The Hovey Brothers were well known around the city of Dunedin in the early twentieth century for opening the first maintenance and hardware shop located on Main Street in the downtown district of Dunedin. The brothers opened other garages and shops around the area following the great success of their first. Although there is an existing garage in the same exact location of the Hovey Bros. Garage, it is a remodel of the original historical precedent.
The Hovey Brothers moved from Marietta Ohio in 1920 to the Clearwater/Dunedin area, and by 1931 owner Glen Hovey opened the first, and oldest, garage and hardware store with his brother. The Hoveys were well known in the city of Dunedin and were good business men, having an outstanding personal relationship with members of the community. This success led them to try other business ventures, leading to bigger and better options for their original shop.
The brothers opened their second garage in Clearwater, in 1942, allowing them to cover a wider area and work on different machines. They branched out a few years later, and, opened their third business in 1949 – a tractor company in downtown Tampa Bay. After opening these stores, Glen inadvertently wanted to focus more on the Dunedin garage.
Some of the brands they worked on included: R.E.O. Speedwagon, Nash, Keizer, Studebaker, Hudson, Etzel, Plymouth, Chrysler, and many more. In addition to vehicles, they began to work on other types of auto machinery for Dunedin citizens, such as, boats, planes, and bikes. As time progressed, Glen and his brother switched their interest from business to pleasure; and, soon, the purpose of the Hovey Bros. Garage became focused on antique car shows.
Glen became very involved in the community after shrinking the Hovey empire, which allowed him to keep attaining the high level of success for his Dunedin garage. Hovey was named a “Good Will Ambassador” for Dunedin and participated in city commerce meetings. The brothers collected antique cars in the shop during their remaining time as garage owners. In 1962, the shop was sold, and, the Hovey brothers spent their last few years traveling to car shows with their antiques.
The Hovey Bros. garage, that was located on 400 Main Street in downtown, was the oldest maintenance and hardware garage in Dunedin. The establishment was a crucial element to the development of this quaint city, and it contains interesting and vital answers to early twentieth century automotive history in Dunedin.