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By MICHELE MILLER
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 21, 2001
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Jeff Miller figures he gets about 100 hits a day on the Website he manages for Gulf High School.
"That's not bad for a local Website," says the high school math teacher, adding that according to some of the e-mail he has been receiving lately, it's not just current students and faculty logging on.
No doubt some visitors are there to check out local scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors or to see the most recent pictures from school sporting events. Alumni might be prone to drop in to get reunion news or take a peek back through yearbook photos from way back when. Current students could log on to link up to the Gulf High School Yahoo Club, a page maintained by sophomore Paul Shamonsky, and get the latest on fun school events such as an up-coming lip-sync contest.
Then there are the history buffs, who can literally spend hours strolling back -- all the way to 1829. There they'll find old maps of the Pasco County region, photographs of pioneers dating to the early 1900s, Main Street when it was a dirt road traveled by horse and buggy with a few old cracker houses dotting the landscape, brief biographies of the early settlers as well as historical time lines for the city of New Port Richey and the school that first opened on September 18, 1922, at what is now Schwettman Education Center on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Gulf Drive. Want to find out how Bayonet Point, Gowers Corner or Elfers got their names? Well that's all there, too, on a page titled, "Origins of Place Names.".
While there are a couple of pages maintained by others that could use some updating, www.gulfhigh.org is for the most part a well-tended Web site. It's a labor of love for Miller, who in recent years says he has found a new hobby.
"I'm sort of into the Internet," says Miller, who also maintains two Web pages on the history of mathematics -- one that has received 136,000 hits since a counter was added a few years ago. The Gulf High site is hosted free of charge by marlowe.net, which is owned by Rob Marlowe, a 1972 graduate of Gulf High.
Most of Miller's information, as well as the old photographs, come from the West Pasco Historical Society of which he is a member. He also has spent countless hours looking through microfilm at the Hudson Library and scanning pictures and articles from the newspaper of the day, The West Pasco Press. There are a few old post-cards featured, one which Miller found after scouring an online auction site.
Miller says he always is looking for resources -- both old and new -- to entice more visitors to log on.
"I usually put something on it every day," Miller says of the site, "And I'm always looking for more."
Note: Those willing to share old photographs or wanting more information are welcome to contact Jeff Miller at (727) 774-3600.