Sand Pond

See also information on the Sand Pond schools here.

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Sand Pond Community (1976)

This article is taken from East Pasco’s Heritage (1976).


Isaac and Blanche Cripe, of Juniata County, Pa., came to Pasco County in 1911 with six younger children. They were accompanied by their older daughter and her family, Hazel and J. H. McKillips and children, Ruth, Pearl, and Harry. The six Cripe children at home were Carl, Cora, Grace, David, Alice (myself), and Ethel. Amsey was born in 1914. The Cripes settled near Sand Pond, six miles south of Dade City and four miles north of Zephyrhills, on Fort King Road. The Seaboard Airline depot was called Phelps, and the little post office was called Herndon. The McKillipses settled a mile north of our property on Phelps Road, which was the dividing line for school districts. The Cripe children had to attend school in Zephyrhills, and the McKillips children Sand Pond school. For one term our school district was in dispute, and we had to attend school in Greer. We walked a sand road a mile to this two-teacher school. The next year they allowed us to walk the three miles to the Zephyrhills school.

Through our nieces and nephew attending Sand Pond school we got acquainted with the LeHeup Sims families. Bill LeHeup was best man at my sister Grace’s wedding in 1929. His brother was an attendant at our wedding in 1923. Clyde Simms was also was married in 1923, to Fred Himmelwright. Our friendship continued through the years during which we have all been members of First Baptist Church of Dade city.

In those days are entertainment was the Saturday night Literary Society where we gave speeches and recited poems. Sometimes we had pound parties, similar to our present covered-dish dinners. These were always held at night because everyone was hoeing corn or peanuts or picking peas to earn a living. There was no Social Security or Welfare in those days. There were no conveniences such as we have now. We had a pitcher pump, and had to pump all water for washday unless we could catch enough rain water in barrels. It was an all-day job to do the washing. Water was heated in an iron kettle in the yard, and the clothes washed on a washboard; these tools are seen only at the Pioneer Museum today.

There were no paved roads anywhere. It was not unusual to see oxen pulling heavily loaded wagons through the sand. Cattle and hogs roamed the woods unfenced; we had to fence our fields to keep them out instead of pastures to keep them in. The nearest industry was Greer Sawmill, a mile east of our property, where Barber Block plant is now located. There was also Powell’s turpentine still half a mile south of us in the Phelps Station district. Mr. Mayo (whose son works at Circle B Meat Co. on Clinton Ave.) was the woods foreman over the men gathering the pine pitch or resin. There were beautiful virgin pine trees everywhere. The turpentine men would make little V-shaped notches to drain the pitch into small boxes. Then they would gather the pitch from these boxes and bring it in and distill it, much like the gathering of maple syrup we remembered back in Pennsylvania. After the pine trees had been drained of their pitch, they were cut down and hauled to Greer Sawmill and cut into lumber. Greer had narrow-gauge railroads running for miles around to bring in the pine logs.

Church was held in the Sand Pond school. We had Sunday School every Sunday and a visiting minister once a month. We were of the Brethren faith and adhered to six days of labor and rest and church on Sunday. Church members felt very close and helped each other in many ways. In 1913 my husband-to-be, Leonard Daniel, and his family came by covered wagon in fifty-three days from Houston County, Tennessee. They settled at Greer, where he and his brothers were employed. Mr. Greer’s first wife was the sister of beloved Mrs. Fannie Sistrunk, later of First Baptist Church of Dade City. Her husband, Dr. R. D. Sistrunk, was our doctor. In 1914 Leonard and his older brother contracted typhoid fever. The brother died, and Leonard was bedfast for fourteen weeks. This was when I first met Leonard, since in those days neighbors helped with the sick and attended funerals. After these hard times the Daniel family returned to Tennessee.

In 1922 the College St. Baptist Church (as it was called then) made a drive to enlarge its Sunday School. The Moore boys and George Mitchell invited us to come. My sister Grace and I, and Ruth and Pearl McKillips, became affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Dade City at that time.

In 1923 Leonard Daniel and his brother came back to Pasco County. Leonard found that the little girl across the hill had grown up, and we were married in July 1923. We have four fine children living and one that went home to heaven in 1940. We have been members of First Baptist Church of Dade City since August 1961, and have been blessed in that fellowship, especially during our serious surgery in 1974.

Sand Pond (1926)

The following is a column of Sand Pond news items which appeared in the Dade City Banner on Sept. 3, 1926.

Sand Pond, Sept. 1.—Those attending church services at Zephyrhills on Sunday night from Sand Pond, besides the pastor, Dr. Wesson, were Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Simms and children, Mr. Simms' mother of Miami, who has been spending a week with them; Mrs. W. A. Dormany, Mrs. J. H. McKillips and children, Hazel Smith, Alcroft LeHeup and Billie Dew.

D. C. Cripe is teaching the eighth grade in the Trilby school. Mrs. D. C. Cripe is teaching the fifth grade, and Miss Grace Cripe is teaching the seventh grade in the Zephyrhills school.

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Gaskin and two sons spent Sunday at the R. F. Knapp home.

Another school term has opened and most of the children were glad to get back in school. Wendell LeHeup is driving the school bus from the Sand Pond district to Dade City. There will be 25 children in school from this district.

Reese Knapp also drives a school truck and takes the children to Zephyrhills form the north part of the Zephyrhills district.

Mrs. W. A. Guy is spending a few days at the Cripe home, helping care for Miss Annece, who has not been well, but is now improving.

Mr. and Mrs. Arnie Wetherington and daughter Burma of Trilby spent Sunday evening at the Bailey home.

Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Townsend attended the poultry meeting at Pasadena Saturday afternoon.

Miss Hazel Smith spent Thursday afternoon at the McKillips home.

Mrs. L. R. Bailey and children motored out on the new Lakeland road Sunday, reporting very pleasant trip.

Mr. and Mrs. George Foust were Saturday afternoon visitors at the Cripe home.

Mrs. W. A. Dormany was a dinner guest at the McKillips home Sunday.

J. J. LeHeup left last week for Lake Wales, where he has obtained employment.

We are glad to report that Clinton Knapp is much improved in health, being able to get up and walk about. We all hope he will soon be well and strong again.

Walter Hart spent Sunday with his brother, R. L. Hart and family.

Among the callers at the Himmelwright home Sunday were Mr. and Mrs. Hastie, Mrs. C. L. Bailey and family, J. H. McKillips and son Harry, Mrs. Dew and son Billie.

Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Bush of Plant City spent Sunday with Mrs. Bush’s uncle, R. L. Hart and family.

Mrs. Briggs, who has been visiting Mr. and Mrs. William Hastie for several weeks, has returned to her home in St. Petersburg.

Mrs. L. O. Daniels and daughter, Winnifred, spent one day last week at the Cripe and McKillips homes.

David Cripe and a crowd of young people from Zephyrhills drove Sunday to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Pass-a-Grille, returning home through Tarpon Springs and New Port Richey.

George Neukom of Zephyrhills and Louis Bailey arrived home Sunday night, having spent the summer in Ambridge, Pa., They drove north in a 1913 “flivver,” which they sold after reaching Pennsylvania. The return trip was made in a Chevrolet sedan, owned by Louis' uncle, James Hamilton, who will come later to remain in Florida for the winter, and will want a car after he gets here, but did not care to drive through. The boys report a wonderful trip. They left Ambridge August 21, going to Indiana for a visit with George’s grandmother, leaving there Wednesday and arriving home Sunday night. We are glad to have them home again.

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