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Stop 19: The Puritan/The Mayflower/The Driftwater/The Quaker Bar/American Eagle Antique Mall

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AUDIO NARRATION*
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Look across the street and notice the building with the earthy title, Two Krazy Chicks Antiques & More. Here are some historical tidbits you will not want to miss! If these walls could talk, one wonders what delicious stories they would tell! (This stop involves numerous businesses, many of which had origin histories in other locations but ultimately landed in this space. Suffice it to say, Stop 19 will be evolving over time, and we would welcome input!)

 

   Long-time resident and retired attorney, Clyde Hobby related that the Two Krazy Chicks Antiques & More, recently The American Eagle’s Antique Mall   owned by the late Thaila Stilson for more than two decades was the former location of establishments known as The Puritan, The Mayflower, The Driftwater Restaurant, and The Quaker Bar. Hobby reminisced that The Brown & Jernigan Used Car Lot was on the north and The Seven Gables Pure Station then owned by Louie Reeder and later his own father, Homer Seal Hobby, was on the north. The large building in those days to the southeast was Sunnybrook Tobacco Company Building and later known as the Massey Building which was directly across from the 1909 Court House on Meridian and behind the Bank of Pasco County. Clyde’s father, Homer Seal Hobby, a former Marine, operated Pasco Motors Service Station, Seven Gables Service Station, Hobby’s and later, Union 76 Station Oil Company at 212 7th Street (the pre-9-11 address).  After 37 years, Homer Hobby retired in 1982.

 

   A photo provided by Patricia Raposa revealed Company M of the 211th Infantry, Florida Army National Guard, leading the Armistice Day Parade down 7th Street between Live Oak and Pineapple in November 1949 (from the photo collection of Claude B. Brown). Per Patricia Raposa, “In the background is Bennett’s Drive-In Restaurant, which became The Mayflower Restaurant, and then Driftwood Restaurant. After demolition, The Quaker Bar and subsequently occupied The American Eagle Mall. To the north of the restaurant was Seven Gables Service Station.”

 

  To visit the Two Krazy Chicks Antiques & More in contemporary times is to step back in time as one peruses the beautiful displays of antique dishes, jewelry, furniture, and artifacts that reflect the past. For several years at the Antique Mall, Thaila Stilson and the Dade City Merchants Association hosted annual antique fairs in the parking lot. A photo of Thaila and local/national political commentator, David Jolly in 2020 reveal the lovely interior and gives a glimpse of the tradition of customer service.

 

An unfinished stop, there are many more stories to be uncovered for the many locations that occupied this site. A few of those businesses include:

 

  • In 1951, N.S. Burns & Sons operated a real estate company on the site.
  • In 1956, Earl Fitzgerald bought the Mayflower Restaurant which he operated for seven years.
  • In 1981, Tribune reporter Don Holt penned an innovative piece entitled, Cornucopia of Saloons Is on Tap” and reviewed the Quaker Bar. Laid back drinkers may prefer the old downtown Dade City Standby, the Quaker Bar, where booth’s conversation dwell on courthouse hangers-on, and recorded music dominate the scene.”
  • Earl Fitzgerald purchased The Mayflower in 1956 and operated it for seven years.

 

The Quaker Bar was owned by Robert L. Sumner in 1958 and Elsie Sumer in 1982. In 1972, a controversial U.S. Presidential candidate, Governor George Wallace campaigning from Alabama was invited to speak in Dade City. Wallace commented that he walked down a portion of Meridian Avenue, stopped to chat with people in the Bank of Pasco County, walked into Pasco Abstract Company to introduce himself and finally, spent some time at The Quaker Bar.

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