayous and the water backed up through the storm sewers, filling some of the lower streets near the water front.


The Tarpon Inn and the Hotel Stratford both suffered considerable damage from water. The high school building was pretty badly damaged, though the class rooms are all in condition for use. The cupola and part of the roof were torn away and the ceiling in the auditorium was broken through.

The roof of the big Hawkins house on Spring bayou was damaged by the falling of the chimney tops. The Odd Fellows hall, at the corner of Ring avenue and Lemon street, was blown off its foundation and practically demolished. The boat houses of E. M. Smith and E. Z. Griggs were wrecked and the handsome pleasure yacht owned by Mr. Griggs was badly damaged and sunk. Most of the buildings in the business district leaked badly and mercantile stocks were more or less damaged by water.

Odessa Lumber Companies Lost Heavily in Storm (1921)

Autos Go Through Water up to Running Board to Reach Outside World

This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Nov. 4, 1921.

Odessa, October 27th, 1921.

Warnings of a tropical hurricane coming were seat here Monday afternoon. No one expected anything but a slight gale, therefore very few preparations were made.

The Lyon Pine company’s mill received damages to the extent of $15,000 in roofs blown away from the mill and dwellings, machinery damaged, with locomotives and cars stalled in the woods with tracks washed away and timber down everywhere. The Dowling Company mill was damaged to the extent of $25,000 or $30,000 in the same way with the exception of smoke stacks and commissary as six of the immense stacks were blown down and around, like pipe stems, leaving one standing. The commissary roof was blown in with the entire front and all porches blown off. One house on the Dowling side was demolished causing the family to seek other shelter during the worst of the storm while other houses lost roofs, porches, and blocks. No autos were lost but many were left homeless. The houses on the other side were treated the same.

All light wires and poles down, telephones out of commission completely cutting off all communication outside till early Thursday morning. A few autos crossed the Cootie river late Wednesday afternoon on the way to and from Tarpon, but the water was above the running boards and the doors of some. The bath house and pool at Seven Springs, near here, were destroyed.

The school houses here are intact and only one day lost from school. Mrs. Kirkman, the principal of school, has been very much worried about her people as she hasn’t heard yet from a sister whose home was on Palmetto Beach at Tampa. Not house is left there. Mrs. Kirkman with a party, leaves for Tampa early Saturday morning.

Storm Damage Less Than First Estimate (1921)

Hurricane Covered Wide Territory, But Took Small Toll of Life; Fruit Crop Suffers Great Damage.

The following article appeared in the Tarpon Springs Leader on Oct. 28, 1921.

The work of cleaning up after the hurricane that swept Tarpon Springs Tuesday in its course across the Florida peninsula is progressing rapidly and, aside from the leaves and branches that still litter some of the streets, little remains to indicate that the town has just undergone one of the severest storms in the history of the lower west coast. An unofficial summing up of the property damage here doesn’t show any great individual loss, though the total probably will run up to several thousand dollars. Everybody is working hard to repair what the storm has torn down, and the prevailing sentiment is gratitude that not a single resident of the town suffered any physical injury.

The heaviest losses were sustained by the Southern Utilities Company and the Peninsular Telephone company, both of which have been at large expense repairing wires and poles. The telephone service is still considerably impaired, but it is expected that full service will be restored within a few days. Manager G. A. Louden of the Southern Utilities company, Chief Electrician R. R. Daniel, and a large crew of men began work immediately after the storm subsided Tuesday afternoon, and at 4:15 Wednesday afternoon the current was turned on in the business section of the city and the greater part of the town had electric lights Tuesday evening. It has been necessary to shut the power off from time to time to make further repairs, but a fair service is being maintained and the company is receiving many words of commendation for the effort made.

Many residences and business houses were slightly damaged by wind and rain, but only a few suffered damage of a serious nature. The firms and individuals listed below sustained more or less serious loss:

Tarpon Springs Furniture company—Warehouse partially wrecked and large stock of furniture damaged by water.

Old Reliable drug store—Large front window smashed.

G. W. Fernald’s Son—Plate glass window broken.

Stratford Hotel—Part of roof torn away and interior damaged by water.

Tarpon Inn—Number of broken windows and some water damage.

[This section of the article is illegible.]

as packing house facilities are crippled and it will be impossible to pack and ship more than a small fraction of the fruit that fell. Elfers and New Port Richey, where citrus culture is among the principal industries, suffered heavily on account of the storm.

Oldsmar Hit Hard.

According to reports from people who have passed through Oldsmar since the storm, that little town suffered severely. Most of the damage there appears to have been done by high water. Parts of the town are said to have been under six feet of water and a number of houses are reported to be practically ruined. There was no loss of human life, but a number of cattle were drowned. The damage to crops has not been estimated, but is known to be heavy.

The roads between this city and Tampa are negotiated with extreme difficulty, several torturous detours being necessary. One enterprising citizen, living near one of these detours, is said to be doing a thriving business pulling automobiles out of the mud with his tractor.

D. K. Ballard, who has just returned from Fort Myers, reports that the storm was not severe there or at Punta Gorda, but that crops were practically ruined by high water. At Punta Gorda he saw a man drive a motor launch into the postoffice. Mr. Ballard reported that one fisherman was drowned at that place and that ten others were missing Tuesday night.

Tampa and St. Petersburg suffered heavy damage, with a loss of three lives at the former place and two at the latter. The early rumors of heavy loss of life at Pass-a-Grille proved wholly unfounded. The property damage on the island was heavy, but everybody was accounted for.

Many Towns in Path of Storm

The following resume o storm damage throughout the state is taken from the Tampa Tribune of Thursday:

The tropical storm which blew in early Tuesday morning from down about the Yucatan channel blew out again early Wednesday morning, leaving a trail of destruction over a considerable portion of southwestern Florida. It was heading northeastward when it left this section and is believed to have spent much of its force before striking the Atlantic coast somewhere between Jacksonville and Charleston. The east coast of Florida was merely “sideswiped“ by gales which “fringed” the eastern edge of the disturbance.

From Punta Rassa on the lower southwest tip of the coast, where the hurricane first struck the state, on up along the Gulf coast of Tampa, and for perhaps fifty miles to the northward, the gale spent its greatest force, the winds at times reaching a velocity of seventy-five miles an hour at Tampa.

The property loss in Tampa is estimated at between one and half and two million dollars, with a total for the entire section of southwestern Florida of perhaps five million dollars.

Much of the loss will fall on the citrus fruit growers, estimates of fruit torn from the trees varying from 50 to 60 per cent in the coastal region of Pinellas county, with 30 to 50 per cent in Hillsborough, down to 5 to 10 per cent in Orange and Polk counties. In some sections of orange and Polk the loss will exceed 10 per cent, and in others fall below. As is the case with all storms, there were areas swept by winds of greater force than others.

Heavy rainfalls which swelled creeks and flooded low areas inland added to the losses. Along the coast the wind out of the southeast, blowing with gale force, at times reaching sixty to seventy-five miles an hour, backed up the waters in the bays and produced near-tidal waves on the gulf which swept inland and flooded vast low areas. At Tampa the Hillsborough river reached unprecedented heights. The greater amount of the actual damage at Tampa was caused by high water.

Loss of life has been small, only five actual deaths being traceable to the storm, three at Tampa and in the vicinity of this city, and two at St. Petersburg.

At St. Petersburg the property loss was greater than elsewhere except at Tampa. Damage to property there is estimated at between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Every pier along the water front there, including the magnificent city-owned recreation pier, was either wrecked or demolished and swept away. The bridge from St. Petersburg to Pass-a-Grille is practically destroyed. Part of the bridge from Clearwater to Clearwater island was swept away. A portion of the Indian Rocks bridge was destroyed.

The long wooden bridge across the head of Old Tampa bay near Safety Harbor was swept away during the gale. It swung along with the current and smashed up against the Tampa and Gulf Coast Railroad bridge, carrying away a portion of that structure, and it will be ten days before trains can be run over the T. & G. to Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Oldsmar will be the last station for that length of time.

Little news trickled through from outlying points Wednesday, the first wire service secured being a single wire which the Western Union got about 8 o’clock Wednesday evening. For the greater part of the day there was a single W. U. wire out of Plant City, and messages from Tampa were taken there by automobile and relayed, and a few messages were received for Tampa the same way. It was the only touch this city had with the outside world, as all long distance telephone lines were down, and still are down.

Punta Rassa seems to have been virtually wiped off the map. The storm raged there from early Monday night until late Tuesday night. The gale at that point at times reached a force of 100 miles an hour, sweeping away houses and bringing a veritable tidal wave along with it.

Boca Grande suffered severely, but the extent of the damage is not known.

Fort Myers and the outlying islands were in the path of the storm. There was much damage there.

At Bradentown and vicinity the principal damage was to the citrus fruit crop, but there was some damage to buildings. Anna Maria key was swept by the storm and there was considerable damage to the buildings and to the dock there.

Pass-a-Grille caught much of the storm’s force. Rumors that lives were lost there proved untrue. The pass was cut off from the mainland when the bridge failed, but yesterday motorboats from St. Petersburg reached the island with provisions and clothing for such as were in need. There was much property damage there.

The Gulf and Southern steamship Truxillo is reported to have left New Orleans Saturday with passengers and freight for Tampa, and should have arrived here Monday or Tuesday. It has not yet been heard from. The Truxillo carries no wireless equipment.

The Mallory Line steamship Lake Fillmore was due to arrive here from New York with general cargo Tuesday, but has not yet appeared.

Key West was not struck by the storm, contrary to the wild rumors of great devastation there. The storm merely sideswiped the Island City. A wireless received at the St. Petersburg station from Key West Thursday stated that there was no storm damage there.

Center Hill, in Sumter county, in the middle of the state, reports about $200,000 damage, mostly to crops.

Daytona had a sixty-mile gale for a short time Tuesday morning, but comparatively little damage was done there. St. Augustine experienced high winds and some damage. There is a report that four fishermen in a boat were lost, but this has not been confirmed.

Bartow, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Arcadia and all other towns in the South Florida section suffered more or less, but the inland cities did not feel the force of the gale to the extent that the coastal towns did.

Jacksonville experienced a sixty-mile gale for a time Tuesday, and wires went down. Nearly five inches of rain fell there between 8 o’clock Tuesday morning and the same hour twenty-four hours later.

2 Smacks Are Lost; Probably 15 Dead (1921)

Three Greek Boats, with Twenty Men, Not Heard From; Masts Found Beyond Lighthouse.

The following article appeared in the Tarpon Springs Leader on Oct. 28, 1921.

The crew of the Spanish smack Manuel, arriving in port last night, report that the two smacks, Severiter and Espania, were wrecked in the hurricane of last Tuesday, and the battered and deserted hulls of these vessels were found drifting with the tide at a point near the big buoy, five miles west of Anclote light, yesterday. The masts were gone and there was no sign of life on either vessel. While no bodies have been found, it is the opinion of the Manuel crew that the fifteen men who are known to have been on the wrecked vessels were swept away and lost. Only by a miracle could they have been saved. The Manuel lost her masts and was battered severely by the gale, but came through to safety without the loss of a single member of her crew of eight.

Greek Boats Missing

There is much uneasiness here regarding the fate of the Greek schooner Aegina and the diving boats Constantinople and Cornelia, which were at sea Tuesday and have not been heard from.

The schooner Aegina, in charge of Capt. Athanasias Stamatis and with a crew of four men, was known to be a few miles west of the lighthouse at the beginning of the storm. Floating masts, believed to be those of the Aegina, have been found in that vicinity and it is feared that the vessel and her crew are lost.

The Constantinople, in charge of Capt. James Melissas, and with a crew of seven men, left Tarpon Springs several days before the hurricane. There is hope that she may have made port somewhere up the coast, although, in that event, the crew should have been heard from before now.

The Cornelia, in charge of Capt. Lambris Skiriotis, and with a crew of four men, was last seen about five miles west of Anclote light and no trace of the vessel or the crew has been found since the storm.

Searching expeditions have gone out from here and are scouring the seas in this vicinity in the hope of finding the missing boats and rescuing the men, if still alive.

[A later newspaper article reported that the schooner Aegina and the diving boats Constantinople and Cornelia were accounted for and no Greek lives were lost.]

How Leader Was Issued Wednesday (1921)

The following article appeared in the Tarpon Springs Leader on Oct. 28, 1921.

With the Southern Utilities Company electric power shut off until evening on Wednesday last, owing to the demoralized condition of wires throughout the city, those responsible for the issuance of The Tarpon Springs Leader were up against a problem. The office being up-to-date depends upon the electric current not only as power to run its presses and folding machine and linotype, but the linotype itself is equipped with an electric pot. Also, by reason of using a linotype to set up all the ordinary reading matter in the paper, the office is not equipped with type of suitable size nor of sufficient quantity to hand set enough matter for a newspaper.

Such was the condition which confronted The Leader staff on Wednesday morning. Inquiries were made of the Southern Utilities Company and it was found that it would be impossible to secure power from them until late in the afternoon. But Wednesday was publication day and The Leader had a service to render to its readers. It could not wait.

Therefore, all hands got busy. For a time it looked very much like the old days when every news office set its type by hand. Job type was used, and when one size ran out, another was used. The staff was determined to give its readers the news, even if in very brief form.

When the miniature paper had been set up and the forms all made up, the staff was confronted with the problem of running the big cylinder press. This problem was solved by taking the belt off the motor, and then by one taking hold of the belt and pulling on t with all his weight, while another pulled on the fly wheel with his hands, the big press was put into motion—slow, to be sure—but motion just the same. And so, in this manner the paper was printed. The folding machine being out of question, the paper was cut and folded by hand, and the papers finally placed in the mail.

That this was strenuous work, anyone who ever has tried turning one of the big cylinder presses by hand can vouch. Even the Leader staff finally played out, and the services of two colored men was secured to help out. But The Leader did not miss publication, and it was turned out in its entirety in The Leader office.

Because many persons have asked how the paper was issued when the electric power was off, this explanation is given.

Pasco County HistoryTarpon Springs History