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Stop 16: The 1916 Bank of Dade City

Copyright © 2024

This Bank of Dade City at 14215 7th Street at the corner of what was formerly known as Cherry Street (now 7th Street) and Meridian Avenue was built in 1916. At the opening, visitors were served lemonade and ice cream and each woman was presented with a large Killarney Rose and men, were given a trendy cigar at the well-attended open house. Music was provided by the Zephyrhills City Band.

The building’s solid brick and cement structure featured a Spanish style with large columns in front. The interior included white herringbone tile on the floor. To the right of the entrance was an office partitioned off with marble as well as in the location where the teller’s apartments were placed. The back a stairway led to the director’s room which was located over the vaults which were made of reinforced steel that were entered through heavy steel doors.

Clever advertisements in the Dade City Banner and the Tampa Morning Tribune encouraged folks to take out home loans and stash their hard-earned funds in the bank. Weekly notices offered ingenious ideas for real estate purchase and managing one’s funds, while assuring the population that their money was safe and secure. The short life of Bank of Pasco ended in 1926 just a ten-years into the location’s history. With the collapse of the Florida Boom in real estate investment, the bank closed for a few days and despite a run on the bank, it reopened two months later. In 1928, however it failed, prior to the Stock Market Crash. Some attempts were made to reopen the bank but they never came to fruition.

The building was remodeled in 1936, and has housed Rophie’s Department Store, the Army-Navy Store, Rainbow Travel Agency, Quilts on Plum, The Dirty Heifer Salon; Boutique, and more.

A peek inside the 100+ building provides insights into a bygone time era. The regular parades which were essential in Dade City history for Christmas, the high school homecoming and other occasions, always passed by the bank, and can still be viewed from this strategic Dade City location.

A recent occupant of this structure was Quilts on Plum The recent owner of the business Donna Lillibridge explained, “Quilt stores are a destination, and Dade City is a wonderful place for a quilt store.” Certainly, this solid building that housed the Bank of Dade City is a work of many merchants over time.

Just reflect upon the incredible daily events, conversations, and discussions that have taken pace in this building which has served an abundance of needs over one-hundred years in age? The notion would make a beautiful quilt.

  • 1916

    Building of Bank of Dade City.

  • 1926

    The Bank of Dade City failed to open its door this morning and a notice was posted on the door stating that the directors had decided to close the institution, as the cash reserves were below the legal requirements.

  • 1926

    July 13: The Dade City Banner reported: “The closing of the Bank of Dade City this morning is regretted…Dade City has one bank still doing business as usual. The Bank of Pasco County is according to the last report of the bank examiner ‘the best managed state bank in Florida with cash flows that are nearly three times the legal requirement.’ “

  • 1926

    July 17: John W. Perkins, state bank examiner, has arrived in Dade City and taken charge of the Bank of Dade City.

  • 1952

    November 24: Holiday advertisement in Tampa Morning Times proclaims, “Say Merry Christmas with Gift from Rophie’s (example: “Genuine Alligator” handbag for $6.95).

  • 1952

    President of the Bank of Dade City, Mason Williams and wife, Annie Jones Williams celebrate their 50th anniversary in Dade City. After the collapse of the bank, Williams was a realtor and insurance agent in Dade City.

  • 1961

    January 6: Child Does Yule Shopping Late—After Store Closed in Tribune (account of an innovative break-in that puzzled Asst. Police chief Ronald Stanley…a child entered through a window and helped himself to a pair of jeans and a black cowboy jacked trimmed in white fringe…but oh, no! It might have been a successful heist if owner Raymond Rophie had not found his shoe department in disarray from the young thief’s escapade in trying on cowboy boots that left shoe boxes tossed about.

  • 1983

    Dade City Army Navy Store.

  • 1990

    Rainbow Travel Agency.

  • 1995

    Geno’s House of Sandwiches with Gene Wells.

  • 2001

    Trauma Computer Center with James W. Gentry.

  • 2002

    Sisters & Company Specialty Shop with Cathy Davenport and Devony Scott.

  • 2004

    Quilts on Plum Lane with Donna Lillibridge.

  • 2014

    Devon Firestone is Miss Rodeo Florida and dreams of opening her own shop which comes to fruition soon after!

  • 2019

    The Dirty Heifer Salon & Boutique with shop owned by Firestone!