Book pays homage to Florida minority political trailblazers

When Dr. Susan A. MacManus set out a decade ago to write “Florida’s Minority Trailblazers,” she wanted to recognize the men and women who changed the face of Florida’s government. Her book does just that. She recounts the personal stories of the first minority men and women elected or appointed to state legislative, executive and judicial offices, and to the U.S. Congress since the … [Read more...]

The Lutz Depot, by design

Those wishing to escape the oppressive heat during the Fourth of July festivities in Lutz may have decided to check out a train show inside the Lutz Branch Library. If I they did, they could have seen an exhibit presented by the Suncoast American Flyer Enthusiasts. And, perhaps they would have had a chance to chat with Eugene Vrooman, one of the club’s members. If they did, Vrooman … [Read more...]

Tracing the development of early Lutz

Once one of the most active stops for wood-burning locomotives, Lutz was settled with just a handful of homesteaders. There was a store and a couple of houses there in 1907, and once the Tampa Northern Railroad was extended from Brooksville to Tampa that same year, the Concord Stagecoach Line went out of business. But, that news didn’t discourage two brothers from West Virginia — William … [Read more...]

A walk through history at Lutz Cemetery

The first resident of the Lutz Cemetery is a man known only as Mr. Nims. His grave marker is gone and the burial plot nearly obliterated. Local historians think he was buried there in 1914, and almost nothing is known of his personal history. That is not the situation, however, for most of the people resting in peace at this hallowed ground, off U.S. 41 at Fifth Avenue. Instead, their … [Read more...]

It’s a small world, after all

Richard and Juanita Wirth, of Lutz, have been traveling to Germany for years, to join in Oktoberfest festivities. This year, though, when they stopped in Tutzing, Germany, they were surprised to find a butcher shop called Lutz, Metzgerie. “We stopped and shared that we lived in Lutz, Florida,” Juanita Wirth said. “They were delighted to find the name had made it all of the way to … [Read more...]

Serving up fried chicken, nostalgia

They come to the Old Lutz School, on U.S. 41, bearing casserole dishes and memories to share. These are men and women who have deep roots in Lutz and Land O’ Lakes. Their families helped settle the area, and every year they come to celebrate the connections they feel to the community and each other. The size of the annual gathering has diminished over time, as people have died or can no … [Read more...]