Stop 64 & 65: The 1888 Treiber Building which was owned by the Griffins
The 1888 Treiber Building housing Dog Mania and Rustic Elegance.
The Treiber Building at 37846 Meridian was consistently owned by Henry Clay Griffin throughout its early history and building of circa 1888 was erroneously named Treiber Building which implies that Frances Treiber or her father, Terrence Treiber owned it. In actuality the building was owned by the Griffins and the ultimate location of the building-owned and business-owned Treiber building was at 412 East Pasco Avenue. The moniker of this Meridian structure will continue to be ‘Treiber’ and the space houses the businesses of Dog Mania and Rustic Elegance in 2023. The building is considered the oldest masonry, commercial building in Pasco County, perhaps just ahead of the 1892 Pasco County Jail Building. Dr. Irvin Futch operated his dental office upstairs and Dr. Robert Don Sistrunk’s medical office was across the hall. Per the Dade City Historical Preservation report, it is stucco and block and a representative example of the style of Florida Boom Architecture. Henry Clay “H.C.” Griffin was the proprietor until 1924. News of the new owners of the business in Griffin Hardware Store was published in the Tampa Morning Tribune on January 8, 1924:
“A business change that will be of considerable interest was consummated last Friday afternoon when H.C. Griffin Sr. Sold the Griffin Hardware Company Store to James B. O’Meara of Columbia, South Carolina and Terrence Maxwell Treiber of Tampa. The new owners took immediate possession and are doing business under the name of O’Meara & Treiber Company.
The closing of this transaction marks the passage of one of the oldest business houses in Dade City. Mr. Griffin established it soon after his arrival here many years ago. During all of these years he has continued as owner and manager and it is because of failing health that he has now disposed of it and retired from active business. It is the only exclusively hardware store in the city.
The new owners have been in Dade City several days arranging for the transfer, taking stock and so on. They are now busy cleaning up the store room and rearranging the stock. New goods will be ordered at once and it is their aim to carry a complete stock of goods in their line of hardware for which there may be any demand in this section.
Both of the new proprietors are thoroughly experienced in the line of work, having had many years’ experiences both in the wholesale and retail department. Mr. O’Meara was for 17 years connected with the ‘Atlanta Woodenware Company’ of Atlanta, Georgia, and has had thirty-five years’ experience in the hardware and house finishing lines.
Mr. Treiber, the junior partner, is a native of Michigan but has been living for the past twelve years in Tampa. During this time, he has visited practically every section of the state in the interest of various wholesale dealers in his line and selection of Dade City as the place to locate when he was ready to retire from the road and go into business for himself was made because he had faith in the future growth and development of the town and surrounding county. On account of property interests he has in Tampa he will retain his residence there for a while spending his weekends at home but will later bring his family here and become a permanent resident. Mr. O’Meara has already brought his wife here and they plan to make Dade City their home.
While it is too soon to make public all of the plans of the new firm it can be said that a number of improvements are being planned in the operation of their business and among others will be the installation of a department devoted exclusively to the handling of household utensils prices at five and ten cents.
Terrence Treiber prepared his daughter, Frances Delores Treiber in the hardware business. From early adolescence, she was working in the store. When Terrence passed away in 1944, Frances not only inherited the business but was up and running in her skill level.
Frances was determined to move the business to a building that she owned and was able to do so in 1950. The business had been located on Meridian for twenty-eight years after a short stint on 8th Street but in a rental capacity. She was exceedingly proud when her new business opened at 412 East Pasco Avenue, south of the courthouse square for National Hardware Week.
The new building with the dimensions of 41 by 81 feet, was erected by Hormuth & Hodges, general contractors, of concrete block and steel beam construction with stucco finish. The front of the one-story building had broad expanses of plate-glass set-in steel. The wide store provided space for numerous displays and like the Meridian Store, a gift department occupied one section. In the rear of the store is a large stock room and a display of farm equipment.
A 48-inch exhaust fan and insulated attic were features. Extra new fixtures in the store were the work of the Dade City Lumber Company. The contractors were assisted in the completion of the building by C.L. Daniels and V.J. Dorman for electrical work as well as C.B. Sprigg for painting.
SOME FUN HUMAN INTEREST:
Perhaps appropriate if not ironic, with the 2023 occupant of a business entitled Dog Mania, four remarkable historic canines had affiliation with Treiber’s Hardware’s business history because Frances was a dog lover and enjoyed rescue long before it became a popular humanitarian endeavor.
Frances Treiber was said-to-be adopted by a remarkable Black Chow mix canine named Butch who spent every day with her at the Hardware store and was beloved by Dade City. When Butch passed away, she was adopted by a stunning German Shepherd named Lady. Along the way, the staff at Treiber’s witnessed the arrival of the huge St. Bernard named Fannie on the Seaboard Coastline Railroad that was a war hero in the Great War (later coined World War I) and subsequently starred in a movie flick shot in Dade City.
As for the fourth dog, The Tampa Morning Tribune printed a period article entitled, In Our Town: If You Want to Make the Folks in Dade City Happy, Just Try and Find ‘Dirty Mutt.’ The story was about a dog known as Dirty Mutt who the fire chief once named the honorary fire chief. Dirty Mutt was beloved by all. The white dog which was said to be half Spitz and half just plain dog had a regular routine that included Treiber’s Hardware. Apparently, each day he made a path from the Dade City Fire Station to Jimmy Weightman’s gas station and then to Treiber’s Hardware.
TREIBER HARDWARE OPENS IN A NEW LOCATION!
Treiber Hardware, after 26 years in Dade City, in a rental building (often called the Treiber Building on Meridian), is opening in their very own new building at 412 East Pasco Avenue, south of the courthouse square.
The move from the building on Meridian Street, where the store was located since 1928, is coincident with National Hardware Week!
Miss Frances Treiber, owner of the building and sole manager of the business which was established by her father, the late Terrence M. Treiber, and with which she has been associated for many years, invites everyone to visit the new store and to register for drawings.
The building with the dimensions of 41 by 81 feet, erected by Hormuth & Hodges, general contractors is of concrete block and steel beam construction with stucco finish. The attractive front of the one-story building is of broad expanses of plate gas set in steel with aluminum finish and with buff tile panels below the windows and at the corners of the building. The floor is covered with asphalt tile, and the walls of florescent-lighted interior are plastered and tinted light buff with a white ceiling.
The wide store provides space for numerous attractive displays. The gift department occupies one section. In the rear of the store is a large stock room and a display of farm equipment.
A 48-inch exhaust fan and insulated attic are features. Extra new fixtures in the store are the work of the Dade City Lumber Company. The contractors were assisted in the completion of the building by C.L. Daniels and V.J. Dorman for electrical work as well as C.B. Sprigg for painting.