Our story of Gulfport, Florida

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Our story of Gulfport, Florida

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Our story of Gulfport, Florida compiled during 1982-1985
Gulfport Historical Society
Place of Publication:
Gulfport, Fla
Gulfport Historical Society
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
341 p. : ills., ports. ;


Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Gulfport (Fla.) ( lcsh )
letter ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by the Gulfport Historical Society to honor Gulfport's 75th anniversary.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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The author retains copyright ownership of this item, which is made available for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the author.
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C54-00010 ( USFLDC DOI )
c54.10 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Our story of Gulfport, Florida :
b compiled during 1982-1985 /
c by the Gulfport Historical Society to honor Gulfport's 75th anniversary.
Gulfport, Fla. :
Gulfport Historical Society,
341 p. :
ills., ports.
Gulfport (Fla.)
x History.
2 710
Gulfport Historical Society.
1 773
t City, County, and Regional Histories Collection
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?c54.10



This book is d edicated to the people who lov e Gulfport GULFPORT CITY COUNCIL-1985 H onorable Mayor Yvonne J ohnson Vice Mayor Judy Tonkin Council Memb er G eorge Prigun Counc il Member Bert Williams Council Member J oanne Killeen (ii)


. .. "' / J. : .y1 Compiled During 1982-1985 by the Gulfport lli8torical Society to Honor Gulfport's 75th Anniversary


Copyright 1985, by the Gulfpor t H istoric a l Society All Rights Reserved First Edition International Standard Book No. 0-9615746-0-7 Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 85-81177 Published by Gulfport Historical Society Printed in the United States of America


I HIS BOOK BELONGS TO . HAMPTON DUNN 1061Q.CARROLLW000 DB. TAMPA 12, FLA. PlEASE TAKE CARE AND RFTURN FIRST BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE GULFPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY President . . . . . . . . Catherine Hickman First Vice President ........... Genevieve Smith Secretary ...................... Ruby Walker Treasurer. . . . . . . . . Willard B. Simonds Director. . . . . . . . . . . Mary Atkinson Director. . . . . . . . . . . Judith Ryerson Director ................. Nathan L. White, Sr. This group was e lected June 8, 1981 PURPOSES OF OUR SOCIETY CONSTITUTION Article 2 A. To co llect, classify, and preserve any and all data, documents, pictures, and artifacts concerning the history of Gulfport, Florida and the surrounding area. B. To resea rch, write, and publish articles, pamphlets, and books con cerning t h e history of Gulfport, Florida, and the su rrounding area. C. To ope rate a museum of material concerning the history of Gulf port, Florida, and the surrounding area. Hk Hk --We would like to thank Precision Litho Service, Inc. of St. Petersburg, Florida, for the printing and their staff member Rita Barnes for her copy editing, type setting, and general help in the production of this book.


. ) . . _..114- ,._ , ..... ; . . i . f.i. . ; .. i VII lo. '; t ... .... .. The Gtllfpori HistOncal Society gratefUlly the-following for their financial contributions to this book: ANGELS ($1 ,000) Mr. William Hurst Mrs. Ida M. McLaren R. W. Caldwell Realty BENEFACTORS ($500) R. W. ("Bob") and Adele Caldwell, Jr. Florida National Bank, Gulfport Branch SPONSORS ($100) R. W. (Bill & Kate) Caldwell III Mrs Agnes Conron Perry G. & Lorayne Davis Jr. Fortune Federal Savings & Loan, Pasadena Branch Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, Inc. Herman Geller Gulfport Fire Department Gulfport Garden and Bird Club Catherine A. Hickman Home Federal Bank, Gulfport Branch Poul & April Caldwell Hornsleth, Jr. Yvonne & "Johnnie" Johnson King s o f Columbus Pius XII Council 5131 Desi Caldwell McCarthy and Family "Bill" and Anita Simonds Southeast Bank, Pasadena Btanch Suncoast Inn Woman's Club of Gulfport PATRONS ($35 -$50) Frederick S. & Florence R. Allen Lum & Mary P. Atkinson Helene Gill Bazemere George & Betty Belting Mrs. Dorothy B lades Stephen & Josephine Bonyai George & Rose Brann Mr. & Mrs Louis H. Connell Mrs Leola Danylieko Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Davis Mr. & Mrs. Deane A. Durgin Michaelena Funaro Ka li Gillespie & Shirley Polcer Rita Good Gulfport Lions Auxilia r y Bob & Nelda Hamm and Lara Ted & Elsie Haveness James R. & Shirley M. Hayes Don & Dee Kel l y (vi) Joanne & Edward Ki[[een DeHart. & Jean Krans Henry A. & Catherine C. Krebser Mr. & M rs. Bradley M. Laybum, S r Mr. & M rs Albert 0 Leonhard Mrs. Frederick W. Lunan Evelyn H & William J. Mahoney Alphonse & Theresa Marcello "Joe" & Bernice Perry Dr. Mary B. Platz Peggy Psaledakis Frances Purdy Russ' Landscape Mrs Edna G. Sanford Mrs. Johanna Schneidt Richard & Genevieve Smith Vegetable Kingdom Mrs. Ruby Walker Gwen A. & Nathan L. White Sr.


PRELUDE Many have shared memories with us who have taped, typed, written, rewritten, sorted, selected, collated, arranged, and prayed! Without the untiring efforts of Helen Ross, Searcher for Facts, we could never have had access to much of what you will read either here or in our Museum. Without the vision and persistence of our President and Founder, Catherine Hickman, it is highly improbable that either the Society or the Museum, and their contributions both to the Gulfport of today and tomorrow, would have become part of our City's attributes. A special thanks goes to Genevieve Smith for the Society's logo, line drawings and art renderings used in this book. On our behalf and that of our readers, we thank ALL who helped us publish our story. This volume is supplemented by donated memorabilia, by taped interviews and family histories in our Museum. Countless records, old newspapers, over one hundred interviews have been studied, and about fifty writers have helped us. We invited many authors, hoping to offer several styles of writing to increase your excitement in reading. This fact explains why you will find repetitions and contradictions because memory of those who gave us information is individualized, isn't it? Here we describe our City from its simple beginnings to its present age of 75. We dedicate our production for the Gulfport Historical Society to all who love our City and who hope only the best to happen for it and its people. To paraphrase a Chinese proverb had we waited for perfection, this book would never have been published. Summer, 1985 (vii) Mary Atkinson Agnes Conron Willard B. Simonds Genevieve Smith Frances Purdy, Chairman Editorial Committee Gulfport Historical Society


TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 PART I THE BEGINNING 1 Our Overture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4 2 3 4 5 Geneuieue Smith Early HistorYof Gulfport . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Florence Slaughter Jarrett Some Wonderful Memories About Early Settlers. . . . 23 Florence Roberts Fuss e ll B arnett's BluffA Beginning . . . . . . . . . 28 Geneuieue Smith The Waterfront of GulfQort . . . . . . . . . . 35 Carl A. Norberg, Ph .B. PART II HOW OUR VILLAGE GREW 6 CHURCHES 7 8 9 Calvary Baptis t Church. . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Alice Libby Church of Chris t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Robert Fincher Congregation Beth Sholom . . . . . . . . . . 56 Rabbi Morris H Kobrinetz First United Method ist Church of Gulfport . . . . . 57 Ruby Walker Gulfport Church of the Nazarene . . . . . . . . 59 Doris Howell Gulfport Open Bible Church . . . . . . . . . . 60 Keu Clarence Dilling e r Gulfport Presbyterian Church . . . . . . . . . 61 Kdith Haas Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses . . . . . . . 63 Dauid Kester Mos t Holy Name o f Jesus P aris h ....... ... ...... Father Frank Goodman SCHOOLS and S tetson College of L aw ........... Geneuieu e Smith 64 66 GOVERNMENT SERVICES & B USIN E SS. . . . . . 71 A s B usin ess Grew . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1 Agnes Conran, Frances Purdy City Council and Management . . . . . . . . . 79 Agnes Conran, Catherine Hickman, Frances Purd y siinonils 86 Gulfport Volunteer Fire D e partment. . . . . . . . 92 Walter M. Brooks, Nathan White Police DepartmentP ast & P resent ............... 121 Agnes Conron Franc es Purdy Postal Service .............. ................ 125 Sydney Brooks, Willard B. Simonds, Others Printed Words .......... ........... ........ 128 Willard B Simonds, Fr ances Purdy Streets and Near Bankruptcy .................... 132 Willard B. Simonds 144 SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS ... ............... 173 Andy Anderson Post 125 ...................... 173 Pat Dauis Johnson, "Scotty" Small Boca Ciega Yacht Club . ...................... 1 7 5 Carl A. Norberg Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, Inc ......... . 178 A/lean Dauis, "Connie" Burde, Frances Purdy Gulfport Citizens' Association .................. 17 9 Dr. Morris Rabinowitz Gulfport Civic Club Inc ........................ 180 Frederick S. Allen, Norman Schalm, Frances Purdy Gulfport Community Club .................... 181 Claire Dee/ James E Anstead Gulfport Coterie Club ........................ 183 Maxine Fantz Gulfport Garden and Bird Club .................. 183 Stella Tamm, Agnes Conron ( viii)


Chapter 9SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS I continued Chapter Page GuJiport Lions Auxiliary . ............ ...... 185 Doris Brown Gulfport Lions Club .......................... 187 Willard B. Simonds Knights of Columbus ......................... 190 Arthur W. Davis Newcomers' Club of Gulfport .... ............... 190 Leavitt L. Wood, Wilda Lakin Senior Citizens' Club . . .................... 191 Haz e l Squires Mary Konz, Others Woman' s Club of Gulfport .............. ....... 192 Frances Purdy PART III-DAILY LIVING, T HEN AND NOW 10 What About Housing? ................. . ..... 204 Frances Purdy, Victoria T Jacobson, Olga Milin Prof Paul Paganuzzi Frederick S. Allen, Herman Geller Willard B. Simonds 11 Living on the Edge of the Sand Flats ............... 218 Norma L. Huckins 12 Mullet Fishing ....... ....................... 220 Richard E. Bozeman 13 Sickness for Them or Us .......... .. ........... 223 Frances Purdy 14 Some Comments About Cemeteries ............... 228 Frances Purdy 15 Some Fun and Other Things ... ................. 231 Mary P. Atkinson, Nathan White, Agnes Conron PART IV-SOME INTERESTING BUILDINGS 16 BaY.view Terrace Restaurant .................... 248 Edith Haas 17 Boca Ciega Inn ....... ..................... 249 A/lean Davis 18 Gulfport City Halls .......................... 252 Yrances Purdy 19 20 21 22 Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center .............. 254 Ted Potyka Prigyn Apartments . ......................... 257 Eloise Robeson Scout Hall ............ .................... 257 Judith C. Ryerson Stetson-From Rolyat to Law School .. ........... 258 Genevieve L Sm1th 23 The Casino-Heart and Hub of Gulfport ............ 262 Doris Brown 24 25 The Cedars (Suncoast Inn) .. .................. 264 Eloise Robeson The Community Center .... ...... ...... .... . 266 Mary Drake, Others 26 The Gulfi>or t Clinic-Mc Lellan House ............. 267 Kali Gillespie 27 28 The Gulfport Historical Museum ................. 268 Frances Purdy The Gulfpgrt Pub lic Library .................... 270 Ruby Walker 29 The Whitbeck Diary ....... .......... . ...... 272 Frances Purdy PART V -WHAT MAKES GULFPORT UNIQUE? 30 A Wash Day '84 ...... ..................... 282 Allean Davis 31 Cohesiveness of Three Families for Five Generations . . 283 32 33 Poul Hornsleth Jr. Daniel's Clover Specialty Company ................ 285 Frances Purdy Gulfport Beach Musicians .................... . 287 Yrances Purdy 34 Gulfport's Gol f Story ......................... 288 John M Davidson, Willard B. Simmonds (ix)


PART VWHAT MAKES GULFPORT UNIQUE? I continued Chapter Page 35 History of Bo_y Scouting and of Girl Scouting .... ..... 293 Emily W. Rautman 36 History of Gulfport Softball Team ................ 304 Jack Welker 37 Kindergarten and Nursery of Joe Shaffer Eulogy ...... 306 Ruth E. Jefferson Pam Lanning, Others 38 Little Lelll(ue of Gulfport ...................... 311 Mary F. Atkinson, Norman Haines 39 Our Beach Photographer ....................... 313 Frances Purdy 40 Our Parks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 314 Frances Purdy 41 Senior Services . . . . . . . . . . . ... ... 317 Ruth Jacobs, Jim Whaley, Others 42 The Doll Lady of Gulfport ..................... 319 A !lean Davis 43 The Gulfport Community Players ................. 320 Ruth Barbey 44 The Gulfp()rt Historical Society .................. 321 Ruby Walker 45 The Gulfport Shuffleboard Club .................. 323 Aubrey Perfater 46 The Konglomerati Foundation ................... 324 Richard Mathews 47 Yes"'Annie Laurie Does Live in Gulfport!. ........... 326 P ranees Purdy CHRONOLOGICAL CALENDAR ......... ............. 331 Genevieve Smith POSTLUDE ..................................... 339 TAPED INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE IN MUSEUM ......... .. 341 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page PART I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47-52 PART II ........... .. .................. 84, 194 PART III ....... ............................. 242 PART IV ............................. 252, 273-280 PART V ................................. ... 328-329 GULFPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY .................. . 340


Our Story of Gulfport, Flor ida 11 INTRODUCTION As a new comer to Gulfport fifteen years ago, I wondered about the his tory of this City where I'd chosen to liv e and, in time, discovered many others shared this curiosity. In con tacts in several community organizations, I talked with people who remembered and were willing to tell about how it all used to be. So was born the notion that it might be c hallenging to write som e of it; but soon the enormity of the task sedated the ambition! Then, in 1981, the Historical Society became reality largely b ecause Catherine Hi ckman recognized the need for it and persevered until she got it organized. In 1983, the Society obtained our Museum on lease from the City. When fourteen of us met that June 8, 1981, we talked about what we thought our Historical Society should do and an objectiv e enthusiastically agreed upon was "to com pile a history of Gulfport." Othe r aims were "to share memories" and "to inst ill knowledge about and prid e in our City." Our first Nostalgia Day the next Ap ril in Chase Park was an instant success with about two hundred bringin g picnics and memories, both to be shared. Nathan L. White, Sr. was the dynamic EmCee, recognizing nearly each one by name and stimulating interaction all ov e r the place. Some came dressed in 0ld fashioned costumes, everyone wore smiles, and apparently all wanted that event to become an annual affair which i t has. The City has helped us each year by providing tables and chairs and yard care before and after the big time. They have given us a huge cake decorated with our logo and Council has been well repres ented each year. In 1983, we could show off our Museum with pride that it was finally coming to resemble our not ions of what it should be physic ally, becaus e of donations of time, materials, and efforts of many volunteers! In 1984, we presented a Civil War Enact ment with drill s, marching, and exhi bits of implements and arms of those days. Antique cars were again admired! On May 4, 1985, we had exhibits of fishing gear and pro cedures, and by this time we could really offer quite an extensive examination of scrapbooks, furniture, c lothing, utensils, and other goodies in our Museum. This time more wore costumes and again, the flea market made us another


12 Introduction welcome hundred dollars or so -thanks to donations and talents of some very faithful members! These happy occasions provided opportunities to talk with those who had memories for our history and frequently old-time residents suggested others who could add to what they recalled. Our "Searcher for Facts" Helen Ross never hesitated to follow up leads that took her many miles and into many homes, gathering the taped interviews so helpful to us and so interesting to you who will one day listen to them in the Museum or read the typed copies done by volunteers for our Society. Our "Nostalgia Days" have become occasions happily anticipated by those who know it's a time when they can have reunions with old neighbors who now may be separated by many miles. They hunt through the memorabilia we have assembled, bring more, and seem grateful that we have been proceeding with the compilation of this volume. By 1983, Willard B. Simonds had produced a reprint of the complete set of The Sea Breeze which was the penin sula's first newspaper, published by McPherson and Bennett, and copies were sold. It's a treat to read what was happening then and to see how people and places looked during the year starting Aprill, 1886. The above events spurred us on with collection of facts and fancies mostly memories so that now we offer text, some scholarly, some whimsy. Combined with that, we have pictures YOU have given us and we have selected for use, to gether with original drawings and art renderings by our artist Genevieve Smith, who also designed our Society logo. This writer feels deeply grateful to have been considered worthy of the task assigned, for the diversified contacts she has enjoyed during its accomplishments, and for the patience her primary colleagues have exhibited during her anxious moments -which have been many! -Frances Purdy, Editor


Part I The Beginning


14 Our Story o f Gulfport, Florida CHAPTER 1 OUR OVERTURE Tall pines, sprawling palmettos, and lush growth flourish along the three and a half miles of Gulfport's waterfront. The boundaries of this city on Boca Ciega Bay have shifted through the years like the tide along its sandy beaches. Bountiful waters with fish, clams, oysters, scallops, crabs and lobsters, and the land with its wild creatures, fed and clothed the inhabitants on this point of Pinellas through the years. Archaeological surveys indicate that prehistoric settle ments existed about 5,000 to 10,000 years ago in the area around Boca Ciega Bay. In the early part of the sixteenth century, Spanish ex plorers Ponce de Leon and Ponfilo de Narvaez discovered a tribe of Timucuan Indians, known as mound builders, who numbered about 6,800. Narvaez landed on the lower end of Pinellas, near Gulfport, in an area known today as the "jungle." The Timucuan encounters with the Spanish were seldom friendly, and in time they were weakened by battles, diseases, or the selling of Timucuans into slavery; their num bers slowly diminished. In following years, pirates frequented Tampa Bay and the peninsula. In 1823, when Dr. Phillippi became the county's first white settler, his life was threatened and he was saved only because he medically attended some of the pirates. It is stated that there was "safe harbor" for people who located in the northern section of the county near to Dr. Phillippi. He was also said to be the man who first introduced grapefruit into this peninsula. Meanwhile, growth was creeping into the county with the establishment of Ft. Harrison, where Clearwater now stands. The 1842 Armed Occupation Act (Homestead Act), however, gave the first great impetus to settlement of the peninsula. Antonio Maximo Hernandez secured a land grant from the United States government and was the first known settler in the lower end of the peninsula. His fishery and other holdings were wiped out in the hurricane of 1848. In 1855, Hillsborough County opened a road from Clear water Harbor Settlement to the head of Tampa Bay. Tampa cattlemen, who grazed cattle on open range near the future sites of Gulfport and St. Petersburg, added the "Old Tampa


The Beginning 15 Road" extension which further opened the southern part of the peninsula. In 1856, a pine timber home was built in the lower section of land, at about Lakeview and 20th Street, by James R. Hay. Mr. Hay's truck garden supplied fresh produce for Tampa markets. The year 1857 saw Abel Miranda settling at Big Bayou on Tampa Bay. John C. Bethell started a fishery at Little Bayou in 1859. By 1860, there were approximately 50 families on the peninsula. Following the Civil War, a few more settlers came into Pinellas County where they could buy land for about 50 cents an acre. According to Cecil Slauter, a descendant of Captain James Barnett, Barnett and his wife Rebecca landed on a sandy knoll at the foot of present York Street and 52nd Street in Gulfport, and became the first settlers, in 1867. Rebecca, with her three children, had lost her first husband, Sam Slauter, as a result of the Civil War, and later married Capt. Barnett. They eventually had three more children and built their first home on York Street. In 1876, the Barnetts sold their York Street property to Mr. Joseph Torres and re located on 49th Street near 26th AvenueS. It is believed that some trees from their original orange grove still exist. The town began to grow. Fishing was a way of life for everyone. Fruits and vegetables were plentiful. In 1886, the first newspaper, Sea Breeze, was eStablished by William J. McPherson, and along with G. W. Bennett, produced newsy articles of the day (copies of which can be viewed at the Gulfport Historical Museum). William B. (Bonafacio) Miranda had arrived in the lower peninsula about the same time as Torres in 1876. Miranda had captained a small steamship, was a surveyor, businessman, and also had legal training. He settled and built a home on Lakeview Avenue. Hamilton Disston, a Philadelphian, rich with a saw, tool, and file fortune left by his father, became interested in pro moting the Gulfport area. Disston had purchased 4,000,000 acres, about 6,200 square miles of Florida real estate, for $1,000,000. He was known as a developer of Tarpon Springs and, in 1883, he met Joseph B. Torres and William B. Miranda who suggested the possibilities of developing a new city on Boca Ciega Bay. Disston, who owned property surrounding most of the little settlement, was extremely interested, and in August 21, 1884, the Disston City Land Company was formed.


16 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida The filed plat of Disston City included more than 12,000 acres, including most of the land on the lower peninsula. This ambitious plan on paper included streets that were a hundred feet wide and a waterfront avenue. The plan included space to house 50,000 people. It was to be advertised widely in this country and in England. In actuality, however, Disston built a 26-room, L-shaped Waldorf Hotel overlooking the Bay which opened Christmas Eve, 1884, under the management of Englishman William A. Wood. Disston also financed a wharf into Boca Ciega Bay, a warehouse, three store build ings, and several homes, according to Grismer in The Story of St. Petersburg. Hamilton Disston realized that for his city to prosper, a means of transportation other than by water must be established, so he took steps to bring the Orange Belt Railroad in to his city. Disston had his brother Jacob set up office in the hotel in anticipation of the railroad extension. But when a generous I land offer was made available in St. Petersburg, the railroad opted to have its destination on that waterfront. This doomed the expected boom in Disston City. However, promotion and development of Disston had brought more settlers into the lower peninsula. A sawmill was built by Canadian George L. King near New Cadiz (located on Boca Ciega Bay between Clam Bayou and Maximo Point), which provided most of the lumber used in Disston City construction. The steamship Mary Disston began making regular stops. In the growing village, Mr. Torres opened a general store, Mr. H. E. Baumeister specialized in drygoods and hardware, and R L. Locke had groceries and a meat market. In 1886, the first one-room school was opened, with Arthur Norwood, an Englishman, as teacher. A young, ambitious entrepreneurCaptain J. F. Chase meanwhile saw in this community a chance to realize his dream that Disston City would be a place where veterans of the Civil War could spend their last days. The residents agreed and readily adopted the name "Veteran City." (Disston City was called "Bonafacio" until 1890 because the Post Office would not recognize the name inasmuch as "Disston City" just north of Tampa already existed. When that Post Office dissolved, Disston City was accepted as an official name.) On April 5, 1905, the Reverend J. P. Hoyt delivered the dedica tory prayer, and the Honorable E. R. Gunby of Tampa gave the principal address. Descriptive folders praising Veteran City reached all parts of the country. A few people re-


The Beginning 17 sponded and bought land, but Veteran City did not prosper. Today our historical museum stands in Chase Park a re mind e r of those early visionary days of Captain Chase. Jacob Disston, continuing the Disston's financial backing, assisted Frank Allton Davis' plans in moving the Tarpon Springs electrical generating plant to St. Petersburg and pur chasing rails for a trolley line from St. Petersburg to Disston City. With the Orange Belt Railroad ending in St. Petersburg, the trolley extending to Gulfport, and the extension of a pier into Boca Ciega Bay to accommodate larger boats, the City of Gulfport prospered. A Casino for gatherings was built. Churches and schools were constructed. Parks were provided. A network of streets was extended. Bountiful waters still se rved as the main means for making a living, aided by improved transportation of fish and sea delicacies to market. Gulfport was incorporated October 12, 1910, in the Gulf Casino. The St. Petersburg Times indicated that Gulfport might be the largest town in Florida, territorially speaking, at that time. There were 38 regi stered voters by this time, with 30 voters participating and only 7 dissenting. The limits of the City included choice farmland lying about two miles from the corporation line of St. Peter sb urg and extending from the east shore of Clam Bayou to the sandy shores of Bo ca Ciega Bay. "Gulfport is an appropriate name since it is the point of embarkation for Gulf of Mexico points on the west side of the peninsula," stated the October 11, 1910 issue of the Independent. The little town was beginning to grow. Additional homes were soon const ructed and a four-room school added. Town officers voted to purchase twelve lots for town purposes and to issue bonds to cover $4,000 construc tion costs. The October 13, 1910 issue of the St. Petersburg Evening Independent stated in bold headlines, "Veteran City Is No More. At the meeting held last night at the Gulf Casino, the little Boca Ciega town was organized as Gulfport, with E. E. Wintersgill as mayor, and the following councilmen: A. C. Stephanski, H. C. Sawyer, Joshua White, Henry Withers, and L. M. Wintersgill.S. J. Webb will be the city clerk and J. C. White the marshal." On November 14, 1911, Pinellas peninsula split from Hills borough County and became Florida's 48th county with 13,193 residents. Pinellas was noted as the second smallest


1 8 Our S t o r y of Gulfport, F lori da county with 264 square miles. As early as 1897, a struggle began for this separation which was wanted by the people of Pinellas peninsula. Hillsborough County, centered around Tampa, had ignored Pinellas and its growth problems with needs for new school buildings, roads, and general improve ments. Taxes were levied and colle c ted, but inadequate im provements were provided. Today the City of Gulfport sprawls over the southwest corner of Pinellas peninsula, from the shores of Boca Ciega Bay on the south, Royal Palm on the west, 7th Avenue S. on the north, and 49th Street to 26th Avenue S. and Clam Bayou on the east. It has an approximate population of 12, 500. Gulfport' s government is Mayor / Council / City Manager. It has its Police and Fire Departments headquartered near the original sites of City government structures on 53th Street S. It also has a library, community center, senior citizens' center, numerous parks and recreational facilities. The following chapters in this history of Gulfport will explore separate facets of the growth of this Gateway to the Gulf." Geneui e u e Smith CHAPTER 2 'EARLY HISTORY OF GULFPORT By Florence Slaughter Jerret t (daughter of Henry ) Born at Disston City, 1892 (history submitted 1963) After the War Between the States in 1865, Mrs. Samuel (Rebecca) Slaughter, a war widow with three small children Martha, Henry, and Melissa -then living in Madison, Florida, hired a man with a covered wagon to bring her and her children to this area. She first stopped at Tampa where she met and married James Barnett, a war veteran. A short time later they came by boat to where Gulfport now is. They homesteaded acreage west of what later be came Diston Avenue and south of Lakeview down to the Bay. At that time wild animals were roaming the woods bear, wild cats, panthers, deer, and plenty of wild turkeys. They built a house of logs on the very spot where Mrs. Whitbeck' s hom e now stands [49th and 26th Streets] They planted a sma ll


I rBARNETT HOMESTEAD 1867 40 Acres TORRESHOMESTEAD .. MIRANDA HOMESTEAD : I J 1876 40 Acres I 1876 40 A cres I J4 M ... Mde. '::;t ,..._ ___ }4 !VItia. 01""4',/4,;" ... I ... j ----A"O ../ ..-.. .,) ... I I "-f ,.../ .;... o.,. 0 : o o 0 -t.,_ ... o o h .!:' / IV 0 ..... ';J\l) ..,.... :J.o y.,..-K .s 1'-I 5'/..S'T "'.. 0 0 ,_ _ ,.. __ ....... ..... ': ..r :> c. I "\ ""-"' ) l "' ... "" .... --.. r--'1. l. -"-.. '"' I .. .-Ot.s.s ToN 81. vo .st) \' ) ...sc4/ h ."'> D ...,..+ .. .__.. ....... "( .......... -/ NOTES: Drawn by W M Simonds, April 1985, to show area and homestead boundaries to scal e. Disston and Lake View were wagon width trails winding through the forest. Other streets shown were merely footpaths. Mrs. Jarrett omitted a few homes. One such home was Miranda's home and real estate office on Lake View. Building sizes are not to scale, and l ocations are approximate. Locations of York and 51st Streets are not to scale. Mrs Jarrett's original sketch is on display at the Gulfport Historical Society Museum. >-3 t:r' 'TI t::l:l .., 0 oq 3 ::s 0 ::s .., ::s 0<1 (Q :::1 "' cnC 'A-CD (/) ......... (I) 1::)0 -; --:r '" CT 0 z 'TI 0 3 r ::J -; "' m -< 3 z 1 "'m r-s en r .... co co J:o -I "'. m ::lJ ')> ::lJ ::lJ m -I -I ..... "'


20 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida orange grove and did some farming. Henry was about eight years of age at this time and his job was making salt, which h e did by boiling salt water until the water evaporated and left the salt. Tampa was the nearest place to buy supplies, and a sailboat the only way to travel. They did not suffer for food as there was plenty of fish, crabs, clams, oysters, and wild meat. After a time people began drifting in from all parts of the country. Mr. Torres, a Spaniard and a lawyer, came with his family from New Orlean s. He built and ran a general store. While here, his wife died and he married Geor gia Nash, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Nash. They later moved to Tampa and he became a County Judge. Other families were McMann, Lock, Baumeaster Early, Hamilton, Frippe Cook, M cPhe rson Chamblien, and Anderson who later became the first Fire Chief of St. Petersburg when horses were used. Arthur Norwood, an Englishman, lived in the vicinity of Tangerine and 46th Street. He later opened the first dry goods store in St. Petersburg. The name given this village [at that time] was Bonafacio A former slave settled in the vicinity of Tangerine and 34th Street. His name was John Donaldson. He was one o f the best men in the world and we children called him "Black John." Ed Donaldson who now has the snack bar on the south mole is one of his sons. Hamilton Disston, a saw manufacturer from Philade lphia, bought a great deal of acreage in this section and built a hotel on the Bayfront at about 52nd Street. By this time a dock had been built and a small steamer was landing there with passengers and freight The steamer was short-lived, however. While docked at the Disston City Pier it caught on fire and burned. After that it was back to the sailboats for transportati on! In the 1880's, the government surveyors came her e to make plats, and Henry Slaughter helped in this work. During the boo m of the 1920's, real estate deale r s came to him fo r locations of different pieces of property. He could tell them just where they could find all the old government corner stakes. After it was surveyed, Bonafacio was changed to Disston City, t he name chosen in honor of Hamilton Disston. Mr. Lock was the first Postmaster. The building where he housed the post office had a general store downstair s and a large room upstairs which was used for a church. In 1876, Henry S laughter, then about 1 8 years of age,


The Beginning 21 bought from the State forty acres of land for $40.00 between Lakeview and Tangerine Avenues and east of 31st Street S. On this property was an Indian shell mound. Shortly thereafter, duri ng the rainy season, Mr. and Mrs. William Roberts, another family who settled in the Maximo area, lost a small child, and this shell mound was the only spot of land above water, so he gave them permission to bury the child on his property. He later donated the property for a cemetery, and that is the way Glen Oak Cemetery was started -the first in this area. Our old "Black John" and his wife are buried there with the white people. In 1886, a schoolhouse was built on Disston Avenue, now 49th Street, and 27th Avenue S. Arthur Norwood was the first schoolteacher and Clara Slaughter was one of the first pupils. Henry Slaughter was Superintendent of this school until Pinellas County was founded. In 1880, Henry Slaughter married Mary Elizabeth Nash. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Nash, brought their family just after the Civil War in covered wagons from McRae, Georgia, and settled in the Lealman area. Martha Slaughter married Alec Leonardy, an Italian. Melissa Slaughter married Frank Futch, a Frenchman, and their grandson Ruffus (Nat) Futch is now connected with Maas Brothers' store in St. Petersburg. During the sailboat era, my father, Henry Slaughter, was one of the captains who operated these vessels which carr ied passengers and freight between New Orleans, Baltimore, and other ports. He has told us of the many hazardous experi ences during hurricanes-how the mast would break and the waves would roll over the deck making it necessary to even tie themselves to the deck to keep from being washed over board. I can remember as a child the happy times we children had with him on these huge sailing vessels. This was a very happy era; everyone helped each other. Their amusements were square dancing, socials, horse racing, sailboat racing, and entertainments which were held in the church auditorium. When I was three years of age, my Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Ingersoll, taught me the Psalms from the Bible and during the entertainments she would stand me on a table so everyone could see me and I would recite the Psalms All of my uncles, then young men, had oxcarts for amuse ment. Some of the families raised sugar cane. One of the happiest times was going to cane grinding and making and


22 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida pulling taffy candy. Let me relate a few experiences to prove how wild and dangerous it was during these times: A Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and baby lived in a small one-room cabin, with not even a door to close, in the jungle area. Mr Murphy, while prepar ing to go to Tampa on horseback to get supplies put plenty of wood near the door so Mrs. Murphy could keep a fire. Matches were unknown and they had to keep a fire burning all the time. While Mr. Murphy was gone, during the night a panther came and walked back and forth in front of the fire and kept howling. When the panther would go far enough from the fire, she would throw another stick of wood on. Just before daylight he went a short distance from the cabin and climbed a tree. When the husband returned the next morning, he had just one shell for his gun. It was either he or the panther. Just as the animal was ready to spring, he fired the gun and hit him right between the eyes. He was six feet long from his nose to the tip of his tail, and the fire between him and the cabin was the only thing that saved the mother and child. The schoolhou s e on Diston Avenue had three props on e ither side to support the building during storms while the children were in school. It was later jokingly referred to as "Prop College." In 1897, during my first year in school, my teacher, Mrs. Weihman, gave the first-graders a recess so she could hear the lessons of the older children. While playing we heard some thing rattling and I made all the other children stand back while I went to look for the thing that was rattling. I soon saw one of the largest rattlesnakes I have ever seen. It was coiled and ready to strike. I will never know why he did not strike me as I was in striking distance. I was only five years of age and knew nothing about snakes. But I thought I had to protect the other children. In later years, the name Disston City was changed to Veteran City, then to Gulfport, and incorporated in 1912. Henry Slaughter was one of the first Councilmen. Lawrence Renney was the first Police Officer and Tax Collector I worked in the tax office. In the year 1910, I was bookkeeper for William Coleman. At this time Mr. Coleman was trans forming Central Avenue between 9th Street and Beach Drive [in St. Petersburg] from a deep sandy road to a paved street. In 1913, I married Milton W. Smith. We had two c hildren: Mary Lu who in 1934 married Robert Davis of Orlando; and


The Beg inning 23 Milton Henry Smith who is now teaching school in Milledge ville, Georgia. Milton W. Smith, a surveyor, worked for the St. Petersburg Investment Company from 1912 to 1917. He surveyed all the str eets and lots west of 16th Street to Boca Ciega Bay He also did the s urv eying for Gandy Bridge and the golf courses in this area In 1937, I marrie d William J e rrett of Ontario Canada. My Grandfather Slaughter married Re becca Arnold in Madison, Florida, in 1855. H e was a Confed erate soldier; he di e d while se rving and wa s buried in Peter sburg, Virginia. Grandpa Nash married Chr istina [copy illegible here] He died h ere in 1886 and is buried in G l en Oak Cemetery. Grandmother Barnet t and Grandma N a sh both d i ed h ere in the 1900's. Henry S l a u ghte r passed on in February 1929. Mary Slaughter d ie d in June, 1937. The last existing landmark is the home of one of the first settlers, the Early family. It is owned and occupied by the Steinwinder girls now. I understand that Mrs. Whitbec k is thinking of leaving her property for a memorial. As this is t h e very spo t my Grandmot her, the first settler, lived and raised her family, I can think of nothing more appropriate. CMAPTER 3 Florence Slaught er Jarrett SOME WONDERFUL MEMORIES ABOUT EARLY SETTLERS My great-grandparents, James Barnett and Rebecca Slaughte r Barnett, were the first set tlers to build a home in what is now Gulfport. They arrived here in 1868. Rebecca was the widow of Samuel Slaughter a Confederate sol dier who died a t Arlington, Virginia, August 18 1862, as a r esult of war injurie s. At the war's end, my Great-Grandmother Rebecca and h e r three children, Martha, Melissa, and Henry, left their home in Florida, in search of a new home. Rebecca hired a driver and loaded all her possessions onto two oxcarts and headed south. The number of days that they t raveled is not known, but eventually they arrived in the area that is now Clearwater. After looking the area over Rebecca counted twelve other famili es already living there. She decided i t was too c rowded, and t hey traveled on.


24 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida By this time Rebecca and her children were about desti tute and out of supplies, so they traveled to Tampa in search of work. Rebecca got a job as a cook at the Ft. Brook Army Hospital where Civil War soldiers were cared for. While there, she met James Barnett, a Confederate soldier who had been severely wounded during the capture of the Union gunboat, Water Witch. On the 26th of April, 1866, she and Barnett were married. They lived in Tampa until Barnett had recuperated enough to move. On a spring day in 1868, they left Tampa in a sail boat. At sundown that day they arri ved at the area that is now between 51st and 54th Streets, on the shore of Boca Ciega Bay. In this area they found a high bluff (now mostly leveled) where they built a temporary palmetto hut. After looking the area over for several days, the Barnetts decided they had found the place where they wanted to live. The family homesteaded an area between what is now 49th Street and 51st Street and from what is now 22nd Avenue S. to the Bay. Barnett built a log cabin and later a large two story house at what is now the northwest corner of 49th St. and 26th AvenueS. The family cleared some of the land and set out a large orange grove. Rebecca planted orange trees from seeds, using a pointed stick to poke holes in the ground The early settlers in this area lived well, for food was plentiful. Deer, wild turkeys, wild cows and hogs, and even bears were abundant. The waters of Boca Ciega Bay were pure and clean and there was an abundance of mullet and other fish, oysters, clams, scallops, stone crabs, etc. The settlers learned to make use of everything the land had to offer, taking only enough to feed their families. All other supplies had to be acquired in Tampa which could only be reached by sailboat or by making a two day trip around the top of the Bay by oxcart. When coffee could not be obtained, they often ground b lack-eyed peas as a substitute. As people filtered in, they settled in what is now Big Bayou, then known as Pinellas Village. By 1876, Pinellas Village had seven stores, a good harbor, a hotel, and a post office. The village supplied the early settlers and also shipped farm produce, so trips to Tampa became unnecessary. The first school was built in what is now Gulfport in about 1884. on the northeast corner of what is now 49th Street and 27th Avenue S. The school was called Prop College because the building was propped up by pine saplings to keep it from


The Beginning 25 being blown down during heavy storms. Some children would po l e their boats across the Bay to attend school, and some would even wade to school if the tide was low. There weren't any grades as we now know; the children simply went through all the books the teacher had and generally wound up with about an eighth-grade education. Social activi t ies in the area included square dancing box suppers, quilting parties, and activities held in the church. There were also sailboat, oxcart, and horse races It was a happy life for most people. They were hard-working and most fared fairly well. In 1884, Hamilton Disston came to what is now Gulfport wi t h plans to develop City on thousands of acres of land he owned on the lower PineUas peninsula (then southern Hillsborough County). A large area was platted out into five a n d tenacre pla t s, and the plans called for a wide road to be built along the waterfront. Disston built the Waldorf Hotel on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay. Lumber was brought in from Appalachicola by boat to build it. He also built a dock, three stores, some houses, and for a few years D isston City was a reality. About 1885, quite a few parcels of land were sold Disston was a very wealthy man and had great dreams for his city. He had a lot of business connections in the north and knew that there were plans to build a railroad in the area. He thought the railroad would follow along the Bay and come to his dream city. For a number of years he made a hard fight for Disston City, advertising it as far away as Eng land. A few peopl e moved into the area, and the first news paper in the area, Sea Breeze, was published. His dreams for his city were shattered when the railroad went into St. Peters burg instead of into his planned city. In 1906, Frank Davis -a good friend of Disston'sde cided to make another real estate development out of Disston City. He divided about 200 acres of land and, with the hope of attracting Civil War Veterans, he named his land Veteran City. A large dedication ceremony was held with several hun dred people attending, but despite a great beginning, the plans d id not meet with success. Finally, on October 12, 1910, a town meeting was held in the Casino, and of the 38 residents in the community, 23 voted for incorporation and 7 voted against it; and the town of Gulfport came into }?eing. During all of the preceding time, Pinellas County was part of Hillsborough County. No money was ever given to this


26 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida part of the county for schools or roads Tampa had the largest population and that is where the votes were! People in the lower part of the county found it almost im possible to drive to Tampa because of poor roads. They had to zig-zag around swamps, bays, and pine woods. In some places wheels would sink into the mud up to the hubs. In January, 1907, a party of motorists set out to prove how bad the roads really were. They left St. Petersburg for Tampa and were three and a half days on the road! They had to detour many miles out of the way because a bridge was broken down; they even ran into a forest fire! They eventu ally reached Clearwater and found out they could not buy gasoline and had to walk many miles for it. Finally, after struggling from 1887 until 1911, Pinellas was made a separate pounty in 1912. St. Petersburg was founded in 1888. The town was sur veyed and platted by the Chief Engineer of the Orange Belt Railroad. I believe that Hamilton Disston should be given credit in helping to establish St. Petersburg as it was probably his publicity of Disston City that brought people to the area at that time. From May 1, 1880, until October 16, 1889, Gulfport was named Bonafacio. The first post office was located approxi mately on what is now 51st Street, between 28th and 29th Avenues S. The building also was a general store downstairs. Upstairs, the building was used for Saturday night dances and Sunday church services. John Lock was the first Postmaster. Prior to the early '20s, the streets in Gulfport ran east and west and the avenues ran north and so .uth, starting from Bay Drive. 30th Avenue was 1st Street; 29th Avenue was 2nd Street; 28th Avenue, 3rd Street; 49th Street was Disston Avenue; 52nd Street was Pinellas Avenue. Gulfport Boule vard was Washington, or Washingtonia a narrow road with a small parkway dividing the lanes. The land where Winn Dixie now stands was used by a dairyman for his cattle. The dairy barn was on 49th Street and Tangerine Avenue. Much of the land was very low and flooded during heavy rains. The land where the Cheshire Cat Lounge is was all swampland with a fish house built on pilings. My grandfather, Henry Slaughter, grew rice there. In 1904, on September 28th, the first streetcar was run in St. Petersburg. It stopped at Booker Creek at 9th Street and 6th Avenue S. because there was no bridge over Booker Creek. The streetcars were very small, holding only about 20


The Beginning 27 people. My father, Walter Roberts, was one of the first motormen. When a bridge was finally built over Book e r Creek, the str eetcars came to Gulfport (then Disston City), but even then the cars often ran empty. The streetcar company started a ferry boat service from Disston City to Pass-A-G r ille Beach. For the first time people could go to Pass-A-Grille without having to travel over nearly impassable roads or go all the way around by boat. On holi days, the ferry boat service did a rush business and soon it became one of the most popular excursion trips around. The streetcars played a large part in the development of Gulfport. They not only carried passengers but also freight. The last streetcar made its run into Gulfport on May 7, 1949. I was aboard that car and it was a sad time for many of the old time residents. The present Casino is our third -the first one washed away during the 1921 storm. The second one was torn down in the '30s because it was in bad condition. The present one was built by WPA, as was our beloved pie r. The first library was in a small building (still standing) on the south side of 30th Avenue, directly behind the apart ments on the corner of 30th Avenue and Beach Boulevard. Before becoming a library it was used as a clubhouse where ladies used to go to make pine needle baskets. I believe most of the books to start the library were donated by Mrs. Julia Lucky, a very wealthy lady who resided here at that time (probably around 1915 ). The second post office was built on Beach Boulevard and 29th Avenue; Walter Brooks was Postmaster. The building was later moved, and today it is 5444-30th Avenue S. and used as a residence. The next post office was in the former Hickman office building Around 1908, most of the land from 30th Avenue to the Bay was dredged in. The tide flats reached as far as 29th Avenue. The present Stetson Law School was originally a luxury hotel -the Rolyat. Babe Ruth and Al Capone were among famous people reportedly staying there. The hotel did not prospe r and soon closed It stood empty for several years and opened in the '30s as the Florida Military A cademy. The first Roman Catholic Mass held indoors in Gulfport was in 1909 in the home of my Great Aunt Sophie Stein winder, on 51st Street between 28th and 29th Aven ue s S. I would like to end my story by saying that I was born in


28 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Gulfport and have lived my entire life here. During my c hild hood, Gulfport was a little village with only a f e w hundred people. It was a little paradise on earth Boca Ciega Bay was as clean and a s bountiful a s it was when my great-grand parents came in 1868. The last thirty or forty years have brought many changes, and I regret that the future gen era tions will not find the Ba y as I once knew it. Dredging and filling have been hard on it. I hope the future will treat it more kindly than the past has. I pray that some time soon someone will determine where progr ess ends and de s truc tions begin s. -Florence Robert s Fussell CHAPTER 4 BARNETT'S BLUFF-A BEGINNING The sandy bluffs stretching several hundred yards along t h e shore o f Boca Ciega Bay must hav e been lik e a beacon to the first family of Gulfport. James and Rebecca Barnett and Mrs. Barnett's three children from a former marriage wer e the first settle r s in the present Gulfport area in 1867 "The exac t month is not known," said Cecil Slauter (spe l ling changed through the years from Slaughter), a descendant of Rebecca. Rebecca married Sam Slaughter several years before in the little town of Shady Grove in north Florida. The Slaughters had three c hildren Martha, Melissa and H enry. Sam, a s a soldier of the Civil War fighting for the South, was critically wounded and died a few days later. After his death, Rebe cca hired a driver and team to move her and her family from St. Marks, another little town in north Florida, to Tampa. James Barnett fought on the side of the North during the Civil War and it was believed that.he became a prisoner of the South. He was at Ft. Brook in Tampa when R ebecc a and he met and were married. They first moved to Manatee, east of Bradenton, then the family c ame by boat into Boca Ciega Bay and landed on a sandy bluff near the end of current York Street and 52nd Street. They c amped on the beac h and built a lean -to for temporary quarters. "Later they built a house on York Street and at that location planted an orange grove, said Cecil Slauter. James and Rebe cc a Barnett then had three childr en: James Jr., born 1873 (d. 1950) had the distinction of b e ing the first white child born in Gulfport. The second child was Mary and the third was Laura.


? 1886 JAMES BARNETT Soldier fought for North i n Civil War. At Ft. Brook, Tampa Leg wound. James Jr. Barnett 1873. 1950 GULFPORT'S FIRST FAMILY Married i n Tampa Mary Barnett ? -1905 REBECCA SLAUGHTER BARNETT Married in 1855 Shady Grove, F L Laura Barnett Martha S.l Slaughter Marrie d Alex Leonard 1 Henry I Lacey I Slaughter Married 1880 to Mary E. Nash from Mclain, Ga. I Irving Slaughter SAM SLAUGHTER Soldier in South Critically wounded -died. Rebecca+ 3 c h ildren hired driver/team to go to Tampa. Petersburg, Virginia. Melissa Slaughter Married Frank Futch ...;! :r "' "' "' 0'<> :s :s :s OQ <.0


30 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida According to family records, the Barnetts sold their property on York Street in 1876 to Mr. Joseph Torres. They then relocated on 49th Street (Disston) near 26th Avenue S. Once again they planted an orange grove, and added several lemon trees. "Some of those trees may still stand," said Slauter. Mr. Irving Slaughter, father of Cecil, re membered they were huge lemons and says they used to chew on the thick skins. "They were swe et," he said. "But the freeze of 1898 got those lemon trees!" During t his time several families came into the community and built houses. Family letters tell of wild animals that roamed the woods. Heavy vegetation and thick timbers covered the peninsula a protective home for panthers, wild turkey, deer and bear. There were alligators and snakes, with snakes being one of the bigg est problems to early settlers. Pioneers had to be ex tremely resourceful. They often made their own salt and candles. They made soap at times, also. Salt was processed by boiling down sea water until the water evaporated, leaving a salt residue. This was sometimes done in cooler weather when a fire was needed for warmth. Fresh water came from open wells. They were lined with wood and varied between 15-20 feet in depth. Water was dipped with a rope and bucket. Irving Slaughter remembers pineapples planted under slatted cove rings with moss draped over the slats for shade. He said there was plenty of guava and they were so sour they would "make a pig squeal." Seafood was abundant fish, clams, stone crabs (Irving Slaughter said the crabs didn't have much meat, however). The water was so clear and it was filled with mullet. Shellfish were found in grassy flats west of the sand dunes. Everybody made their living by fishing. There wasn't a lot of money but food was plentiful. Bette Smith of the St. Petersburg Times quoted Irving Slaughter as remembering eating mo stly fish, sweet potatoes, turnip greens, black-eyed o r cow alligator pears (avo cados), pomegranates pawpaws (tiny fruit once growing wild on bushe s in the area), and seagrapes when they turned purple. Cecil Slauter tells of the first house in the early days as described to him by his father, Irving. "The house that my father was born in [1901] was built of vertical board and batten. In those days a lot of the houses were built with 'sawmill lumber. It was easy to use, pitch pine was used for the foundation termites couldn't eat it! There was no


The Beginning 31 plaster in the house and no window (panes] There were only leather-hinged shutters on the outside to keep out the mos quitoes. In the daytime, the shutters could be pushed out and propped up with sticks and at night closed to keep insects out. In the wintertime, it was real cold in those old houses! There were plenty of cracks and no way to stop the wind from coming through. The only heat in those days was wood which was plentiful to be had and was gathered around in the woods. This information was given to me by my father, who is still alive and lives with me. He's 82 years old." (1983 interview) Some of the oldest houses still standing in Gulfport are around York Street between 29th Avenue and the Bay, and another section is on Beach Boulevard between 25th and 28th Avenues. After 1905, the streetcar pulled freight cars out to Gulfport and placed them on a side track where the Gulfport Library now stands. Sometimes two, three or four carloads of building materials would be sitting there. The people who bought the material would go there and take it off the flat cars with horse and wagon and haul it to building sites. That's one reason why so many houses were built in that immediate area -it was so close to that freight platform where the streetcar dropped off the freight. The streetcar would then go on down to the Pier. If any of the cars were empty on its return, they would pick them up. People didn't hurry in those days. It seemed to be an honor system of de livery and pickup. In fact, there was no law system. If some one in Gulfport was wanted in St. Petersburg (or "Peters burg") for something or other, they would tell the streetcar conductor and he would pass the word down in Gulfport. Another remembered conversation between Irving Slaughter and his son was about old cures and home remedies which were used before any doctor was in town. "One was turpentine. It was used for stingaree stings, nail punctures, cuts and minor things like that, and fishermen always carried it in their boats for stings and bites .... It was the best thing at that time for things like that. There was also a medicine called Asafetida. It was the gum from a camphor tree and the mothers used to tie a little sack around their children's necks with Asafetida gum in it. It was supposed to stop you from getting a cold or a sore throat. The grownups, of course, most of the time used what was called Bitters' which was 95% alcohol. This was a cure all for everything! One of the blood poison medicines was to take a piece of flannel cloth and put


32 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida some sugar on it, set it on fire in a can, and let it smolder or smoke. The injury was held over the smoke and it would tum real brown. But that actually stopped the blood poison from setting in." Cecil Slauter remembers cutting his foot; at home they put cobwebs on it to stop the bleeding and then his grandmother fixed up the old flannel rag and the sugar every two or three days for him to come over and smoke his foot. Another cure for the croup or cold for children was onion, tea, and sugar. A grated onion, sugar, and water was put in a pot and set on the back of the old wood stove to warm for drinking. Cecil added, "I don't know if it ever cured a cold or the croup, but I'll bet it made them say it did whether it helped them out or not. There's one other thing," he continued, "the old castor bean tree -the tender leaves were used as a poultice to put on anything that had to be drawn. That old castor bean leaf poultice would sometimes draw out a fishhook that got im paled under your skin!" One of the favorite drawing medi cines that people made in those days was octagon soap and sugar. You scraped some octagon soap off the bar, mixed a little sugar in with it, kneaded it with your fingers, and put it on the boil or the splinter; it would draw it right out of your flesh. "There was also an asthma cure back years ago that the people swore by," Cecil continued, "and that was actually gypsum leaves that you'd dry and roll into cigarettes and smoke. But today I think that might be called 'pot'!" Other than the beach with all its attraction, some of the other games children played in the early days were London Bridge and Dare Base (this was played by four or more children lined up behind two lines; each side would dare the other side to approach their line and when they got too close, they could chase them and, if caught, they were put into the guardhouse-a square place drawn in the sand. Of course, if you reached the safety of your own line, you were free. This went on until the other side was all in the guardhouse.) Drop the Handkerchief was another early game, as was Tap on the Back and Jump Rope. After the trolley connection was made, ice was brought in for ice cream parties. This was a special treat! Eventually, a few bicycles were brought in and "some of the people had an old billy goat that could pull a wagon for the kids to ride in," Slauter added. Transportation was by foot through dense, tropical trails


The Beginning 33 or by boat in the very early days of Gulfport. A pier was built near the foot of York Street before the tum of the cen tury, and small steamers began to dock and haul freight, passengers, and mail. Two of the small steamers were the Mary Disston and the Mistletoe. (The Mary Disston burned and sank near the pier and at low tide her remains can some times be seen.) In 1905, the streetcar line was built to the waterfront and this really started the town growing. Before the turn of the century, the interest of Hamilton Disston, Joseph Torres, and William Miranda spurred the area into growth, and more families moved into the territory as a result. Some of the early families, and by no means all, which have been documented are as follows: Tom Sawyer, York Street and 31st; George Woodruff, foot of 51st Street; William A. Rennie, 26th Avenue about 50th Street; Mr. Baumeaster, 1883, 51st Street and 31st Avenue; Joe Steinwinder, 1887, on 51st Street, south of 29th Avenue; Joshua White, 1890, foot of 52nd Street; Everett Miller, 1900, 51st Street near 31st Avenue; Mr. Fiarout, 50th Street and 31st Avenue; Mr. Meezie, 30th Avenue, Quenton; Mr. Sabine, Beach Boulevard, 27th Avenue; Edward George, Beach Boulevard and 28th Avenue; E. E. Wintersgill, Beach Boulevard and 25th Avenue; Lester Wintersgill, Beach Boule vard, 26th-27th Avenues; Mr. Weaver, York Street, 3l,st Avenue; Laus Nash, 49th Street, 24th Avenue; Mr. Whitted, 49th Street and 11th Avenue (Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg was named after his son who was killed in Pensa cola in his own airplane); Dr. Taylor, 49th Street between 24th and 25th Avenues (d. 1893); Walter McRoberts, Beach Boulevard and 27th Avenue (Veteran City Post Office in his home for a short period, then the first Casino); Aleck Leo nardi, 49th Street and 24th Avenue; Church Gleaton, 52nd Street and 29th Avenue; Laurence Renney, 49th Street and 25th Avenue; Ade Renney, 50th Street and 26th Avenue; Sam Renney, 51st Street and 31st Avenue; Clarence Brantley, York Street and Bay; Jack Quinn, 31st Avenue and York Street; Mrs. Weatherol, 51st Street and 29th Avenue; Mr. Baluch, Beach Boulevard and 28th Avenue; Mr. A. L. Cusson, 49th Street and 29th Avenue; Henry Weathers, Delett Avenue and 52nd Street; H E. Wendall, 29th Avenue and Beach Boulevard. The coming of the streetcar line helped the community in ways other than transportation. The fishhouse owners could now ship their fish much faster. Before the carline, fish were


34 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida sent by boat to market, and it took much longer. A sawmill was built near the curve of the trolley line where Tangerine Avenue turned south onto Beach Boulevard. During that period, the entire area was covered with virgin pine. Millions of feet of lumber were cut at this sawmill and used in local building and also shipped to St. Petersburg lumber yards. There are several houses still standing in Gulfport which were built of lumber from this sawmill -after it was sent to the planing mill and returned. A ball field now covers the area where that sawmill was located. At one time Gulfport was open range for cattle; there wa s no fence law at that time and so small landowners had to fence and protect their property from the wandering animals. The cattle were owned by Lykes Brothers Company, originat ing in Brooksville. During the spring, local residents were hired with their saddle horses to round up cattle. Some of the cattle were shipped for beef. The calves were branded and released to grow for another year. Some "cowboys" carried six-shooters, but only for snakes or in an emergency. Milk could be had for the taking, if you wanted to try your hand at a wild cow. During the roundup, the cattle were held in barbed wire enclosures for several days. When they were re leased, the ground would be well torn up and fertilized The men would then plant gardens on the spot. In 1910, Guii port incorporated, and the Lykes Company was notified to remove their cattle. They were driven east around Clam Bayou and south to the Maximo Point section. A few years later they had to be removed to the north end of Pinellas County. Prop College, the first school in Gulfport, was formed in 1886 with Arthur Norwood as the first teacher. Mr. Nor wood went on to become a successful merchant and even tually Mayor of St. Petersburg. Clara Slaughter was one of the first pupils and Henry Slaughter was a Principal of the school. Mr. Cecil Slauter recalled further that his father remem bered . "There's a cemetery . I believe it's at Union Street and Lakeview Avenue [22nd] called Glen Oak Ceme tery. My grandfather, Henry Slaughter, donated that land to the people of Gulfport for a cemetery. There was a small girl, 9 years old, who died in Gulfport and there was no place to bury her locally, so Grandfather donated 2'h acres of that property and lots and lots of the old residents of Gulfport are buried there. Uncle Jim Barnett is buried there, and his


The Beg i nning 35 mother and father are al so burie d there-James and Rebe cca Barnett." Re cords revealed that Jame s Barnett died in 1896 and Rebecca s urvived until 1905. She died after a fall in her h ome. Many local residents ca n trace their lineage to the Barnett Slaughter family. (Detailed tapes and interviews are on file at the Gulfport Historical Mus e um.) Gene vieve Smith CHAPTER 5 THE WATERFRONT OF GULFPORT Wedded to the Sea s ince the First Settler -A small sailing craft c au tiously worked its way toward a wild coas tline showing no vis ibl e si gns of habitation. Fre quently the captain thrust a long pole into the water, testing its depth. Finally he brought his sloop into the breeze, flapping sails rustled down to the deck, and an anchor wa s h eaved over the side. The date wa s 1868, the year that Florida returned to the Union. Captain James Barnett, recent Co nfederate officer, was feeling his wounds of battle as he r e laxed a moment to scan a worn p i e ce of brown wrapping paper that was h is chart and map. This was the h e was determined to explore i n orde r to stake out t h e first par cel of land to be settled in what was to become the City of Gulfport. After two futile years at Manatee, Barnett was impatient to make a home here for his wife and family and to start a farm for their livelihood By good fortune he had anchored off what is now 52nd Street, a t a point where depth of water w as favorable and a se r ies of bluffs promised safety from he a vy storms. Eagerly he boarde d his small boat, lea ving his w i f e R ebecca and the young ones s afe on board the larg e r c raft. With only a f ew supplies h e rowed toward the sandy beach to set foot upon his new domain. In the days that followed, Barnett explored the interior and wa s happy with what h e found -that is, high l e v e l ground, rich soil, and wild game aplenty. Not a single person was in sight. Determined now, he staked out his c la im, returned to his family and set sail for Tampa, the county seat and U.S. Land Offi ce where he made his purchase and filed fo r record. This d one, Barnett replenished supplies and re turned to his new homesite wi t h his family.


36 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida The eagerness of restless men to find new homes in the Florida wilderness soon brought another settler to the area, Joseph R. Torres, a Spaniard who had fought in Mexico with Emperor Maximilian and later was a notorious carpetbagger in New Orleans. In 1876, Torres purchased 189 acres from the State and the properties of ailing Captain Barnett who, meanwhile, had suffered from wounds incurred during the victorious battle with the Union gunboat Water Witch. Be fore he died September 23, 1886, at age 53, James Barnett had fathered four children James, first child born here; Laura, who married Joshua White; Mary Elizabeth, who be came Mrs. Tom Sawyer; and Julia, later Mrs. Jack Quinn. The captain was buried upon an Indian sand mound under spreading oak trees of Glen Oak Cemetery. Rebecca Barnett, born December 30, 1834, died June 21, 1907, and was buried beside the captain. A second settler moved into the community in 1876 William B. Miranda -who, with Torres, headed a rapidly growing colony of newcomers from the Eastern States and the British Isles. Old deeds and papers take note of the rare background of William Bonafacio Miranda as a surveyor, investor, lawyer, notary public, and legislative representa tive. The U.S. Post Office Department for several years named the area Bonafacio until Disston City could be approved. For at least twenty years after Captain Barnett came ashore in 1868, most passenger, freight, and postal routes were over the waters of Boca Ciega ijay and the Gulf of Mexico. A priceless source of local news appeared in the Sea Breeze, a sheet published by McPherson in Disston City in 1886-1887. The land route to Tampa was a week's struggle by oxcart or a two-day adventure by horseback. So sailing was the way to go anywhere! Let me quote a few passages from the Sea Breeze when sailing craft provided the only means of transportation: The schooner Delia under Captain Lowe arrived in the Bay Thursday, the 22nd [July 1886] and discharged her load of lumber and shingles for Mr. Stanton's house. She made the run from Pensacola in 3-1/3 days .... The schooner Delia is sailing from Disston to the Appalachicola area .... The Cherub, schooner, came in Sunday with Mrs. Hamilton and family aboard, with a load of household goods for Messrs. Anderson and Hamilton. . Mrs. Hewitt and family left Monday on the Cherub .... The Ben S. Curry, Captain Archer of John's Pass, lay at anchor here Tuesday night last week. She took a load of watermelons to Key West and brought back some pineapples, bananas, mangoes, etc. . The Sharpie Sally Bell


The Beginning 37 here on her way to Tampa. She intends to make regular trip s once a week between Tampa and John's Pass, stopping at Diss ton City both ways .... Sloop Sneezer takes mail to Tampa, reliev ing the Cherub. By 1886, with the arrival of Henry Disston, his sidewheeler Mary Disston began runs from Cedar Key to Disston City and onto Tampa; and sailing craft gradually stepped aside. The first licensed dentist in Florida, Dr. James M. Baggett, who had settled in Dunedin in 1887, commenced seeking clients along the Gulf coast, as revealed by an old log book in possession of his grandson, William C. Boyd. From Aripeka on the north, to Naples on the south, Dr. Baggett took the helm of his sailboat and made house calls along the way, including Disston City. Upon dropping anchor offshore, he rowed to the beach with his dental equipment and set up his temporary office in a nearby house. His arrival would soon be known by everyone. Tooth extractions were generally $1.00 each. For $2.00 the doctor would apply his foot-operated drill and make fillings with soft gold foil, capping them with the same. On most visits he was provided with a bed and meals, but with a fair wind blowing he would be anxious to get underway for his next port of call. Dr. Baggett was of more lasting fame as the first editor of a small newssheet in Dunedin that eventually graduated into the great St. Peters burg Times (now the largest newspaper on the Suncoast). The topic of piers and pavilions on Boca Ciega Bay makes for interesting study. Fading memories and pages of history have lost the identity of many private piers. The largest and probably the most important in the earliest years was Miranda's Wharf, also called Disston City Wharf. Miranda's Wharf extended out from J. R. Torres' general store property, which adjoined Miranda's holdings, at the foot of York Street for 640 feet. (See reproduction of sur veyor s plat dated February 25, 1885, page 38. It is esti mated that the outer portion of this pier reached waters with a depth of 1 to 10 feet, sufficient to float shallow-draft paddlewheel steamers, trading schooners and, of course, sharpies and a variety of smaller craft. It was the landing place for many lumber-laden schooners from northern Gulf ports like Pascagoula and Appalachicola, while Hamilton Disston was quick to put into service his own vessel, Mary Disston. Cecil Slauter recalls another pier that caught rrre. It spread to the Mary Disston which was quickly cast off; but she


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The Beginning 39 burned and sank close by. Slauter maintains that her boiler is often visible at very low tides and he would love to raise it for a souvenir. The H i bbs Fish Company pier, at the foot of 52nd Street, was important to the local economy. Fishermen delivered their catch which was transported to St. Petersburg on a "run boat" and later by refrigerator truck. A series of p i ers at the foot of 54th Street began in 1907 when Elmer W. Wintersgill, later the first Mayor, built a private wooden pier with coiTegated me t al covered slips; this was the original Boca Ciega Yacht Club (see history else where in book). The above pier was replaced in 1918 by a public pier made of wood, a favorite place of the populace for fishing and "sun setting," with a refreshment stand nearby. It survived the hurricane of 1921, but by 1932 it was in poor condition and had to be destroyed. Fortunately, a WPA project was made possible in 1933-1934 at the same 54th Street location. This was the pier that three years ago was removed because of structural failures; a new one will be of concrete and aluminum and construction is promised. The Casinos were an integral part of the Gulfport water front. The first one, in 1905, was ingeniously posit ioned at the foot of Beach Blvd. to permit the new streetcar to run right out to its end. Here passengers could either step off to enjoy dancing, music, and food, or step aboard the waiting ferry boat to cross the B'ay to Pass-A-Grille Beach, the most popular beach resort of the day. The brutal hurricane of 1921 destroyed the first Casino. By 1923, a new Casino, owned by the streetcar company, was built, but it was shortlived. Poor engineering caused it to sway with the dancers and shiver in the storms. Before a major catastrophe could occur, it was torn down in 1925. It was not until 1935 that the third and present Casino was built, delayed because of lack of funds during the Depression. A WP A project was the savior, providing a substantial large structure at the foot of Beach Blvd in shallow water. When the new bathing beach was pumped in, it became landlocked and safe from storms. The Casino became the center of social life in Gulfport. Gulfport The Fishing Village Almost every man and boy among the early settlers and right on through the Depression of the '30s was at least a


40 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida part-time iiSherman when the mullet were running. In the haxd yeaxs it wa s often the only way to make a few dollaxs and avoid staxvat ion. Thank God fo r t he plenty of the Bay! It is said that at one time m o r e m ullet could be caught wi t h a pitchfork t han a net, though that plenty drove the price t o fishermen down to a cent or two on the pound. It is strange that no one was ever able to pack these f ish in cans or bottles in a commercial way. H Baumeister did on a s mall sc ale in 1886. Joe Roberts, at 94, is still hale and hearty after a lifetime of f ishing and selling fish to buyers like Buffer White, Bell Fisheries, and Dewey T aylo r Harrie t Ben White, wife of Barne y, tallied weight of fish f o r Hibbs Company. The latter operated on a laxger scale than most, advanced credit for nets, food, and necessities. He owned offsho r e sailing vessels seeking red snapper, grouper, and mackerel. Some fishermen built their own skiffs in slack times while boat-builders like Maxin, Jack White, John Sheppaxd, and the O s good brothers were professional buil ders. In spite of har d times and lack of variety in the diet, which besides f ish was a few greens, some fruit, maybe dried b eans, sailor's butter (avocado ) and bread, thes e people were a hardy lot. Often a "porker" wa s slaughtered for fresh or smoked meat, and on lucky days papayas (paw paws) or black-eyed pea s (cow peas) were eaten. Sometim es fi she rmen were treated to sea turtles, heart of palm, coon and squirrel meat, grits, c lam s, roasted scallops, crabs both soft and haxd and perhap s a s nort of locallymad e spirit! In the '20s so me money was to b e mad e transporting bootleg liquor, an d some made pretty good stuff themselves that so l d at $10 a quart! The recipe seemed t o be something like this: "Shorts" (a cow feed, mostly com) made into mash, add sugax and let stand a few days; add yeast and let stand 4 days; strain off liquid and run t hrough still. It c arried a whollop-drink sparingly! Old timers like Lloyd Mann, Ralph an d Sonny Ay l eswort h remember the good days as fishermen but none furnished this reci pe! The hurrican e o f 1921 and the le sser storms like that of 1926 set fishermen back in their struggle, Irving Slaughter maintains; but in the long run they prospered Mrs. W essie Gleaton recall s how her husband born in 1902, and her son after him, fished und e r sail at first but longed for an engine itt their boat. Eventually they mounted an old automobile engine to drive them along It is claimed that theirs was the first power-driven skiff in this axea.


The Beginning 41 The coming of ice to St. Petersburg's plant made it pos sible to broaden the market for Gulfport fish all the way to Georgia by truck. Boats and Ships of Gulfport The impenetrable forests that covered the Bay area at the time Captain Barnett made his first landing forced all co)ll merce to take advantage of the boulevards at no cost afforded by the waters of the Gulf and Bay. While requiring plenty of skill to navigate the approaches to Pass-A-Grille and the sandbars of the Bayou, it definitely was the way to go for many years. There were problems though in transferring cargo and people from boats to the beach until piers could be built, including the magnificent wharf of W. B. Miranda. The earliest chart of the area was a Coast and Geodetic Survey #177, dated 1878, showing that Captain Barnett had selected a different area but it had boomed anyway. Most of the craft taking advantage of the waterways were sail, which domin ated maritime activity at no cost for fuel. They were, in part, the following vessels. Mystery, sharpie, Capt. Edmunds; Ben S. Curry, sharpie, Capt. Archer; Jesse May, schooner, Capt. Edwards; Delia, schooner, Capt. Low; Cherub, schooner, Capt. Whitehurst; Dart, sharpie, Capt Arthur; Ada Norman, Capt. Williams; Emmeline, schooner, Capt. Keissel; Pearl, schooner, Capt. Axleton; Sally, sharpie, Capt. Shaw; Pontiac, sharpie, Capt. Shaw. Daring shipowners soon were discharging pine lumber from Alabama, passengers from the rail end at Cedar Key, and fre quent runs to the county seat at Tampa. Less than seven feet of draft was necessary for vessels, especially coming in the ever-changing passes from the Gulf. Steamers were limited to shoal-draft paddlewheelers. At the turn of the century the advances in gasoline engines only pressured for road trans portation through the woods, but created inboard engines for marine craft. While oil hung on for a long time, motor boats were ideal for traversing the winding channels of Boca Ciega Bay except for fuel expense compared to wind power. The arrival of the popular streetcars to the Gulfport water front about 1905 and the simultaneous direct connection to Pass-A-Grille created heavy traffic of tourists. At the same time there was a bustling traffic of people from Tampa to St. Petersburg aboard the Favorite and the Anthea, the H. B. Plant and Harry G. Drees, likewise with streetcar connections to Gulfport.


42 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida This beautiful route was crippled by the 1921 hurricane which destroyed the first Casino dock and the construction of the McAdoo bridge to Long Key about the same time. Some of the favorite steamers between Gulfport and Pass -A Grille were the Gypsy, 180 passengers; the Maine, 30; New York, 65; the Florida and Spray, 50 each. In 1907, Walter Fuller, who owned the streetcar line, added the Boca Ciega Boat Line and Joe Merry ran The Uncle Sam with Captain White as the Merry Boat and Transportation Company. In 1947, Captain Walter Williams had The Don; he was later Mayor of Gulfport. Clam Bayou in its heyday was a shallow indentation of the Bay just east of Osgood Point, a treasured refuge for up to 50 fishing skiffs and a boat-building center for many of the early years. The bayou channel into Boca Ciega Bay, called a "wash channel," carried the tidal current in and out of the bayou. Dredging was done, paid for by the fishermen, Os goods, and the Willis Subdivision, a nearby property owner. Bert Mann's boat shop made fishing skiffs. Aylesworth brothers and others were fish buyers, but Osgood Marine Ways and Custom Boat Builders were by far the largest operation Neil and Orion Osgood were brothers born on the Island of Banaca, a former British possession on the Hon duran coast where their father, a native of New Hampshire, was a boat builder. All three men came to St. Petersburg in 1922 and worked for the Avery and Robert Boat Works. Opportunity beckoned in Gulfport where they set up a boat-building and repair shop on what came to be known as Osgood Point. Their marine railway was the best in the area and offshore fishing vessels and work boats up to 60 feet were built here. About 12 skilled workers were employed. One of the last boats they built was the Pine Key, with lumber cut on Pine Key (later known as Tierre Verde). Osgood also had a marina that berthed about 35 yachts. One Saturday in March, 1956, a fire completely destroyed the entire operation. It would have been the end of the line except for the donations and assistance given by literally hundreds of well wishers. Neil Osgood, the surviving owner, constructed a metal building and mobile boat lift to service yachts of the area. Unable to obtain a satisfactory lease from the City of Gulfport, he dismantled the shop and equipment and retired in 1977. His facilities are badly missed by the local boat people. (At this writing no leasees have come forth to replace the Osgood shop.)


The Beginning 43 Let' s Go to the Gulfport Beach! Who knows of a better combination of glorious sunsets over the Bay and Gulf, with white sails on blue waters and soft, clean sand to tickle your toes? Here you c an add a swing, ice cream cones, a game of horseshoes, Bo cc i and a spirited discussion of "the way it was." And, during after noons, add professional retired musicians from the Big Band era of yesteryear blending into unforgettable harmony. At least three groups of music-makers have for years played their hearts out to the lucky people on Gulfport Beach Charlie Tripoli started it in 1964. Ernie Pavolato, John Murphy, and others played three or four times a week in good weather. In 1957, fresh sand was pumped into the beach and City pride keeps it as neat as a pin. Swimming is great, with two tides every day to bring a clean supply of Gulf water. True to its heritage of the sea, Gulfport has always had a wonderful beach Some Waterfront Landmarks Waldorf Hotel No history of the waterfront would be complete without mention of the 1884 Waldorf Hotel, with 26 rooms of what has been described as "unbelievable luxury." It was reported ly built by Captain William B. Miranda right on the water, close by his wharf, and opened with all the pomp of New York City on Christmas Eve. It was Hamilton Disston's darling, the Philadelphia saw-manufacturer who was pouring millions of dollars into Florida real estate. The view of the surrounding wilds and Boca Ciega Bay must have been inspir ing to visitors from the East. The hotel was partly destroyed by the great gale of 1901. Never a success, it was finally dis mantled and the lumber taken away to build small houses in the area. Boca Ciega Inn This was the showplace on the waterfront when built, about 1912, at the foot of 54th Street. Popular as a winter resort and renowned as a dining spot, this 50-room inn was bulldozed one sad day (see story by Allean Davis elsewhere in this book).


44 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida Gulfport Municipal Marina When World War II was in the past, a surge of public pride in Gulfport centered upon the most lovely asset: the water front. Henceforth it became "The Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico." A shallow lagoon with several mangrove islands in the center was transformed into a fine boat basin by Benton, the dredge company who also deepened the channel to Boca Ciega Bay. That was in 1957 and 1958, which also saw im provements like range lights to assist boats in entering the channel and sea walls to prevent shoaling. They built 120 covered boat slips. Before 1975, the sheds were in danger of being destroyed by heavy winds thrQatening also t h e yachts (mostly power boats) at the same time. The old wooden boat slips were replaced by modern concrete construction without covers. At this time, sailboats became popular and the new marina, with a total capacity of 265 boats, has a waiting list. The final addition to its modernization was the Marina build ing, 1984, with the Harbormaster's office, marine store, and excellent facilities. For boats on traile rs, unequalled a ccom modations for launching are provided with plenty of parking space. Coast Guard Auxiliary This organization, on the outer tip of Osgood Point, is officially known as Flotilla 716 of Gulfport Marine Reserve and Training Group. It is operated by 50-60 dedicated mem bers and was authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard on May 22, 1961. Conrad F. Johansen was the first Commanding Officer. The group was housed in a wooden building constructed by the members on City property June 26, 1962, through a lease agreement. Duties of Flotilla 716 are briefly, as follows: To aid and assist the U.S. Coast Guard in evacuation, rescue, and saving of lives and property; To promote marine safety (give on-board equipment examinations); and To in struct boatmen in promoting safety and operation of boats. Retired Coast Guard Officers' Club When World War II was over, a large number of Coast Guard officers were retired from service and sought more comfortable climate in Florida. They felt the need of spin ning yams about their varied services. The men sought a club site where families could enjoy the Gulfport waterfront. The City leased them a suitable location (now the Boca Ciega


The Beg inning 45 Yacht Club). All hands turned to the construction of a sturdy building when the lease was signed March 11, 1953. Unfortunately, the men were getting older, and members hip fell away until 1965 when they gav e up the Club and turned it back to the City. Lions Club D esc r ibed elsewhere in t h is book. Mariner's Cove Marina This is the only privately-owned marina in Gulfport and is situated at the foot of 51st Street. Originally built by Bob Hadley it has been owned by Dave Steinke since 1978. It is of the hi-dry sto r age type,_ soon to be doubled in capacity. Gulfport Yacht Club The club was the spontaneous e .ruption of sailing enthu siasm in 1938 when orga nized by "Pop" Allen They had no clubhouse but the beach where they made their own s mall boats; they found that sailing and racing were unequalled in fascination Ear l y Commodores were Jim Flatte r James McLellan, and Leo Dyke. Suddenly World War II had all these boys in uniform, and activity at the clubhouse stopped. After the war the club was going "great guns" again. An old army barrack r e furbished was the c lubhouse. From h ere on, Howard Snyder was the moving s pirit. The Gulfport Yacht Club was sponsored by the Lions who encouraged youth a ctiviti e s not only in sailing but Se a Scouting as well. In 1960, the City lea sed the boys a parcel of land adjoining t h e Lions clubhouse. This was built largely by the members. The City dredged a channel from t h e harbor entrance to the docks at the clubhouse. Under Snyder's guidance, the mem bers offered some fine invitational regattas for visiting com pet ito rs and entered other s ail ing events elsewhere, oft.eri returning home with the "bacon." One of the b oys, W alter Most, became a national sailing champio n The First Boca Ciega Yacht Club An ancient postcard of about 1910 illustrates "the earliest yacht club in lower Pinellas County." It was built at the foot of 54th Street by Elmer E. Wintersgill and operated b y Mr and Mrs Lawren c e Renny, an early Town Marshall The old cl u b was built on pilings but wind and waves took t h e ir toll and it succumbed about 1918.


46 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida The Present Boca Ciega Yacht Club On July 21, 1965, the Sunshine City Boat Club, long a fix ture in St. Petersburg harbor 'til ousted by the City to make room for the Bounty exhibit, signed a lease with Gulfport The club was awarded a settlement of $25,000 and came to Gulfport with $30,000 and a strong, growing organization. The first order of business was to change the name to the Boca Ciega Yacht Club, after its predecessor of 1910. The lease was for the building and grounds of the Retired Coast Guard Officers' Club, including a tidal flat which was dredged into a lovely deep yacht basin with boat slips, launching ramp, and boat hoist. The dredged fill was used to raise the level of leased land, the balance being pumped across the channel to the old Police shooting range. The clubhouse was rebuilt and enlarged. Important names in the early years were Commodore W. C. Peterson and City Building Inspector Bill Nettling, former Chicago yachtsman. Early improvements were dedicated on April 6, 1966, with flag-rais i ng, ribbon-cutting, and the driving of a golden spike by member Jimmy Willcoxon. The club has brought to the City over 200 members, over 100 sailing yachts in wet and dry storage, and many of the boats in the City Municipal Marina. It has also brought a bi enni al sailing school since 1967, well-known regattas, and a vibrant impetus to sailing activity at the Gulfport waterfront. -Carl A. Norberg, Ph.B. AUTHOR'S NOTES: This portion of Our Story of Gulfport, Florida, Chapter 5, "The Waterfront o f Gulffort," was written by Carl A Norberg, a Ph.B from the University o Chicago, a member of the Boca Ciega Yacht Club since 1948, and a member of the Gulfport His tori cal Soci ety. He is deeply indebte d to Helen Ross, Researcher for the Society, for her u ntiring assistance, and to many others, i n cluding J. B. Dobkin, Speci al Co llections Li b rarian, University of South Florida Tampa campus, for the use of Coat and Geodedic Survey Chart No. 177, dated 1876; Bert Williams, Nathan White1 Neil Osgood, Howard Snyder, The Sea Breeze, the Aylesworth f am1ly Richard Bozeman, Walter Fuller's St. Petersburg and Its P e ople, Frank T. Hurley Jr.'s Surf, Sand and Post Card Sunsets pub lished by G reat Outdoors Pub lish i ng Company, St. Petersburg, the Gulfpor t Public Library S t aff, Lloyd Manni H R. Slaughter, and Irving Slauter. We are also grateful to Ticor Tit e Insurance Company (formerly West Coas t Title Co.) for the 1885 d i agram of the first pier and deeds given to earliest settlers. I have other subdi visions to give to the Society. C .A.N.




48 Trolley StationVeteran City, July 1908 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida S t Petersburg and Veteran City Trolley Compa .ny and Alligator Promenade Veteran City 1907-08


The Beginning Veteran City Trolley Car Courtesy W.B. Simonds Early Boca Ciega Yacht Club -1908-18 ' .. .. 49 . . .": Gulf Casino with St. Petersburg bound trolley on Pierabout 1910. Courtesy St. Petersb uri Time


5 0 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida L eft to right : Mary Nash Slaughter, Laus Nash, "Grandma" Nash, Harrison Nash Take n at Gulfport. D onated to Gulfport Historical S ociety by Irving S l aughter BAY VIEW HOTELG ULFPORT, 1913


The Beginning 51 This saw mill was built in 1907 by Mr. Singlehurst at the curve of the old streetcar line on Beach Blvd. and Tangerine Avenue. It was in opera tion for about three years, then torn down and moved to another loca tion after all the trees were cut and sawed in the Gulfport area. A tram road (narrow gauge rails) was built northwest of the saw mill to haul logs from the woods. The small railroad went in the general direction of present 58th Street and 15th Avenue S. Signs of the old road bed were present for many years.


52 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Beach Blvd., looking from about 30th Ave nue. Probabl y taken from Bay View Inn. ( Postcard dated 2-18-15 ) -These were passenger boats running from Gulfport to Pass A Grille Leander White, husband of Mrs. Ethel White, ran the Gypsy boat on left and the New York center background above the Florida Harry and Guy Yawger also piloted boats in the same service. ( Postcard dated 2-15-15)


How Our Village Grew


5 4 CHAPTER 6 Our Story of Gulfport Florida C H URCHES CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH 2126 Beach Blvd. S. (formerly) Shortly prior to 1939, Rev. Louis A. Jackson and a small group of Christians banded together and held servic es in the Gulfport Community H all, which they rented for 50 per Sunday. A Su nda y school was begun, divided into se ven classes, taught by Mrs J. D G e rard Mrs. Bro bin, Mrs. Susanne Gann o n Mrs. Otto, Mrs. Davi es, and Rev. J acobs en. On Sunday, February 5, 1939, this little group organized into the Gulfport Community Church, an undenominational group, with R ev. Jacobsen as pastor and thirty-nine charter members. The Board of Trustees were H arvey Glazier, Will Glazier, W. H. Otto, and Harvey Glazi e r wa s appointed Sunday Sc hool Superin tendent. Later in the year, R ev. Jacobsen resigned and Rev. Harris Bragan was called to be their p astor. Under his leadership the litt le church b eca me mission-minded and by 1940, ten per cent of all offerings were for mission s. On October 2, 1940, the name of the church wa s c hanged to The Community Bible Church of Gulfport. In 1941, a charter was drawn up stating the object and purpose of the church to be "for the purpose of promoting the Cause of Christianity, to promulgate the Doctrin e and Teachings of the Bibl e." A Board of Deacons was electe d to manage the affairs of the church. New members must be born-again beli e v ers and voted in by a membersh ip c om mittee consi sting of the pastor and d eac ons. On January 6, 1944; Rev. Bragan resign ed and his brother, Rev. Murray Brag an, wa s called a s pastor. Two lots o f land were purchase d for $200, and on those lots a worship building was erected fo r $3,500 on the corner of 55th Stree t and 22nd Avenue S. in Gulfport. The first se rvice in the n e w auditorium was held August 6, 1944. The church soon earned the nickname of "The Little White Church of the Singing P ines" from the beautiful tall pin e trees around t he c hurch In these p in e s loudspeakers were placed so t hat chimes could be played to cal l people to worship.


How Our Village Grew 55 On January 6, 1946, Rev. Murray Bragan resigned and Rev. Harris Bragan was recalled. On October 5, 1949, a radio ministry came into being Sunday mornings at nine o'clock over Station WSUN for 15 minutes. In 1949 and 1950, two additional lots were purchased and on April 18, 1951, it was decided to build a new church auditorium to accommodate the ever-increasing congregation. On January 27, 1951, the church mortgage was burned. Ground-breaking ceremonies, held May 27, 1951, featured Reese Whitworth, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, using the first spade. On February 3, 1952, the new, beauti ful church audi torium was completed and dedicated. Joseph Tibbetts was employed as Assistant Pastor. New ministries were added March of 1953; house-to house visitations, rest homes and hospital services, printed sermons sent out each month, and a book table and library added much interest. Nine missionaries were partially or fully sup ported. A bus service was used each Sunday to bring pari shioners to church. More lots were purchased for parking. Also, the need for an educational building was realized. On October, 1957, Rev. Eric A. Folsom was called to pastor the church, and under his leadership a new educational build i ng was erected. Missionary families were increased to 43, with a missionary budget of $30,000.00. Pastor Folsom remained as pastor for 25 years until his retirement April 4, 1980. Before his retirement, the church property on the corner of 55th Street and 22nd Avenue S. was sold to a business concern. Five acres of land were purchased at 8800 Starkey Road, Largo, where a chapel and educational building were erected. Pastor Folsom's assistant, Rev. Jerry Lancaster, was called as pastor and now serves the growing church called Starkey Rd. Baptist Church. CHURCH OF CHRIST 901 -49th StreetS. -Alice Libby In like manner, as the Apostles carried out the great com mission of Mark 16, so William Roe established many congre gations wherever he went. His journey began from Michigan


56 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida during the early years of the Depression. Unlike the Apostle Paul, there was no "home" church sending him out, but the words of Jesus Christ took him many places. One of these places was Gulfport, Florida. Seeing there was no local congregation, Will iam Roe put an ad in the newspaper announcing the Church of Christ would meet at a rented location until a building could be erected. Six days a week the place was a bar. On Sunday, following a hard clean ing, it was a me eting place for the saints who dwelt in Gulf port. In the early 1920's, William Ro e the carpenter was asked to build the first permanent structure in which the church could meet. The first location was at 9th Street and lOt h Avenue N., and seated 150. The "boom" days brought many more people to Gulfport. Soon William Roe was in demand as a Bible speaker. The congregat io n grew so much that another building was erected at lOth Street and lOth Avenue N. It was during this time that W. A. Cameron of Largo be came their local preacher. The move was made to the new building. For the next three years, however, the great c rash of 1929 was taking its toll. With so many people looking for work, the cong re gation dwindled. Shortly thereafter, the church moved into a store on 49th Street and 1st Avenue S. that William Roe owned. From this location the m embe rs would stay only long enough until the new building wa s completed where it presen tly is t oday. At night the brothers and sisters would line their cars side by side and turn on the headlights so they could work on the building during the night. The Diston Avenue Church of Christ is people carrying on where William Roe toiled greatly and prayed unceasingly. Many other lo cal congregations from Florida through Ohio were established and /or strengthened because of William Roe's love of God. -Robert Fincher CONGREGATION BETH SHOLOM 1844 54th Street S. In 1950, a number of families of the Jewish faith banded together and Sabba t h and Jewish holiday services in the homes of Joseph Baumann Max Emsig, and others, and usually the worshippers brought chairs. Jacob Adler


How Our Village Grew 57 wrote a humorous column in The Forward, a Jewish paper printed in New York and popular with many visitors in Florida. He had enjoyed being in Gulfport and extolled the beauties of this area and thus attracted many fellow believers to Gulfport. His pen-name was Berle Kovner. On May 18, 1951, the group received from State of Florida its Charter of Incorporation as the Jewish Center of Gulfport, Inc. On April 21, 1952, a deed was recorded on two lots by Max and Minnie Emsig, for the purpose of building a synagogue, and on March 8, 1953, the Dedication of that synagogue was held. High tribute was paid to the Chairman of the Building Committee, Louise M. Barnett. Jacob Adler was elected First President of the Center. On June 6, 1967, the Charter was revised by changing the corporate name to Congregation Beth Shalom. Services were conducted by volunteer members and occasionally a Cantor would be engaged for the High Holy Days. Meyer Emsig served as President 1959 to 19.63, followed by Albert Kessler. Arthur Sofsberg was a Spanish War Veteran and Charter Member of the congregat ion. In May, 1970, the first Rabbi was elected Morris H. Kobrinetz, who retired six years later. Three Rabbis have served since, but at present Rabbi Kobrinetz is serving from the pulpit until another Rabbi is chosen. He proudly remem bers that on April 27, 1972, ground was broken for the build i ng of an addition, and five months later, the new part hous i ng a sanctuary, fully-equipped kitchen, the Rabbi's study and a library was completed. The cost was $100,000 half of which was given by other than members, who are now about 100. Several years ago they purchased part of Memorah Gardens Cemetery on Route 688 between Starkey and Belcher Roads. Rabbi Kobrinetz serves with other clergy at civic affairs in Gulfport, and is obviously devoted to his special congrega tion of adults. -Rabbi Morris H. Kobrinetz FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF GULFPORT 2728 -53rd Street S. The first meeting of the Methodist Church was the result of the concern of some of the early residents of what at that time was a small fishing village. Tradition says that first services were held in a log cabin known as "Prop" College,


58 Our S tory of Gulfport, F lorida located on 49th Street S. near 27th Avenue. But records vary. We know that services were also held in the Casino, located on the waterfront of this village, on Boca Ciega Bay. In 1910, with the need for a permanent church, two lots were purchased on 28th Avenue S. from Jacob M. and Anna B. Zodges. A building was completed crudely furnished, for the congregation sat on benches that were splintery and rickety. In the middle of the room stood a pot-bellied stove. If the day was cool, a stick or two of "lighte r took care of t h e c hill. In 1951, ground was broken and the cornerstone laid for the building that is part of the church was see today. But what happened to the old church? Around 1956, it was moved across the street, given to the City of Gulfport to be used by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Red Cross, and the Gems, until the new multi-purpose center was built. Now it is the Museum and home of the Gulfport Histor ical Society. Over the years, many have served our church as pastor : Organized in 1912, Rev. J. H. Daniel served as minister for one year. So many wonderful pastors have se r ved over the ensuing years. 1929 brought John Branscomb to both Gulfport and Childs Park Methodist Churches. This outstanding young man was here for one and a half years before returning to college. He later became an outstanding bishop in the Methodist Conference. On December 1, 1947, R ev. Elsie Davies began her long and successful pastorate in Gulfport. I n 1951, with Rev. Davies at the helm, ground was broken for the new sanctuary. Roy Pippin was contractor -and in 1956-57 he again super vised, with the help of many, the construction of the Educa tional Building that is used for a church office and Sunday sc hool rooms This addition took place during the time Rev. DeWitt Farabee served our church. In 1963, Rev. James Marshall Smith came to Gulfport. During the time he was with us, the church was complete l y remodeled. An addition was built, moving the main entrance from 28th Avenue to 53rd Street. A large social hall was also built, five additional rooms were added, and the main sanctuary was completely turned around. Rev. Dwight McQueen came to First United Methodist Church in Gulfport in 1981, and today the church continues to grow under his leadership. Mary Lou Gray, a young girl of about 15 years at this time, taught Sunday school during the time services were


How Our Village Grew 59 held in "Prop" College. Mary Lou Gray was well known and loved by many of us. She was one of the founders of our church and served it in many capacities, setting a splendid examp le of a truly Christian life. She was born in Chicago Octob er 15, 1893, moved to Gulfport in 1909, and gradu ated from St. Petersburg High School, Junior College, and the University of Florida. Mary Lou was employed by the Pinella s County School System for 34 years, including 25 years as Principal of Gulfport Elementary School, from which she retired in 1953. She and her husband Dick were well-known and loved for their participation in many com munity organizations. Dick Gray was affectionately known as the "Gulfport Artist" for his murals; he served on the Coun cil and also managed the Casino for years. Mary Lou s pen t her long happy life serving others, and died here February 5, 1985. Her funeral was attended by many long time residents of Gulfport, together with their chil dren and grand chil dren all feeling blessed for having known her. -Ruby Walker GULFPORT CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 1000 -55th StreetS. In late 1957, Rev. John Swentze l and his wife Mary began to hold se rvic es in the audio-video roo m at the Boca Ciega High School with seve n people in attendance. Rev. Swentzel felt that God wanted him to start a church in t h e Gulfport area. He searched throughout the area but felt drawn to the spot where the church npw stands. He inquired about the availability of the property and was told by the owner that several had expressed interest in putting quite a lot of money down. Rev. Swentzel replied that his plans were to build a church, but as he was just starting, little money would be available. The owner challenged him by asking, "Where is your faith?" She promised to hold the property through the summer months, with nothing down, to see what migh t happen. In the meantime, the small group moved to the old Com munity Hall to hold servi ces, and their number increased. God sup plied the money needed and the property was pur chased. Members and friends helped with the building, and the first Sunday in January, 1963, found the group meeting there -in what was then called the new "Gulfport Commu nity Church."


60 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida In 1976, Rev. and Mrs. Swentzel felt they could no longer continue in their work because of Mrs. Swentzel's failing health. The church then merged with the Nazarene group and became the "Gulfport Church of the Nazarene." The new church was dedicated August 5, 1976. Rev. Ralph Moulton became the pastor. He did a wonderful job, hel ping the church enlarge and extend into the community. In 1983, Rev. Ralph Moulton accepted a call to the Nazarene Church in New Port Richey and the Gulfport church welcomed Rev. Vela Vaughn. Under God's direction he is bringing soul-satisfying messages. He has a great gift for bringing out new points in our Bible studies and under his leadership our church is growing. The foundation of the church is upon the Word of God. The direction is where God leads. The desire of our people is to heip and encourage others and to serve God to the best of our ability. -Doris Howell GULFPORT OPEN BIBLE CHURCH 1702-1052nd StreetS. The Gulfport Open Bible Church held its first service at the old Community Center on 28th Avenue S. on July 4, 1965. In 1966, the Open Bible Church moved into three store buildings on Gulfport Blvd., where services were held until 1969. Then a house and land were purchased and a sanctuary was built and dedicated in 1973, at the present location We minister Jesus Christ to the whole man-spirit, soul and body. We believe Jesus saves us from sin, provides health to our body. Our Church is the only Pentecostal church serving the people of Gulfport and bringing satellite of well known ministers and Bible teachers to our city. Rev. Dillinger was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and as a young man moved to Buffalo where he met his future wife. They were married in 1946 and have one daughter. After having a personal experience with Jesus Christ, Rev. Dillinger gave his heart and life to the Lord Who directed him into Bible studies through the Moody Bible Institute. He was directed to St. Petersburg in 1957, moved to Gulfport and started his own television business. He took exten.sion courses from Stetson University and went to Florida Bible Institute for three years, from which he graduated in 1965. He pio neered this church. -Rev. Clarence Dillinger


How Our Village Grew GULFPORT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 5313 27th AvenueS. 61 Gulfport Presbyterian Church originated as an independent church under the leadership of the Reverend James T. MacLean. Rev. MacLean was a native of Nova Scotia who received his education in the United States, graduating from Princeton University in 1890. Mter serving churches in Dela ware, Pennsylvania, and several locations in Florida, he retired in Gulfport in 1910. On January 27, 1917, the first worship service was conducted by Rev. MacLean in the sanctuary financed by him. After the death of Rev. MacLean in 1936, the church was without a regular minister for almost ten years. Supply ministers were used until 1947, when Dr. Andrew A. Walker accepted a call to the Gulfport Independent Church. At the first service he conducted, there were seven or eight people present. Dr. Walker built up the church membership to approximately ninety. During his pastorate it was known as "The Friendly Church of Gulfport." Desiring to unite with one of the major Presbyterian de nominations, the congregation voted to petition the St. John's Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. for membership. At the April 1948 meeting, the First Presby terian Church of Gulfport was received as a member of the St. John's Presbytery and of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Two years later the St. John's Presbytery was divided into two Presbyteries, and the First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport became a member of the newly formed Westminster Presbytery. As the First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport began to grow, it was necessary to expand the Sunday school facilities. On July 2, 1950, ground was broken for a Sunday school annex, the building that is now our Fellowship Hall. Six years later, more room was needed for the larger crowds attending worship. The Session voted to move the Worship Services to the Sunday School Annex, and to use the old church building for Sunday school space. In September, 1956, Dr. C. Logan Landrum came to us and again our membership grew. In need of a larger seating capacity, the congregation voted, on November 20, 1957, to add twenty feet to the Sunday School Annex that was being used for Worship Services. It soon became apparent however that the facilities of the First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport were not adequate to


62 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida meet the challenge and opportunity surrounding it. At a con gregational meeting on March 15, 1959, a committee was elected to study the long-range plans of our church. As a result of this study, it was decided to build the present sanctuary and educational building. Many members were responsible for the planning and furnishing of the new Sanctuary. William Safranek, retired railroad executive, Edward Brozka, disabled American Veteran, Clarence Higgins, Sr., Captain McMillan, Gardner Beckett, attorney-atlaw, Mrs. Ida McLaren, and many more too numerous to list were some of the prominent members helping in this planning. On May 13, 1962, ground was broken for the new facili ties. The first service was conducted in the new Sanctuary on January 27, 1963. On August 25, 1966, the name of the church was changed to Gulfport Presbyterian Church. The church was one of the earliest leaders in the Presby tery to elect women Elders. The first two were Mrs. Marion Edwards in December 1964, and Mrs. George Haas in January 1965. There have been many fine and effective members over the years who have given much to the local church, to the Presbytery, and to the community. To name a few Elder Clarence Higgins, Sr., known to all as "Mr. Presbyterian," was elected an Emeritus in December 1983; Yvonne Johnson, active church leader and member of the Council of the City of Gulfport; William MacNeal, former Mayor of Gulfport. In 1978, Elder Edith Haas was honored by being elected President of the Women of Westminster Presbytery. The organization of the Women of the Church has contri buted much in the life of the church over the years. The women still roll bandages and furnish White Cross supplies to overseas mission hospitals. Operation Attack and the Migrants receive handmade clothing for needy children, food supplies, and money to help cover other necessities. The women support the total program of the church in many ways. In addition to the honored ministries of Christian educa tion and worship, the present congregation also has engaged in several other exciting ministries: a noon meal was served to approximately 125 elderly persons Monday through Friday under the Congregate Dining Program (affiliated with Meals-On-Wheels) for several years. They have now moved into the beautiful new, large Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center. Space has been furnished by the church for


How Our Village Grew 63 English language classes. A certified, non-graded elementary school, named Sunflower School, providing children with more dynamic models for learning, uses classroom space five days a week, and Aerobic classes are held in Fellowship Hall two night a week year-round. Our church tries to meet community needs whenever we can. -Edith Haas KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES 1219-53rd StreetS. A Kingdom Hall is the place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses for the purpose of meeting together to study the Holy Bible. It is practical in design and the congregation, of between 100 to 150 members, meets here for five meetings a week. This Kingdom Hall in Gulfport was built in 1960 and the original congregation was quite small; but as the years went by, due to the growth, it was necessary to enlarge the hall twice. At present, two congregations of about 150 each are sharing this one Kingdom Hall, and meetings are held almost every day of the week. All of these meetings are open to the public. No collections are taken. These meetings are benefi cial for all. The Unique Work of Jehovah's Witnesses Worldwide Throughout the world, in over 200 lands, Jehovah's Wit nesses are telling the Good News of Jehovah's Kingdom by Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself told His disciples in Acts 1:8 "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth." Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling the same commis sion that Jesus Christ gave His followers in the first century, as noted in Matthew 28:19, 20 -"Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things until the conclusion of the system of things." The local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is the center of worship where each individual is taught by means of Bible talks and demonstrations. Each Christian has the responsibility of personally telling others about God's King-


64 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida dom. Each one endeavors to visit and speak with the people in each home in the community, to give them the marvelous hope of living under God's Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ. J esus Himself used the Bible as His authority and always gave c redit to His heavenly Father, Jehovah We do the same by us ing the Bibl e and Bible study aids such as the Watchtower, Awake! and books such as You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, to help people learn more about our Creator, Jehovah God and His purpose for mankind. -David Kester MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS PARISH 580615th AvenueS. There being no bridge in 1909, the Jesuit Priests from Sacred Heart Church in Tampa canoed across Tampa Bay to bring the Roman Catholics of this area the consolation of Mass and the Sacraments. The Stein winder family, of 2865 51st Street S., offered their home as the place of worship. Roman Catholic churches are territorial. Usually someone scouts the area to pick out a suitable church location. Thus, in 1958, the Diocese of St. Augustine, which at that time en compasse d the whole State of Florida, purchased six acres of land between 28th Avenue and 30th Avenue S. on the west side of 58th Street, the north portion of Town Shores. St. Augustine is the site of the first Catholic Foundation in the United States, where in 1565 Father Francisco Lopez of Spain established the Cathed ral Parish of St. Augustine. In December 1959, Archbishop Joseph P. Hurl ey, Bi shop of St. Augustine, appointed Father Will iam Weinhei m er to begin a parish in Gulfport. Father James Fahey celebrated this new beginning with 425 people at the Retired Coast Guard Center on January 3, 1960. The very next week, larger accommodations at Disston Junior High School were used; severa l weeks later, the Roller Skating Rink on 49th Street S. was temporarily leased. Archbishop Hurley of St. Augustine was carefully naming new churches to call attention to important articles of faith. Thus, on one day he signed construction contracts for eleven churches. Blessed Trinity, Transfiguration, Blessed Sacrament were well-known local churches. Most Holy Name of Jesus was to be among them. However Father Frank Goodman re quested a different plan because of the proximity of the property to salt water. Thus, that delay Ql1 Palm Sunday,


How Our Village Grew 65 April 14, 1962, found the new Most Holy Name of Jesus Church at its present location, on 15th Avenue S. at 58th Street. High priority of Catholic Education brought Holy Name School into being even before the church. Three portable buildings and a 7-11 store served the K-8 grade school until February 1965, when the present school was completed. Religious communities of St. Dominic, Notre Dame, and Mercy have staffed the school and welcome children of every race, color or creed. The annual parish "Oktoberfest" took on community pro portions in 1972, and has provided the happy occasion for friends and former students to gather in the context of "welcome home." There is a growing Lithuanian Roman Catholic commu nity which calls Holy Name not only "home" but by their patron, St. Casimir. Every Sunday and Holy Day, Lithuanian people from as far as Clearwater and Tampa come to worship in their native language and sing their own hymns. Charter members indeed, all members-speak with justifiable pride about their church and school because their contribution to its growth has been of a very personal nature supported by deep spiritual motivation. I have been pastor for 25 years and believe we all feel this way. "We do not have expensive monuments here, but our real treasure, like the 'pearls of great price,' is in the Most Holy Name of Jesus, who is known, loved, and served here." -Father Frank Goodman


66 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida CHAPTER 6 THE SCHOOL YEARS Gulfport, in 1926, was the hub of academic activity with its new elementary school and junior high school. There was great excitement as Gulfport Elementary opened Spanish styled doors to educators, builders, and townspeople. The structure, with its massive arches and two-storied classrooms and balconies overlooking an atrium, was a new, handsome concept for schools. Visitors crossed a long, arched verandah into the spacious stucco building located on 4.8 acres at 52nd Street S. and 20th Avenue. The school was planned and built by Eric Clauson at a cost of $95,000, with classrooms arranged around an auditorium in such a way that a central garden was formed. This atrium served as a natural science center for the children of Gulfport for many years. The 16-room structure served grades 1 through 5 and later 1 through 6 with a capacity for 511 students. The cafeteria and library were added in 1948 with a four-room primary wing in 1954.1 The auditorium was constructed in 1924 for $12,700 as an attachment to a four-room, block, school building which had served as the center of family and community activities since 1910. Shuttered doors between the 3rd and 4th and 7th and 8th grade rooms on the east side folded back creating a larger gathering area for chapel, pledge of allegiance and flag cere monies, and other school activities, according to Mrs. Irene Roberts Welbourn, an early resident of Gulfport. "There were eight grades," remembered Mary Lou (Faurot) Gray, who had served as teacher and principal at Gulfport and in the county school system for over thirty years. "In addition to academic classes, homemaking and manual shop were taught." Also, during the war years, victory gardens were tended and were an important part of the school session. It was also recalled that holidays were special, and at Christmastime particularly children would carry picnic lunches and the teachers would walk them over along Bear Creek to collect the colorful Florida holly to use for holiday decorations. "Pageants and school functions were the center of the community and the school kept busy," Mrs. Gray emphasized. Principals in Gulfport schools include Julia Dieffenwierth (Prop College), 1905-06; F G Tranberger, 1912-13; Mrs. Margaret Wilder, 1913-15; Laura Walker, 1915-16; Miss Pel-


How Our Village Grew 67 ham, 1916-17; Ashley Russ, 1919-20; Cecil R. Phillips, 1922-23; Mrs. Lily Berls, 1923-24; Chas. M. Phillips, 1924-27; Mrs. Sarah Anderson, 1927-29; Mrs. Mary Lou Gray, 1929-53; Stanley Moore, 1953-55, and Theresa Graves, 195562+.2 In 1912, when Pinellas peninsula became a county, many smaller schools employed only one or two teachers who were trying to teach not only the eight grades of grammar school but also included some high school work as well. By 1915, the County School Board passed a resolution which recog nized only four high schools in the county -Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Largo, and St. Petersburg. It was prescribed that all other schools limit their work to instruction in the grammar area only. The school board further passed a resolu tion offering to pay the actual transportation of any pupil in the county who lived beyond a convenient distance from the nearest high school. At this time also (1915 ), a uniform course of study for all the schools had been worked out. It was necessary that all eighth graders be given an examination and promoted into high school on approval of the County School Board and County Superintendent. Because of the uniform .work in all the schools and a uniform system of promotion, Pinellas County was recognized as having more high school pupils in proportion to its enrollment than any county in the state.3 All high schools were on the accredited list of the South eastern Association of College and Universities, according to Superintendent Dixie Hollins' report of 1915. The fall of 1926 was doubly important to Gulfport citizens, with the opening of Gulfport Junior High School located at 1001-51st Street S. It was a fitting companion to the new elementary school. This junior high school was of a more formal Spanish architecture, located on 8.57 acres of land With a capacity for 977 students. It was built at a cost of $116,300, with the heating system costing an additional $13,757. The name was changed to Disston Junior High4 on June 22, 1927. Charles N. Phillips served as the first porincipal from 1926 to 1945, and Richard L. Jones served 1945-1953. Then Roy E. Kinnick, 1953-54; Albert T. Craig, 1954-56, and Charles Ke l say, 1956-62.5 The school served the youth of Gulfport until 1983, when the main building was dismantled and leveled after standing vacant for several years. In 1953, Boca Ciega High School (first called 58th Street High School) was completed and opened in September of


68 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida that year with the recognition of being the first high school built in the county since the building boom of 1926. Prior to 1953, senior high youth of Gulfport were taught at St. Petersburg High School. This new senior high had a student capacity of 2,286 with the auditorium seating 1,200 and classrooms numbering 43. The construction cost was $1,520,209.6 The school was designed to take maximum advantage of Florida's climate and natural light with the administration building fronting five classroom wings. It was built on property purchased from Mr. Aymer Vinoy Laughner (member of a wealthy oil family of Pennsylvania) who had large acreage in this Grea at the time of the boom. He sold the forty acres on which Boca Ciega High is located. 7 At this point in its existence, Gulfport had complete, modern academic facilities for the citizens of the commu nity, as compared to its first one-room schoolhouse which originated back in 1886, when "Disston City" was still in its infancy. As previously mentioned, the James Ba,rnett family, who were the first settlers ; had arrived in 1867, settling near the Bay area where York Street meets Boca Ciega Bay. At that time there were only about fifty families in all of Pinellas peninsula. Few pioneers came to Pinellas during the period 1840-1880. The first surge of white settlers came in 1842 when the Armed Occupation Act became effective. Provi sions of this act were that 160 acres would be given to any }lead of family, or single man over age 18, who would bear arms and live on the land in a fit habitation for five years and cultivate at least five acres. There were several such claims along Tampa Bay and Clearwater Harbor.8 The soil of Pinellas peninsula was conducive to agriculture and fish were plentiful along the sheltered coastal areas. As families moved and settled southward, schools were con structed as needed. Pinellas peninsula was a part of Hills borough County for many years, and Tampa was head quarters for schools as well as voting, entertain-ment, food, and other activities.9 The first recorded structure for school purposes for Pinellas peninsula was a wooden cabin, the McMullen Log School, built by Captain Jim McMullen in 1853 near his home on Coachman Road, a few miles east of Clearwater. In 1860, the Taylor School was constructed on the Sever place. These early schools were for family children and nearby neighbors. In 1868,10 the Clearwater Cemetery School (the


How Our Village Grew 69 only school which was operating after the Civil War) was built. The first Anona School followed in 187 4, and again, as families moved to the south, the Mt. Vernon School on Belcher Road was constructed in 1879.11 Along with other settlers, Englishmen Ernest and Arthur Norwood arrived in the Gulfport area, in 1886. Unfortun ately, shortly thereafter, fire destroyed the Norwood brothers' holdin gs. Arthur, however, assisted by townspeople, continued his life in Gulfport by working at whatever was available. (He w as later to go into merchandising and even tually become Mayor of St. Petersburg.) In 1886, he became a teacher in a one-roo m wooden structure located near the intersection of Disston Avenue (now 49th Street) and 26th Avenue S. (said to be near the residence of 2644 49th Street S. ). This early makeshift building was supported on two sides by six pine logs said to be used as props to support the building after a severe storm. According to Irene Roberts Wellbourn, the siding was board and batten. "The shutters never closed tightly," she rememb ere d. Her mother, Nellie Leonardi, had attended the school. Disston City School, or "Prop College," was integrated according to Walter Fuller, author and historian of St. Peters burg and Pinella s County -by the children of Mr. and Mrs. John Donaldson, the only black family on the point of Pinellas at that time. Ed Donaldson 90 years old at the time of the writing of Mr. Fuller's book, St. Petersburg and Its People, remembered attending this sma ll wooden school house. Mr. Norwood had whitewashed the outside of the school, dug a well and built desks and blackboard Mrs. Wei bourne, as well as Mrs. Margaret Brooks, remember s the first levels of instruction were graded by first primer, second primer, etc. Mrs. Brooks, granddaughter of Frances Weihman, has the original certificate authorizing her grandmother to teach in the public school system. 1\hs. Weihman rece ived a two-year certificate for taking ten examinations and scoring 80-100%. The documents were signed by L. W. Buckholz, Hillsborough Superintendent. Mrs. Weihman was a teacher in Gulfport's first school, "Prop College," and the contract states it was for $50.00 per month for six months. Clara Slauter, of the James Barnett family, was one of the first pupils of this first school. Disston City School was endear ingly remembered by many Pinellas dwellers as their alma mater, said Walter Fuller. In 1954, the Stetson College of Law opened its doors with


70 Our Story o f Gulfport, Florida an entering class of 50 and a total student body of 100. Stetson U niversity of DeLand, Florida, had accepted an offer to locate its law school on the site of a hotel situated on 12 acres o f land in the community of Gulfport-with $100,000 for remodeling and building. Harold (Tom) Sebring, in September of 1955, became Dean of the College of Law. He had resigned his positio n as Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court in order to take up his teaching position. Dean Sebring was well -known as one o f the judges in the Nazi war crime s trials in Nuremberg, Germany, at the end of World War II. Richard T. Dillon succeeded as Dean of the College of Law upon t h e death of Dean Sebring in 1968. The college embarked on a lawyer training program patterned after the historic Inns-of-Court judicial syste m under which t rainin g for the Bar had been centered in England for more than seven ce n turies. The college is approved by the Ameri can Bar Association and has been a member of the Associa tion of American Law Sc hools since 1931. The school now has an 18-acre campus. The Rolyat Hotel (Stetson Law Schoo l ) was built during 1925, Paul R ee d of Miami, architec t It was to be a duplicate of a Spani sh feudal castle or monastery of the middle ages. Towers, turrets and ga tes, massive arches and grilled windows surrounded a great patio with palms and fountains. Specia l features were two great tower s -one with a circular room 3 0-feet in diameter a t the top of the tower and the other, a 110-foot, octagonal main towera replica of the golden Torre Del Oro tower of Seville, Spain. The d i ning room or Great Hall was similar to a Spanish cathedral. This hotel was acclaimed "a fragment of Old Spain transplanted into t h is tropical setting," and one of the most beautiful in the South. The President of Pasaden a Estates, Jack Taylor, gave his name, r eversed, to the structure: "Rolyat." In 1928, as a resul t of the "bust," the Rolyat Hotel and golf course went to the construction company in payment of debts. The John W anamaker Company (decorators) took back expensi ve item s and sold t h e rest to a New York stock broker who had bought the hotel. In 1929, the Florida Military Academy purchased the hotel and took it over in 1932 and ran it until 1951, when once again it stood empty until purchased by Stetson Unive r s ity. Gen evieve Smith


How Our Village Grew 71 CREDITS 1 The Golden Anniversary of Pinellas Schools, Board of Public Educa tion, Pinellas County Public Schools, p. 53. 21bid. 3County School Superintendent Dixie Hollins' Report of 1915 ob tained from Tampa Public Library. 4Community Facilities Plan for Pinellas County Pinellas Planning Council, March 1971, p. 116. 5The Golden Anniversary of Pinellas Schools, Board of Public Educa tion, Pinellas County Public Schools, p 52. 6Ibid, p. 61. 7This Was Florida's Boom, by Walter Fuller. 8 Background of Pinellas County, Florida, prepared by Pmellas County Department of Planning, County Courthouse Clear water, Florida, January 1968. 9 Bethel's of Point Pinellas, by John A. Bethel Great Out doors Publishmg Co. St. Petersburg, Florida, 1962, p. 8S. 1 0 The Golden Anniversary of Pinellas Schools Board of Public Educa tion, Pinellas County Public Schools. St Petersburg Florida1912. I 1Jbid. CHAPTER 8 GO VERN ME NT SERVICES & BUSINESS AS BUSINESS GREW The earliest settlers in this area did as their counterparts all up the eastern seaboard did -they made do with what they had! An abundance of fish, land, and for the most part an ideal climate, determined their activities. Barter -a fish for a haircut-rather than commerce was the rule and sub sistence their goal. Gradually, however, a couple of cows became a herd, a few chickens a poultry farm, half a dozen citrus trees a grove, and the "catch for the day" counted in the thousands. Agriculture and IIShing became Big Business here. Alex Leonardy developed an exceptionally good variety of grapefruit, now named for him, and wild bananas grew all over the place. According to The Sea breeze, Mr. Puig had the finest arbor of grapes, but Mrs. Barnett took the lead on melons, while Captain Miranda excelled with pecans. Guavas grew everywhere -some so sour "they would make a pig squeal." The freeze of 1890 was a severe blow to citrus


7 2 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida growers, but they w ere undaunted and soon were producing at former levels. A s one enthusiastic advertisement in some northern papers put it at the time -"everything grows in Florida"! Later there w ere banana gro ves (Nathan McKinn e y had one at 2723 56th Street S.) and the orange becam e t h e t r a de mark of Florida and its symbol everyw here. Flower s and shrubs were cultivated early and when transportation became appropriate, they were shipped to many parts of the country. Ornamental plant nurseries have flourished in these parts, including the G a rden Path Nursery, Josten's, Frederic k sons' Pine Tree Nursery and I ngrahams' Nursery. The Med fly caused excessive dam age, especially in 1930 when the City Co uncil issued a call for help from all r esidents in cleaning up the debris. Ci trus canker has been a scour ge at various times inCluding the present when entire grov es have had to be destroyed to prevent the spread of this most dreaded disease of the citrus. FISHING The major activity was, of course, on the waterfront. Fishing was always t h e main industry and rapidly grew from supplying the needs of early settlers to commercial enter prises by 1843. At first, most of the fish were sold to Harry Bell's restaurant. Later George M eares and Perc y Neeld bought him out and advertised they would supply the entire county with fish. Edward Torres and Charles Ma c Pherson were more modest, saying only that they had purc h ased a gill net and intended to supply Disston City with fish. Well known fisherm e n through the years included Joe Bethell, Nathan McKinn ey, Jessie Gleaton, Worfford, Gadsden, Renney, and Arthur Mann. Many remembered the names of fish house owners and operators, including the Ellsworth Fish Co., Dewey Taylor, Simon Bell, Clarence Bromley the Mann Brothers, the Aylesworth Brothers, and the Osgood Brothers. Emory Campbell bought t h e fish house on t h e pier in 1957 and was there until the pier had to be demolished i n 1980 because of unsafe structure weakened by years of weathering and usage. As w e go to press, the State of Florida has finally granted permis sio n to proceed to rebuild our pier with monies already partly collected from a special tax levied by referendum for three years. Net-making and repairing was assuredly a related busines s, and Emma Pollard is the mos t frequently acclaimed expert


How Our Village Grew 73 in this skilled art. Recently, at Nostalgia Day, we enjoyed an exhibit of this complicated process, performed by Nathan White's cousin, Ollie White, and Sherman Bliss. Nathan told us that mullet season opened January 15, and in their first haul they would bring in 30,000 to 50,000 pounds of fish for which they charged five cents a pound the first day, three cents the second day, and one cent the third; then that was it! :They'd get 500 to 700 pounds of grouper by 5:00 p.m. most any day, throw them up on the dock, and the tourists would watch while they cleaned them. Some paid five cents for the cleaning, others paid nothing. When the men finished, they then cleaned the dock and their boat, and the gas truck would come at six o'clock to fill the tanks. After supper they'd fish for shiners (northerners call them "pin fish") for next day's bait. They'd fish till sundown, then they'd be up next day at sunup, or earlier, to start out again. They had boiled fish for breakfast, fried fish for dinner, and iish cakes for supper-everybody had the same! Fishermen had to spread their nets for cleaning, drying and mending, and they hung them on pilings near the pier until the City requested them to move that operation to Clam Bayou . It was all mangrove and shallow water except for a little canal -what is now the east side of our present Marina; then it was sort of an auxiliary dump for the City Matt Brooks was in charge of dredging that canal out so their boats could come in -a horrid job because of sand fleas and mosquitoes which ate one alive. Smudge from burning out the area smoked up most of the houses anywhere near the waterfront. It took several years for it to wash off! Tarpon was the tourists' favorite game fish; Guy Irving; Captain Walt Williams, and others took them on day cruises. "Shorty" Welch, Joe Artell, and Nathan's crowd went mostly for mullet and grouper With fishing a major industry, boat-builders were numer ous and active. In 1910, a naval architect, Cliff Hadley, formed a company with his son at 5018 31st AvenueS. and one source said he became famous in 1935 because he built several models of hydroplanes that won world records. Courtney Sawyer built his boats under an oak. tree on the northwest comer of 52nd Street and 29th Avenue S. and used old Studebaker engines in them. The Mann Brothers made their boats by hand and their boats were considered the best. Earlier builders in 1870 included Joe Bartel, B. C. WiJJiams, Taylor Slaughter, Jack White, John Sheppard, Perry


74 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Davis, Harry Yonger, and the Osgood Brothers. When the Osgoods' place burned down in 1956, Council enlisted people who helped raise money for its rebuilding perhaps because it was considered big business since they employed about fifty people. The Osgoods r emained in business until 1977. The Aylesworth Brothers, who began selling fish wholesale in 1950, also built boats; but they moved their business into St. Pet ersburg in 1955. In the late 1800's, Miranda's Wharf at the foot of York Street was a boon, not only to fishermen but to farmers, fruit growers and retail stores for shipping and receiving produce. A varie t y of schooners plied all our surrounding waters -to Tampa, Clearwater, and Tarpon Springs for mail deliveries, supplies, and for passengers -and others went as far as Biloxi and Key West. The hurricane of 1921 destroyed piers, fish houses boats and nets, but they were soon replaced and business as u sual" was the motto of the day for everyone. The chartering of boats for fishing or for pleasure resumed in about 1944. About then, six or eight of such craft were owned by Bill Robson, J. Auble, and others and, of course, we know many such boats are u sed today for similar pur poses. In fact, from 1955 the numbers have steadily in creased, until now it i s estimated that t here are about 70,000 boats licensed in Pinella s County! Thompson C. Roberts told Helen Ross (4/18/83) that his cousins, the MacRoberts, had several boats which they ran from our pier to Pass A.Grille especially catering to the tourist trade. People rode the trolley from St. Petersburg to its terminal on our p ie r where they could board any number of boats-sometimes for deep sea fishing or just for crossin g to another beach for s pecial dining or picnicking, or whatever! He also said that his father caught alligators for that kind of farm and that one -known as "Big Bob"once knocked his father flat on his face with his huge tail. They sold alligators either for the meat or skins a profitable business in those days! CATTLE-RAISING Next to fishing in importance came cattle-catching and raising for much of the land was open range the s mall home steader having to fence in his property for protection. In the 1800's, Abel Miranda was the leading cattleman. Later the Lykes Brothers (yes the sa me company we buy meat from


How Our Village Grew 75 today!) had extensive local holdings, but in 1910 the new Town Council asked them to remove cattle to make way for house-building for the influx of new residents from the north. The cattle were then driven east around Clam Bayou and south to Maximo Point, but in a few years they had to be moved north t o the end of the present Pinellas County line. Today they are range sites. Some of the cowboys then wore six-shooters for use on snakes or in other emergency. Milk could be had for the taking if you wanted to try your hands on wild cows! During round-ups, the cattle were held in barbed wire enclosures for several days, and later those areas mad e super gardens with its well-fertilized soil! As the herds grew, so did the dairies. Record s show that we had Bak er's dairy on 52nd Street, Brown's on the corne r of 49th and Tangerine, Pipp ins' and Schuldecker's both on 49th. Pippins supplied milk for the school and Schuldecker had a dipping vat for cattle walking to rid them of ticks. Hank Whitbeck had a one-man operation on 49th be tween 25th and 26th Avenues. During the Depression, one of his customers stopped her order because she couldn't pay the bills. He told Mrs. White that "as long as you've got kids and I've got cows, you'll get milk." And he kept her supplied whether she coul d pay or not! MAIN STREETS AND STORES If you really want to know about early stores when we were Bonifacio or Disston City, let us suggest that you review the Museum's copy of The Seabreeze, published April 1886 for one year -or better yet, buy one. The ads running most of that year were for Baumeister's "Drygoods, Shoes, & Notions Tools, Tinware, Crockery & Glassware"; for Anderson and Hamilton, "Butchers Market Every Saturday" and The Cash Store, R L. L ocke, Prop'r, with a "complete stock of staple goods, groceries, etc. of a super ior quality, alway s on hand, also fine cigars and tobacco of various brands and prices" listing Disston City as their location. Many stores in Tampa sought customers; and when you read the "All Around the Point," the Disston City Doings" columns and some editorials, you will find individuals also looking for buyers of their homegrown or homemade items. Our orginal main streets w ere 51st and York Street from 29th Avenue S. to the Bay. The comin g of the trolley cars in 1904 changed that because it ran down Beach Blvd. and quickly co mmercial activities moved to that vicinity. A s de sc r ibed elsewhere in this book. Shore Blvd was the focal


76 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida point for numbering streets proceeding from 1st north from the Bay. The trolley meant much to this growing com munity for it made possible the shipping of fish from St. Petersburg on north-bound trains since refrigeration cars were now available. Sawmills became necessary to accommodate the building business. K i ng and Singlehurst were early ones and Florida builders had their own siding at 43rd Street and 7th Avenue when they were doing their innovative house construction in the 1950's. Nathan and others told us about early stores There was a little sort of house on the hexagonal end of the old pier where they sold candy, gum, ice, soda, and liquor. "Flo" Bamberg operated a small filling station at the east end of the block (Shore Blvd.) and she sold bubble gum, root beer and other necessities! There was an outside patio tavern maybe called The Shady Nook where Walt's Trophy Room later preceded Gulfport on the Rocks. R. W. Caldwell and "Bud" Markham built on the east corner of Shore Blvd. and 55th Street Nathan's mother opened a litt le restaurant to sell baked goods and sandwiches. She thought that with help from his two sisters and Nathan she could make a living. That was when WP A was building the pier and the workmen came for breakfast every day. By midweek they would say, "Ethel, we'll pay you Saturday," but they never said which Saturday! She went broke and had to sell out. Then she f i xed up a place at Essex and 55th called White s Coffee Shop. When Jo Kane swapped h i s office for that small house (then used as a library), now Rehearsal Hall, she moved to DeLett and 55th. Walter Brooks told us his grandparents built what is now known as Holiday Inn Apartments, and they lived upstairs and had the Post Office and a grocery store downstairs. There were ten-foot porches around the house but since they have been enclosed upstairs. His grandfather bought Army surplus foods by the carload dried vegetables and fruits and such. He leased part of the property to Hagner, a barber, and another area to Virginia Welch for her beauty shop. Ira Odum had a real estate office there at one t ime and much later in 1935 or so, Douberay had a liquor store (he's thankful Grandpa didn't know about that !). Isabel Cronkite had a grocery store there once, too. That property has been a rental since 1925. Next to i t the Prigun Apartments was once a grocery store, and later Bill and Frank Moulton had a button


How Our Village Grew 77 and toy factory there. Now it is being restored as a historic site and will continue as an apartment building. It is reported that in 1920 Clauson's Grocery Store at 28th Avenue and 52nd Street was the first in that area. Later they moved to the new shopping center on 30th Avenue and finally became an IGA store. In the late 1930's, the real estate boom hit here as else where in Florida when many had tasted the joys of life here and/or wanted a winter home and/or wanted to make money! Markham and Caldwell were two popular realtors, as described elsewhere. Old ads include those by Joseph Torres, General Insurance Agent; the General Busines s Agency of E. B McPherson & Son who handled all kinds of legal docu ments and job printing (and The Seabreeze for one year). W. B. Miranda was the Agent for the Hamilton Disston Land Companies. Phebe Arms (young at 95) has fond memorie s of Gulfport in 1945 when she and her husband moved here from New York. It was a quiet place then she walked her black retriever along the b each every night and would never meet anyone or ever be afraid. She opened a fruit stand next to t he Markham Building, and when the trolleys came down Beach Blvd., the conductors would buy juice from her, teasing her about it being c anned! They knew she hand-squeezed it every morning. She wrote to California to order fruit for some time, then bought it from Joe Perry. She also sold ice cream, candy, cigarettes and other items, especially to those who came for the Sunday afternoon concerts on the beach. She grew figs in her back yard and sold them to Ingram's Grocery for thirty-five cents a little basket. Juice cost ten cents and people sat on the benches to enjoy the breeze, con versation and their cool drinks. Phebe remembers how pretty the Boulevard was then -the Garden and Bird Club had pla nted flowers all along the trolley t racks from 28th Avenue to the water. She said an Indian Chief, Silver Tongue, came to sing, but no one seems to know where he lived. Mel Ogden started the popular song fests and kept them going for five years Now others do it. Phebe remembers there was a shoemaker named D'Amato near the drug stor e and that everyone got what they wanted at Ingram's The good restaurant was Bell's down at Shore c orner, where just supe r dinners cost only one d ollar, even on Sundays. Phe be's first home here was at Clinton and 29th Street, which they bought from Mrs. Kipp, the Mayor's wife;


78 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida but she moved to be with her daughter when her husband died. In October 1983, Mrs. Althea Murphy recalled for us how she met her husband and how they bought a local drug store. The senior Murphys came to St. Petersburg in 1922 and Merton was supposed to become a priest, but he preferred to be an artist and photographer. However, when the Depression hit, he worked for his father in McKinnon's Drug Store on Central Avenue. Althea was on vacation with her family, met him at a party, and they fell in love and stayed that way! When it became possible, they decided to buy their own store, so talked with salesmen about availability of such property. That's how they discovered the Gulfport one was for sale. In 1948 they bought from W. P. Tripp, and became very proud of Gulfport Sundries, as they named their new possession. Many residents have told us about spending time there, working full or part-time there, eating their great sand wiches, elegant sundaes and frappes, or just socializing Phebe Arms just glowed when she told us about eating a chocolate sundae on Pearl Harbor Sunday when the news came over the radio in the drug store. "Mert" became ill in 1957 and died the next year. Althea tried to run the business, and though it was hard, she really enjoyed being with people and their interests became hers in many instances When they had bought, the mural painted by Mr. Gray was on the southern wall of the building recognized as a landmark for many years. People came great distances to have family pictures taken below it regrettably it is now covered We are fortunate to have two of the Gray murals in our Museum. The Murphys were active in the Lions and its Auxiliary. Gulfport Sundries was sold to Bill Shaw in 1958 and he enjoyed working in the happy atmosphere he had inherited. He says there was a huge ceiling fan which seemed to keep people cool-without any air conditioners such as we now consider essential. He reminded us that there was a great store and that Alma and Casey Ingram had many customers. He was the best butcher-would get and prepare any cut you'd ask for. Zimmerman had a laundromat next door. Bill said that the owners of the building redid the out side while he was there and that's when the Gray mural dis appeared. Bill moved to 49th Street about four years later and named his new place The Gulfport Apothecary to dis tinguish it from Shaw's Pharmacy which he had named the Murphy location.


How Our Village Grew 79 named the Murphy location. The First Bank of Gulfport was chartered in 1950 -later bought by the Royal Trust Bank of Canada and recently has become a branch of Florida National -our bank on the corner of 58th Street and 22nd Avenue which, like our City, has now had three names! In 1954 or so, Marion (McCullough) Evans opened The Witchcraft Gift Shop on Beach Blvd. for Mrs. Camp-initiat ing a nine-year relationship. A simple drive or walk around present-day Gulfport will demonstrate to you the tremend ous growth in business in Gulfport. -Agnes Conron, Frances Purdy CITY COUNCIL AND MANAGEMENT NOTICE "All persons who are registered voters residing within the following limits, to wit, beginning at the northeast corner of section twenty seven (27), township thirty one (31), south range sixteen (16) east, thence running directly south to the south section line of section thirty four (34) township thirty one (31) south range sixteen (16) east, thence due west along said section line to the shore of Boca Ciega Bay, thence in a north westerly direction meandering said shore to the north line of section thirty (30) township thirty one (31) south, range sixteen (16) east and thence due east on the section lines to the place of beginning, are hereby requested to assemble at the hour of seven o'clock P.M. on Wesnesday the 12th day of October, A.D. 1910 at the Casino on the dock of the Electric Railroad Company, on Boca Ciega Bay, aforesaid under the provisions of Title X Chapter of the Revised Statutes of the State of Florida of the year 1906, to elect officers and organize a municipal government. Dated this 30th day of August, 1910 A. A. Hoyt E. E. Wintersgill William P. Woodworth Charles E. Willetts J. R. Girard H. Chester Sawyer Thomas Ausson James Barnett J. C. White Alex F. Leonardy E. H. Weathers J. White H. E. Mitchell S. J. Webb W. B. Livingstone William Renney Walter Roberts B. F. White F. G. Gleaton R. Lee Allen H. A. Leonardy J. F. Daniels Daniel Hoover C. E. Purrington J. M. Nash C. W. Thomes H. B. McRoberts J B. Steinwinder S. P. Renney L M. Wintersgill A. C. Stefanski Wm Blackshear M. McRoberts"


80 Our Stor y of Gulfport, Florida The next document of interest is addressed to the State of Florida, County of Hillsborough: "In person appeared before the undersigned, Lew B. Brown who being duly sworn deposes and says: That he is Publisher of the St. Petersburg Independent, a newspaper published in the said County and that the notice, a copy of which is hereto attached, was published in said paper for the space of thirty days to wit, in the issues of September lOth, 17th and 24th and October 1st, 1910. Lew B. Brown Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of October 1910. B. J Farmer Notary Public, State of Florida My commission expires October 16, 1910." Then we have the Minutes of the meeting, which reads as follows: "At a meeting called by advertising for thirty days in the St. Petersburg Independent and held on Wednesday, the 12th day of October A.D. 1910 at the Gulf Casino on Boca Ciega Bay, for the purpose of selecting officers and organizing a municipal government. Upon the roll call thirty (30) regis tered voters residing within the territory advertised to be incorporated answered to their names, there being thirty eight (38) registered voters in the district proposed to be. incorporated. The roll call showed that the required two thirds of all registered voters in the district were present. Mr. A. A. Hoyt was elected Chairman and Wm. P. Wood worth, Secretary .... A vote was taken by written ballot which resulted in a decision to incorporate, twenty three (23) votes being cast in favor of incorporation and seven (7) against incorporation. Upon a resolution being submitted that the name of "GULFPORT" be adopted for the incor porated territory it was unanimously carried. Mr. Hoyt presented a drawing for a seal showing vessels at anchor in the port and the words "Gulfport, Florida" on the circle. Upon the name being submitted to a vote, the seal was un animously adopted. An impression of said seal is hereon made." There was some discussion of and final agreement on the boundaries of the new town and then the item of elec tion of officers was introduced by the Chairman .... "Wm. P. Woodworth, Elmer E. Wintersgill and Alonzo A. Hoyt


How Our Village Grew 81 were nominated as candidates for Mayor. Mr. Woodworth refused to be a candidate for any office whatever and Mr. Elmer E. Winter sgill was elected by a vote of twenty one (21) against seven (7) for Mr. Hoyt. On motion of Mr. Hoyt duly r ecorded, the election was made unanimous. Mr. A. L Stefanski, Mr. Elmer E. Wintersgill, Mr. Joshua White, Mr. Henry Slaug hter and Mr. Henry Weathers were nominated for the office of aldermen and ther e being no other candidates, they were declared elected. Mr. Samuel J. Webb was nominated for Clerk and there being no other candidates he was duly elected. Mr. John C. White was nominated for Marshal and there being no other candidates he was declared duly elected. The meeting was then brought to a close." On the 14th of October, the St. Petersburg Times ac claimed "Veteran City Is Dead! Long Live Gulfport -the largest town in the State can now be claimed for Pinellas 'Gulfport' born and christened Pinellas Peninsula' s latest and largest town has immense territory and 38 citizens." We are unable to offer information about how this organ izatio n actually functioned, except that we understand each alderman had an assignment for supervision of a segment of the town's functions. We can quote newspaper comments on Gulfport's growth for example, by 1920 the unofficial population was reported to be 300. Ten years later it had become 851, and in 1940 it had 1,580 residents. By 1950 it was reporting 3,701 residents. The town operated under Mayor-Council or Commission form of government until 1954 when the new Charter provided for Council-Manage ment government and the title of City. (See organizational chart on page 82, provided us by H elen Perrault.) During the 1950's the population tripled and on October 2, 1956, the Times reported "Gulfport Boasts 10,000 Resi dents," showing pictures of a regatta underway as part of Gulfport's boat show. Also shown is a "nautical caper with Frances Smith in "Miss Gulfport" and "Got It -Now What?" -two skin divers got a huge fish but needed a boat hoists to bring it in! The article goes on to say this is the third largest municipality in Pin ellas County, which, until 1911, was just the western end of Hillsborough County. "Streamlined Today" -1956-57, municipal budget was more than $463,000 and Council was considering three million dollars worth of improvements! The reader was reminded that in 1913 election of officials cut their "con-


82 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida stituency by 20%" and that those officials felt $266 was a pretty steep bid for erection of a town lockup and the item was shelved temporarily. A year later, our pictures of the beach show it to be solidly packed with children and adults the latter planning to also enjoy dancing in the Casino while the youngsters would be under the watchful eyes of lifeguards. Recognition that very little unimproved land was left within City boundaries meant expansion would have to be UP -so installation of a completely modern sewerage sys tem was undertaken to permit construction of hotels, apart ment houses, and other multi-family dwellings. The promise of a quiet life in a small city with a grand waterfront had struck many residents and that promise continues to attract, doesn't it? Then the prediction was that we would have 30,000 residents, but so far it has been maintaining at about 13,000. Mary Campbell provided us with the listing of Mayors, City Clerks and Managers which may interest you. MAYORS Samuel J Webb ............ Nov. 1930Oct. 1931 (died in office) Henry J. Kipp........ . ........... Nov. 1931-Nov. 1932 Clifford S. Hadley ..... .... .......... Nov. 1932 -Nov. 1934 Andrew E. Pot te r ................. ... Nov. 1934-June 1936 John W. Booth ................ June 1936-Nov. 1936 (Acting) H. G. Ham . . . . ............... Nov. 1936-Nov. 1937 Clyde A. Foster. ............. ..... Nov. 1937 -Nov. 1940 Andrew W. Gibson ......... Nov. 1940Sept. 1944 (died in Frank Wheeler ................ Sept. 1944 -Nov. 1944 (Acting) Nov. 1944-Nov. 1946 Walter Williams. . . . . . . Feb. 1946 -Nov. 1946 (Acting) Nov. 1946 -Nov. 1948 Clifford S. Hadley. . ............... Nov. 1948-Nov. 1950 Walter W illiams . . . . . . ........ Nov. 19 50 -Nov. 1951 Avery Gilkerson ..................... Nov. 1951-Nov. 1952 Harold Fox . . . .............. Nov. 1952-May 1955 A. L. Anderson ...................... May 1955-Nov. 1958 John T Robinson .................... Nov. 1958-Nov. 1960 William MacNeill ..................... Nov. 1960 Nov. 1964 John T. Robinson ................... Nov. 1964March 1967 William G Jopson . . . . . . . . . . Mar. 1967 -Mar. 1969 E. S. "Bud" Markham . . . . . . . . Mar. 1969 -Mar. 1971 William MacNeill. . . ............... Mar. 1971J an 1973 Jay P. Clymer ........ ............... Jan. 1973-Mar. 1985 Yvonne John son ......... . . . . . . . Mar. 1985 present


How Our Village Grew 83 CITY CLERKS H. Simpson ..... .... .... ........... May 1930Jan. 1931 WalterS. Brooks ...................... Jan. 1931 -Oct. 1933 Aida M Browne ..................... Oct. 1933-Nov. 1933 John Holsapple. . .................. Nov. 1933Sept 1961 Ellen Bauer . . . . . ............ Sept. 1961 -Sept. 1965 Bernice R. Perry ..................... Sept. 1965-July 1981 B. J Couch ......................... July 1981-Jan. 1984 Bruce T. Haddock . . . . . . . Jan. 1984-June 1984 (Acting) Lesley D. Madison ..... ................. June 1984-present CITY MANAGERS Aaron Marsh ........................ Jan. 1955-Nov. 1956 John Holsapple ................ Nov. 1956-Mar. 1957 (Acting) C. Joseph Babineau .......... ........ Mar. 1957-Feb. 1961 John Holsapple. . . . . . . . Feb. 1961 June 1961 (Acting) George Adkins ... ... ..... . . . . . July 1961 -Aug. 1963 Nicholas Meiszer ..................... Aug. 1963 June 1966 Tom Lovern .................. June 1966Oct. 1966 (Acting) Charles R. Davis ...................... Oct. 1966-Jan. 1970 Tom Lovern . . . . . . . . . Jan. 1970 June 1970 (Acting) JohnJ. Oross .............. ......... June 1970Feb. 1972 Bernice R. Perry . . . . . . . Feb. 1972 Jan. 1973 (Acting) Anton H. Harwig. . . . . . . . . . Jan. 1973-Mar. 1974 L.T. McCarthy. . ............ Mar. 1974-Aug. 1974 (Acting) Harry G. Perk ins . . . . . . . . . ... Aug. 197 4 Sept. 1977 L. T. McCarthy .......... ...... Sept. 1977-Dec. 1977 (Acting) Ellis Shapiro. . . . . . . . . . . . Dec. 1977 -Dec. 1984 Bruce Haddock. . . . . . . . . . . . Jan. 1985 present To complete this section on government we felt it fitting to honor two Councilmen-Mayors who have been, and are, deeply revered by many. These vignettes were prepared by Catherine A. Hickman from materials shared by the former's sons Walt and Bert Williams and from the autobiography written by Jay P. Clymer. Sources of both are to be filed in our Museum along with all other available and original docu mentation of this book. UNCLE WALT Captain Walter Williams, affectionately known to all as "Uncle Walt," came to Gulfport in 1904 when it was called Disston City. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He ran away from home at age 15 and worked in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia at odd jobs. Within a few months he landed in Apala chicola, Florida, and had his first regular job, working at a


84 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida CAPT. WALTER WILLIAMS "Uncle Walt" logging camp. He helped bring a load of lumber down on a schooner which was unloaded at Maximo Point. There he ran into a group of fishermen. Saltwater fishing appealed to him, and he immediately gave up the lumber business and started fishing with Captain Josh White. For fifty years, Uncle Walt was an integral part of the town which he saw grow from a tiny fishing village to a thriving city. Three times Mayor of Gulfport, Captain Williams was an active and colorful force in the town's progress. He first be came widely known as Captain of the Don, a pleasure and fishing boat. On November 15, 1954, Captain Walter Williams was made Honorary Councilman for life by Proclamation. The whole city turned out to help "Mr. Gulfport" and his bride (Inez Green) of fifty years when they celebrated June 11, 1955. They were cited as examples of true p ioneer stock which has been the backbone of our nation. He accomplished much for Gulfport, but his greatest success was in making a friend of everyone he met. JAY P. CLYMER"The Man" Jay was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on August 11, 1896, was brought up in Lebanon in that state and gradu ated from Lebanon High School in 1913. After graduation he worked for over a year in the engineering department of the Lebanon plant of Bethlehem Steel Company to accumulate enough money to enter Lehigh University, which he did in


How Our Village Grew JAY P CLYMER "The Man" 85 1914. He graduated from university in 1918 with a degree of Mechanical Engineer. In order to remain at Lehigh he had many jobs -he waited tables at the "Commons," tended fires during the winters at the Universit y Club, gathered laundry at the dormitories and worked every Easter and Christmas holidays as well as during summer vacations at Bethlehem Steel. With his degree in hand, he accepted an appointment in the U.S. Navy as an Ensign and was assigned to the U.S.S. Oklahoma, one of the largest super dreadnaughts in the Navy at that time. In June, 1918, the ship was assigned to service in foreign waters Bounty Bay, Ireland, the pea ce time base for the British Royal Navy. Jay was promoted to Lieutenant J.G. and acted as Assistant Engineer. When the war ended, he returned home, married Naomi Arnold, and moved to New York City where they lived until June, 1919. During that time they attended many shows on Broadway with such famous actors as Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Nors Bayes and others. H e resigned from the Navy in June 1919. The Clymers then returned to Lebanon and he b ecame a superviso r of a number of Design Engineers of the Bethle hem Steel Company. He remained there until1921 when he accepted a position as general manager of the Down Tool works in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. In 1936 he was appointed Senior Project Engineer with the Armstrong Cork Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was with them until 1956 when he .retired at age 60. Unwilling to r emai n retired," Jay worked for five years for Wilner Wood Products in Norway, Maine. Frequently


86 Our Story o f Gulfport, Florida during vacation times h e and Naomi would visit his parents wh o lived in Gulfport, a t 2514 Bea c h Blvd. During t heir 1950 visit they purchased several lots on 23rd Avenue S. Mter re tirement, Jay was able and ready to become architect, general contractor and builder of the home he continues to live in. He has made cupboards and furniture for this home and can no longer find space for any other of his beautiful pieces Jay has also maintained hi s garden where he had fifteen citrus trees which bear excellent fruit -often shared with his many friends. Flowering plan ts and shrubs make the front yard a delight most of the year. He believes in keeping busy and having hobbies. One of his favorite pastimes is making pipe s of Algerian briar wi t h plexiglas stem s. This grand man became inter ested in Gulfport po litics in 1963 when the City had a project involving a storm sewe r line. Having been dn engineer all his life, he felt he had knowledge that could be useful to the City. He ran for office and se rved as Councilman for ten years, after which h e was elected Mayor and served more than ten more years-never being defeated in election s. Durin g hi s terms of office, many importan t improvements were mad e for the benefit of r esi dents of Gulfport. He retired January 1985 with the titl e Mayor Emeri t u s. Naomi, his beloved wife pas sed away in 1983. She contri buted much to our City also, especi ally by using her music al tale nts whenever, wherever asked to do so in nursi ng homes and at organizational me etings. She said she learned how to play by the hour without any music at silent mov ies wh e n she was young. She will never be forgotten! The Clymer s have three children, nine grandchildren and six great grand c hildren. The worth of a man is in his list of accompl ishments. We salute Jay P. Clymer "The Man." CITY SERVICES FUEL GAS -Agnes Con ron, Catherine H ickman, Fran ces Purd y Actually, such gas service a s is available in Gulfport is furnished b y a private utility company. However, its d istribu tion lines are under the streets and alleys, along w ith City


How Our Village Grew 87 water and sewer lines, and available records are in the office of Mr. L. T. McCarthy, City Superintendent. For these reasons, it is included with City Services. In 1913, the City of St. Petersburg built a plant to manu facture gas from coke or coal, and ran distribution lines throughout the then populated areas of the City. The gas was turned on December 1, 1913. Over the years, the plant was enlarged several times as the population of St. Petersburg grew and extensions of the distribution system required (Grismer, 1924, page 153). (That gas plarit eventually occu pied most of the area between lOth and 16th Streets and between 2nd and 5th Avenues Souththe "Gas Plant Area" where construction of a multi-purpose enclosed sports arena has been recently proposed.) In the boom days of the early 1920's, many subdivisions were planned and some actually developed along Central Avenue. A gas main was run out Central Avenue all the way to Park Street to serve these subdivisions. A branch main was run south along 49th Street to a point south of Gulfport Blvd. The first known service from that main was run west under lOth Avenue in March, 1927, to provide gas service to Disston Junior High School. About this same time, other branches were run for a few blocks under several of Gulf port's streets which intersected 49th Street. In 1924, another branch main was run south from Central Avenue under 62nd Street to serve the Rolyat Hotel, then under construction. Branches from this main served all of the Pasadena Estates development between 61stand 64th Streets. All (or at least most) of the homes built in Pasadena Estates during the 1924 to 1926 boom period has gas installed for cooking, water heating, and some has gas space heating. (Almost none of the homes built in that area since the start of more recent development, about 1945, have had gas installed, although all have gas mains within easy reach. And, as many of those 1925 period homes have been modernized, the gas has been removed.) In 1950, a tap from the 62nd Street main was run to Boca Ceiga High School for cafetaria cooking and water heating. Then, in May 1960, the City of St. Petersburg ran a new main under Lakeview Avenue and Gulfport Blvd. to serve the developing Pasadena Golf Course Estates area. This made gas service available to Gulfport residents within a few blocks of Gulfport Blvd. In the early 1960's, Florida Gas Transmission Company


88 Our Stor y o f Gulfport, Florida brought natural gas into the area v ia p i peline from Texas and Louisiana. The City of St. Petersburg shut down its gas manu facturing plant and sold the distribution system to Florida Gas Transmission Company. (Natural ga s has a heating value -btu's per cubic foot-of over ten times that of manufactured gas. Conver sion of the distribution system was a month-long operating requiring the shutting down of the entire s y stem, and the services of dozens of gas t ec hnicians brought in by F lorida Natural Gas from other parts of its system. Every individual gas-using appliance had to be shut off and have its burner orifice changed. Then, after the natural gas was available in the mains each of those appliances had to be turned back on and tested.) The final addition to gas servic e in Gulfport occurred i n 1969 when a branch of the 49th Street main was run w es t for several b l ocks under 9th A venue to serve some industries in that area, and possibly the Beachway Mobile Home Park. In summary, natural gas servi ce is available in a few areas of Gulfport, but i t appears that not many homes have this service installed. GARBAGE/ TRASH C O L L ECTION AND DISPOSAL (H istoric) The taped memoirs of some of our old-timers tell us that in the early days of Gulfport and extending back to the days of the 1950 Veteran City dev elopment, the citizens either buried their garbage in their back yards or carried it them selves to the town dump This dump was locate d on. "Fiddler' s Flats" (the tidal mud flats occupying the area west of 57th Street and south of 29th Avenue and extending out into the area now occupied by Town Shores). This, no doubt, created an unsightly and very odorifous mess, some of wh ic h was carried out by t idal action to pollute the B ay. By the mid-1920's, the City's population had grown both in the area south of Gulfport Blvd. and in the Pasadena Estates area, to the point wh ere that odorifous m ess could no longer be tolerated. Council minutes contain no m e ntion of the situation, but Walter Brooks Deputy Fire Depar tment Chief, tells us that in 1924 or 1925 an incinerator wa s constructed behind C ity" Hall. Two m en, using a "scow body truck, picked up al l the City's garbage and burned it in that


How Our Village Grew 89 incinerator. Those taped memoir s tell us that they received part of their wages by selling to a junk dealer the scrap metals they picked up. Garbage was picked up and burned four days a week, and lawn and garden trash was picked up on Fridays and burned on the "Flats." By 1945, the population of Gulfport had grown to the point where this syste m could no longer se rve the needs of the City. Complaints about air pollution and odors from the incinerator (in the center of the most heavily populate d part of the City) had grown to the point where Council was forced to do something about it. A contract was entered into with a Mr. Permenter of Largo for collecting the City's garbage and burning it in his own incinerato r. This was located i n the area north of Tyrone Blvd at Park Street, still a wilderness at that time. Lawn and garden trash continued to be burned on the "Flats" until the mid-1950's, when Mr. Dixie Hollins sea walled and filled the area. Trash burning was then moved to another mud flat area on the north side of the road from Clam Bayou out to O sgood's Point. Burning continued there until environm ental considerations forced discontinuing the practice in the mid-1960's. In the meantim e, it appears that Mr. Permenter 's garbage collecti ng services were not entirely satisfactory. About 1950 Council engaged the engineering firm of Russell & Axton to study the fea sibility of building a new incinerator and resum ing City-operated garbage collection services. The fin al recommendations of this study are unknown, but City Council took no action at that time. In 1958, Council terminated Mr. Permenter's contract, purchased two rear-loading sanitat ion trucks, and resumed City-operated collection of both garbage and trash, with t hree men required to operate and load each truck. As each truck was filled up, it had to be driven to dumps operated by the City of St. Petersburg for unloading. The first such dump used was on 62nd Avenue Northeast -the site now occupied by Mangrove Bay Golf Course and two City park s. When that dump was filled up and closed, the Gulfport trucks had to make the much longer trip to the Toytown Landfill. As the population of Gulfport grew, more trucks and more employees were added. Otherwis e, the collection and disposal methods of garbage and trash remained basically unchanged until 1976, when things began to change (as discussed in the following article).


90 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida SOURCES: Except where otherwise mentioned in the text, all information for this article was furnished by Mr L. T . (Tim) McCarthy, City Superintendent of Gulfport. GARBAGE/ TRASH COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL (Modem Days) The first draft of this article was written by, and additional information furnished by, Mr. William F. Brown, Director of Public Works. By 1976, Gulfport's garbage and trash collection system was still basically as described in the preceding article, except that population growth now required eight rear-loading sani tation trucks with a total of twenty-four employees. Four of the trucks were required to serve the four residential garbage routes twice per week, with one serving the commercial and Town Shores areas. Two trucks picked up residential lawn and garden trash twice each month. (One truck was held in reserve to maintain service during breakdowns.) As each truck became loaded, it had to make the twenty-odd mile round trip to the Toytown dump to unload, severely reduc ing the number of hours per day it and its crew could be picking up garbage or trash. The never ending inflation of all costs involved was making this operation intolerably expen sive. The then Director of Public Works, Mr. Danny Todd, proposed to Council a new system under which residents would combine their garbage and trash, all to be picked up twice each week. This proposed system would have elimin ated the twice monthly trash pickup, would have saved the costs involved in the operation of two trucks, and would have required six less employees. City Council refused to adopt this new system, perhaps because of opposition by City employees, perhaps because of the extra burden it would have imposed upon the home owners in cutting all tree trimmings and other lawn trash into four-foot lengths. Early in 1977, Mr. William F. Brown became Director of Public Works, and one of his first acts was to propose imple mentation of Mr. Todd's system. It was proven to Council that if something was not done -and done soon -the then residential garbage and trash pickup charge of $3.50 per month would have to rise to at least $8.00 per month; but that with the Todd system a rate increase to only $3.95 per month would cover all costs. Council responded and ordered


How Our Village Grew 91 the new system into effect in October, 1977. The immediate result was elimination of the use of two trucks and reduc tion of the work force from twenty-four to seventeen. As a side benefit, our streets and alleys are cleaner and neater looking because of the elimination of large piles of tree trimmings and lawn trash awaiting the semi-monthly pickup. Even though costs were being held down temporarily, inflation of all of those costs continued. Pinellas County had put into service its "Resource Recovery Plant" and, at the same time, the City of St. Petersburg had closed the Toytown landfill. And dumping charges imposed by the County at the Recovery Plant were substantially higher than those at Toy town had been. (This Resource Recovery Plant is a very modern, state-of the-art, pollution free and expensive operation. It enables recovery of all metals included in the delivered refuse and, by burning at very high temperatures, the heating value in that refuse is recovered and used to generate electricity. Those metals, and the heating value, are lost forever when the refuse is buried in a landfill or otherwise dumped. The electricity generated and the recovered metals are sold, paying a part of the cost of operating the plant. At this writing, Pinellas County is doubling the size of the plant, which is located west of Interstate 275 and south of Roosevelt Blvd.) Upon the recommendation of the then City Manager, Mr. Ellis Shapiro, City Council engaged a consulting firm Management Improvement Corp. of America -to study the situation and to recommend changes which would at least contain costs, and hopefully reduce them. The study recom mended two changes: (1) Build a transfer station and use a large compactor truck for the trips to the Recovery Plant, and (2) Automate the commercial collection service. City Council accepted both recommendations and in structed Mr. Brown to get the automated commercial collec tion service into use as soon as possible. This automated collection system involves the use of large lightweight plastic garbage and trash cans which a device on the truck, operated by the driver, can pick up and dump into the truck with no manual labor involved. This automated pickup system re quires two, sometimes three fewer employees, working fewer hours, than the old manual method had required. The recommended transfer station, behind City Hall, was completed and put into operation in January, 1983. The


92 Our Story of Gul f port, Florid a c ollection trucks unload into this station, which in turn loads a large semi-trail e r truck equipped with a compacting unit. One trip of this compactor truck moves as much material to the Recovery Plant as had four trips of the collector trucks previously. The final result of these two c hange s has been to reduc e t h e number of e mployees to twelv e, along with t h e need for only three of t h e r earloading collecting trucks, the one auto mated collecting truck, and the one compactor truc k Cutting down on th.a number of rear-loading collect ion trucks needed ha s enabled the r econditi oning of that entire fle e t and eliminated for many years the need for purch a si ng any new truc ks. It has also provided a couple of alwa ys avail able spare trucks, insuring the maintenance of schedu led pickup service, eve n in cases of truck bre akdown. The exact cost-sa ving figures from these new syste ms are not available, but they have enabled holding the r es idential pickup charge at $3.95 per month, i n the face of e ver -inc reas ing labor, fuel and maintenance costs. (St. Peter s burg resi dents are currently paying over $11.0 0 per month for a less desirable se rvic e.) Unfortunately, nobody can predict how long the present $3.95 charge can b e held. The County has already announced that wQen the addition to the R ec overy Plant goes into se rvice, the dumping charge will incr e ase. And all of the other costs involved continue to increase, year by year How e ver, with the very modern handling method s now in u se, along wi t h the minimum possi ble numbe r o f City employees in volved Gulfport res idents can be assured of a clean city, at the lowest poss ible cost, for many years to come. Willard B. Simonds GULFPORT VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT The m ists of time obscure t h e activities of men to such a degree that after a few years have passed, no one remembers the exact details of even major events of history Events of lesser impact are e ven more easily lost to succeeding genera tions. For the present group of firefighters in the City of Gulfport, we co mpile this account of the histor y of the Gulfport Volunteer Fire Department. This a ccount is as accurate a s the existing r ecords con tained in minutes of meetings of the D epartment, r ecords o f the Fire Department and treasure r s, and the memory of early


How Our Village Grew 93 members can make it. The fact that minutes were faithfully recorded of virtually every meeting of this Department, be ginning in January 1932, is astounding in itself. All kinds of important happenings were recorded or referred to, as well as trivia of every description. These minutes were kept for the information of the Department, without one thought as to the possibility that some fifty years hence they would reveal the innermost workings of that group Any records of the Department before 1932 have been lost and details of organi zation and operation before that year are vague indeed. One source of information-a news article in the Gulfport Citizen, 1947, states that the Department was organized in 1925. However, some men who became members between 1926 and 1933 maintain that the organization is much older than this. The writer remembers stories told of pre-motorized days, as follows: The original fire house was in the vicinity of the present public library building at 55th Street and 28th Avenue; the exact location and what the building looked like is not known. After water mains were installed and the water tank erected, the fire house, town shops, and town hall were located at the present site, 2401 53rd Street South. The earliest apparatus consisted of one sodaacid tank and hose-reel mounted on a two wheel cart. "Pictures of thi s rig have existed in times past," said J. D. Girard. This machine was pulled by hand through the sand trails which served as streets in those days to the location of the alarm. If the fire had gained any headway at all before the arrival of this apparatus manned by an intrepid group of pioneer volun teers -it was a lost cause. Central water supply and distribution was nonexistent; supply and transport came from indiv i dual wells serving homeowners with pitcher pumps and buckets. The prime prerequisite for firefighters in those days was even as today: a stout heart and a strong back. Another interesting feature of early fire protection devices has come to light a pump was installed at the waterfront designed to draft water from the Bay in the close proximity of the present-day Casino. A limited supply of hose was available so that upon receiving an alarm, the hoses could be stretched, the pump manned (literally, because it was hand powered) and the pump primed with buckets from the Bay. Salt water was then pumped from the Bay to the fire (if the hose was long enough). If the hose didn't reach, "goodbye house!"


94 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida When a piece of motorized fire apparatus was added, fire protection was greatly improved. The exact date of its con struction is not certain; however, some of the details are remembered by those who used it. The newspaper article of 194 7 (already referred to) credits the construction of the unique machine to Mr. Jerome Girard, but Mr. Girard, an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Department, states that the truck was built by Mr. Sid Webb who, with his father, Wesley Webb, were early firefighters. Sid served as Chief for a number of years; he resigned in 1934 and was succeeded by Howard Hayes. The truck, a 1921-23 model Studebaker, was donated to the Department by a public-spirited citizen whose name is not recorded. The large touring car body was removed ex cept for the front fenders, cowl and hood. Two tanks .were mounted, one for water, one for air; the water tank was filled and a valve closed between the air tank and the water tank. The air tank was then pressurized with as much air pressure as was available; the apparatus was then ready to discharge water from the water tank simply by opening the air valve between the two tanks. Water was discharged through the small hose carried on the truck; this hose possibly came from the old hand-drawn hose cart. The sand streets -if they can be called streets! -and large uninhabited areas presented a real challenge to the early firefighters, even with this im proved equipment. Shovels, brooms, pine tree tops, and tow ropes were essential tools for early operation. Although there were less than 300 residents in the town of Gulfport in 1925, there seems to have been little hesitation about buying a brand new custom-built American La France Model 75 pumper. This apparatus had a 750-gpm pump capacity with a chemical tank and booster hose. From a hand-drawn chemical tank/hose cart to one of the finest pieces of motorized fire apparatus available anywhere in the world was real progress. It was purchased by means of a bond issue which was retired but a few years beforethe apparatus itself was retired. This model apparatus became the standard of craftsmanship, performance, and endurance in the United States for many years. The pumper served the town of Gulfport as its first line apparatus until 1956 and is still in our possession, being retired from active duty in 1968. It might appear that the Department and town fathers had delusions of grandeur in purchasing such a piece of equip ment at such a cost when there was not one foot of water


How Our Village Grew 95 main nor hydrant in the town. However, in retrospect, we can see that it was well worth the price of $12,000. A few years later, the economic situation was such that an expendi ture of this magnitude would have been impossible. Two years after the purchase of this apparatus, a water system with hydrants at regular intervals and an elevated tank were installed. Several main streets were paved with brick and others were covered with shell, increasing firefighting capa bilities to a point undreamed of a short time past. The events around 1932 are a little confused and an exact roster is not available, but the members paid dues in the amount of fifteen cents per month. Any member in arrears for three months could look forward with some degree of certainty to a date in court this court being duly estab lished (to which the authority to levy fines was given) handed out said penalties freely. A record of court proceedings for July 5, 1932, reveals fines ranging from five cents for sitting on the pool table (a most grievous crime) te one cent for contempt of court. It seems that the pool table was more precious by far than the dignity of the court! The court was the epitomy of justice and fair dealings since the same record reveals that fines were levied against every man present or absent, including the judge! This "kangaroo," "cangroo," "cangaro" (any variety of spellings) court existed for anum ber of years. The year 1933 was one of Great Anxiety and Crisis. The Depression was in its darkest days and the town was, with the rest of the nation, greatly affected. A committee of the Council charged with the responsibility for the Fire Depart ment (known as the Fire Committee) came to a meeting of the Fire Department where the members in business session sat around with their feet propped up, solving all of the poli tical, financial, and ethnic problems of the world. "The City is financially embarrassed," they said, "and we can no longer pay you." When asked to continue without pay, the chairs flopped down and feet hit the floor sounding like thunder;. some walked out and never looked back; but those who stayed voted 100% to serve-pay or no pay! This spirit has prevailed to this day! During the trying times of the Depression there was an effort on the part of some members of the Town Council to get rid of the water system because it was felt that it was a liability to the town. A movement was started to turn the Water Department over to the City of St. Petersburg. As we


96 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida now know, this would have been a mistake because since then the Water Department has consistent l y shown a profit. Although there may have been some short-range advantages of giving it to St. Petersburg, overall we would have been the loser. We might even have to call them to put a meter on the hydrant before we could hook up a hose to fight a fire! There was at this time some question as to who was actually on the Fire Department, so a list was submitted to the Fire Committee on February 7, 1934, of those officially on the Department. (In the following l ist, drivers are italicized.) Norman Huckins Ralph McRoberts Arthur Benn Jerome Girard Howard Hayes Russel Barrow Johnnie Hudson Mack Brooks Reese Whitworth Virgil Pegg Among the rules or revisions to rul es: (1) False alarms not to be counted as fires and no deductions made for them. (2) First speed limit imposed of 30 miles per hour. (3) On drills, meeting night changed from Wednesday to Monday. ( 4) Fire Chief to be marked present and paid in full for all fires and drills whether present or not. In October, the allowance for the Department was raised from $3.00 to $5.00 per man per month, but it was just an allowance since the town still had no money. Great undertakings marked the earliest meetings of 1935, and a moneyraising effort was launched in the form of a minstrel show named the "Dark Town Fire Brigade" (sic). Mack Brooks was drafted as the director over his most vigorous protests. Rehearsals began with each man coming up with four or five good jokes gleaned from the pages of show script purchased for that purpose. These efforts con tinued until no body could stand any more and practice was discontinued early in Mar<;:h. A record of five alarms in 1935 reveal a total of 36. These included seven house fires, one automobile fire, one e l ectric pole fire, and 27 grass fires; 52 drills were listed but this actually included business meetings where great national and international problems were so l ved with great solemnity, volumes of oratory, and ice cream. Ice cream was consumed by the gallon (three gallons for $1.75, delivered from St. Petersburg). Progress and tragedy marked the early months of 1936.


How Our Village Grew 9 7 The telephone extension was installed in the Fire Station the first week in January and by April 27, the Fire Department telephone number was listed in the telephone book in la rge black type. Three of the six waterproof coats were ordered; this is the first record of any personal protective gear pro vided for the comfort and safety of the Gulfport fire fighters. On April 20, 1936, the meeting was marked by serious discussion brought about by a fatal fire in which two victims perished. The alarm for this fire was sounded by a neighbor rapping on the bedroom window of Ma c k Brooks who lived in the same block in which the fire occurred. The involved structure was on the corner of Dellette A venue and Beach Blvd. (a small radio shop/residence). The victims were Horace Tross and a friend, both home from college for a holiday Speculations at the time ranged from one po ssi bility to another. Theory had it that an explosion occurred. Since the young men were in college and wer e supposed to be experimenting with chemica ls, this was a distinct possi bility. The fire was extremely hot and had to be fought from the middle of the str eet. After the fire was controlled, the bodies were discovered -one just i n side the front door and one just inside the show windows. The cause of the fire was never determined, and no criticism of the Department's actions was offered. The fire was extinguished in good time and the building was structurally intact afterward -but every man felt the effects for years afterward. Although the economic situation was still worse than terrible, plans were laid in late 1936 for the improvement of the station and the meeting hall which played such an important part in the organization, especially the social aspect of it. The town was not able to build a "club" room, so per mission was granted for the men of the Department to do it themselves. The Council, through the Fire Committee, promised to cooperate in providing the material "as much as possible wi t h the Department providing the labor. P lans for the addition were drawn by Mr. C. C. Hayes, the father of Chief Howard Hayes, and the effort to build was begun! (The Department still has one of the original prints of the plans.) With only a few dollars in the treasury, the problem facing them in providing the labor for this project was critical. Various schemes were pursued in order to raise the needed funds. Many lots needed to be cleared and burning them safely brought contributions into the fund. Various


98 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida prominen t citize ns were solicited for contributions and t h e response wa s very gratif ying. Although the individual amounts were small by today's stan dards, they were numerous and a strict account wa s kept of the donors and donations. A list of donors appeared in the Gulfport Tribune regularly Construction began August 11, 1936, by removing the station roof since permission had been obtained to build the meeting room and watchma n's quarters above the apparatus gar age and jail It was nece ssary to move the pool table to a tractor sh ed and the La France also. I t was discove red that the pumper was too high to c l ear the overhead struct ure of the shed so dirt was removed lowe r i ng the fire engine enoug h to cl ear the roof. The cost to the town for supplying t h e material amounted to about $1300. Ma c k Brooks was persuaded to act as construction foreman -after declining the honor once because he wa s e m ployed -and construction proceed ed. Much of the labor wa s donated, some was supplied by the town crew, for which the Department reimbursed the town; and some of the m e n were paid directly for their labor o n the project. The watchman's quarters co n sisted of a sitting room bedroom, toilet, and kitchen, the kitchen being accessible to the meeting hall. Plaster wall s and pine floors constit uted the finish i n the apartment; magnolia paneling and flooring pro vided a very unique and beautiful finish in the meeting hall. There had been so much trouble caused by the old "sid e arm" kerosene water heaters in town (it was estimated that 95% of the house fires resulted from the malfunction of those heaters) that the Department would have nothing to do with them and decided instead to u se a gasoline wat e r heater! It wa s c onsidered safer!! We might note that there were six or seven alarms at the Methodis t Parsonage on 28th Avenue behind the church; all of them r esu l t ed from the malfun ctio n of a kerosene water heater A contract to finish the carpentry o n the hall was let to a Mr. Fuller but he failed to perform He was paid for the labor completed and a new contract was signed by a Mr. M c Knight who also fai l ed to co mplete the work. The Department then prevailed upon Mack Brooks and Norman Huc kins, both active firemen, to complete the carpentry on the hall for the balance in the fir e hall fund which amounted to approximately $90 00. These men completed the work readily, both of them being fine craftsmen o f the "old


How Our Village Grew 99 school." Johnnie Hudson plastered the watchman's quarters for a total of $30.00 labor; Howard Hayes donated the labor for the electrical work; Walter Roberts donated his time to install plumbing. The problem of a finish then occupied the attention of the group; many samples were presented but no agreement could be reached on a finish for the magnolia paneling. Then Mr. Richard Gray, a member of the Council, a master painter, and artist of considerable local fame, volunteered to decorate the room. Samples were submitted, accepted, and the work was quickly completed. The finish which was chosen con sisted of "graining" and "highlighting" the natural character istics of the wood with clear shellac applied over it. The beauty of this room has been a source of pride even to this present day. We have devoted this much space to an account of the building of this hall because it was such a monumental undertaking, required so much effort on the part of the Department, and has served the Department so well down through the years. Some of the present-day firemen "grew up" with the room as Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and as rookie firefighters. A dance and show was sponsored and produced by the Department on October 6, 1937, and netted $228.15 which was immediately used for the purchase of ten chairs and a settee for the meeting hall. This furniture is still in use, having been recovered once, which is amazing considering the fact that Boy Scout Troop #15 was allowed to use the hall. This Troop was sponsored by the Department and Fireman Jerome Girard was the Scout Master. This was the only group outside the Department ever allowed to use the hall. This policy has been continued since its formulation in 1937. A request was made to the Council through the Fire Com mittee for an increase in the Fire Department allowance. December 6; 1937, a $20.00 increase was granted for a total Department allowance of $55.00 per month. After being granted this increase, a new fire truck proved a topic for dis cussion, and on January 17, 1938, it was decided to buy a new fire truck. A fire truck fund was set up following the same pattern used to finance and build the meeting room. The financial accounting of this period is revealing, their courage and fortitude beyond disputing. It seemed possible that 1980 might be a reasonable date to expect the purchase of a fire truck at this rate, so the Council was approached concerning the possibility of co-

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100 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida operating. The Council responded by budgeting $1500 for the fire truck fund. Service to the community in the form of fire protection was the primary intent of the Fire Department, but follow ing the established pattern of concern for assistance to euery worthy cause, the Department also offered its services in case of kidnapping effective June 13, 1938. Additionally, food baskets for the needy were placed in local business establish ments, and donations were received for this charitable endeavor. Labor was provided for a "certain party" in need; donations were made to such funds as the Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy, Milk Fund, Shoe Fund, and many others. The Department sponsored dona tions to pay the doctor bill for "Uncle" Jim Barnett $12.00 donated by the Department, plus an additional $28.00 in donations received by the Department, satisfied the bill. A list of qualifications for membership into the Fire Department was compiled at a meeting on November 14, 1938, to insure the continuation of the standards of which they were justly proud. Some of the qualifications speci fied were: 18 years of age, of good moral character, live where siren can be heard and have some means of transportation to respond to an alarm. (Anyone coming to a meeting or a fire "under the influence" was subject to immediate dismissal.) March 20, 1939, a great day dawned and with it the delivery of a brand new Peter Pirsch fire apparatus built on a 1939 Ford chassis. This truck carried a 300-gallon water tank, a 150-gpm pump, a hose bed for 21h-inch hose, 11;2inch hose, and a hose reel for a booster line. The primary intent of the Department in the purchase of this truck was for use on grass fires and was commonly called the "grass truck." It had dual wheels where the old Studebaker had singles and was expected not to get stuck so easily Imagine the disappointment when it answered its first alarm, which was on 29th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets, and immediately got stuck up to the frame in sand not more than three feet from the road! The wisdom displayed on insisting on a new truck rather than a used one is revealed by the fact that World War II was only two and one-half years away. This piece of equipment served the Department faithfully until it was replaced in 1963 and serves the City in the Street Department even

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How Our Village Grew 101 now as an oil truck. Parts of this truck were removed, re modeled, and used in building our "do it all" number 12. It was the usual thing for the watchman or his wife to clean the fire hall after meetings and to answer the fire telephone when the City Hall was closed. The apartment was furnished free in exchange for their services. Mr. Wintersgill was the watchman for several years; then Mr. and Mrs. Carter lived in the apartment and tended the watch duties. Mrs. Carter received a 100% increase in pay for clean ing the hall she was paid $2.00 per month beginning in 1939. Also serving the Department as watchmen through the years were: Nellie and Malcolm Whitworth, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Elliott, Mr. and Mrs. Gwen Ander son, and Mr. and Mrs. Shaw. They served during various years and their tenure usually lasted for several years at a time. A retirement/pension fund was established by the Florida State Legislature, becoming effective June 26, 1939, and the Department began to receive a small amount of money from a small tax on every fire insurance policy written in Gulfport. Great debates still raged about the war, the entering into it by the United States, and the possibility of our country being bombed. It was at this point we learned Gulfport was bomb proof. It was observed -and recorded in the minutes of August 4, 1941 -that there was such a quantity of bull about and so much hot air rising from a certain local group that no bomb could possibly penetrate the "atmospheric condition above our fair town; therefore, Gulfport was bomb-proof." A fire prevention measure was instituted on October 20, 1941, when the City adopted the Fire Code of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The Department was now in a position to do something about unsafe conditions in City business establishments and public buildings especially kerosene water heaters. Efforts to make things a little better for their fellow citi zens continued to be of concern to the Fire Department members, and a new roof was donated to the town for the Community Hall located in Chase Park. The greatest impact was on the manpower apsect of the fire service. Several men went into the armed services, leaving the Department short-handed; also, several men who were in construction industries had to leave the area which further depleted the ranks. Others worked long hours in Tampa each day; this caused further shortage. The solution to the situa-

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102 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida tion was the formation of an Auxiliary Department. It was made u p of men who h a d been deferred for some reason which would not impair their ability to per form firefighting duties. So m e men were over age for military duty but still capable of good performance in the Department. Another group whose abilities were put to good use in the Depart ment's Auxiliary consisted of boys who the men, to some extent, had "raised" themselves. These were the older group of Boy Scouts from T r o o p 15 which the Department had been s p onso r ing for years. They had demonstrated a degree of stability, dependability, and teachability. These arrange ments, instituted to solve the manpower p r oblems, worked very well. With hard training and careful supervision, the Auxiliary and the regulars functioned efficiently. Although the Auxiliary met separately from the regulars for a few months, the distinction between them gradually disappeared. The Auxiliary members were paid for the fires they helped fight but not for meetings or drills. The Auxiliary men under stood from the start that they were "filling in for the duration." They were given preference of a regular spot after hostilities ceased and "our boys" came home. Most of them came home, but two did not. Because they gave their lives for their country -and ours gold stars appea r by their names on the honor roll. They were Gilbert Le wis and Jimmy Dietrich. Several men who came on the Department as Auxiliaries went on to become regular firemen and served faithfully and we ll Civic interest inspired Department to again extend a helping hand: Fourteen blankets were purchased from Webb's Cut Rate Drug Co., Inc. (later famous as "Webb's City") for the sum of $ 17.50 ($1.25 each ) and donated them to the first aid station connected to the Defense pro gram. Fourteen more blankets were soon purchased and donated to the same cause. The Fire Department was involved in many activities con nected with Civil Defense undergoing training in first aid as well as regular firefighting. The Auxiliary drilled with the regulars and under the guidance of older men became profi cient firefighters. Equipment to upgrade our efficiency or service was not available and replacement of equipment was almost nonexistent; although we were able to replace some defective lengths of hose, the supp l y gradually dwindled It was noted at one time that there were only 150 feet of 2% inch hose on the grass truck which normally carried 1000

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How Our Village Grew 103 feet. Anything which contained rubber was in critical demand, and supply to the armed forces came first. We were able to make do with what we had. The war had caused many items to become scarce. Ration ing was in effect Some firemen felt that since they used gaso line to attend fire drills and fires, they were due some con sideration in the rationing allotment. Surprisingly enough, ration stamps for 15 gallons of gasoline were made available to those firemen "who needed them." This practice was con tinued on a monthly basis until rationing was no longer necessary. On August 13, 1945, the minutes of the meeting indicated that a Resolution of Sympathy had been written, adopted, and delivered (with a floral arrangement) to Mrs. Gilbert Lewis, whose husband, a firefighter, had been killed in action. A sad duty indeed. A new concept in firefighting began to be discussed. The old method had been to pour on water -the more the better; if you can't get to it, drown it. Men coming home from the service, however, had had a different experience and had received training in a new method of fire attack. The use of fog nozzles on small lines had been proven to be veey effect i ve. This was especially true in the Navy and many of our men were now Navy Veterans, even though they were in their early twenties. Through the influence of these men, aided by some timely publications, the use of high pressure fog was experimented with and found acceptable even superior in some cases to the old solid stream system. In 1949, recommendations were again submitted to the Council for water main extensions, more fire hydrants, and more large-diameter connections to our supplier, the City of St. Petersburg This problem was becoming more serious as time went on because building rates were accelerating and the water system rapidly being overwhelmed. A new water line installed on 9th Avenue, with hydrants in every block, relieved a critical situation in the old Pasadena section of town in late 1949. The year 1950 brought variations of old problems and some new ones, too. The Gulfport area was expanding rapidly. No local ambu lance service was available since all of the funeral homes which operated ambulance service were in St. Petersburg. As a result of less than speedy, dependable service (at least in the opinion of some), an effort was made to establish a local ambulance service. A citizens' committee approached the

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104 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Fire Department with a plan to establish an ambulance ser vice in partnership with the Police Department a secondhand ambulance, with a price tag of $4100, had been located. The Council assured both Departments of the co operation of the Town Council. The question was placed directly to the Fire Department as to whether they wanted to undertake this project or not. The members, after long and careful deliberation, decided not to enter this endeavor. Shortly afterwards, an ambulance service was established in Gulfport and rendered valuable service to the town and to the Department, even responding to fire calls automatically. Thus, the problem was solved without Fire Department in volvement and in a much more satisfactory manner. On March 5, 1951, requests were presented to Council for a. Fire Department emergency phone separate from the Police phone; four smoke masks; a portable generator; lights; extension cords, and a smoke fan. Also, it was noted that the Ford was carrying only 250 feet of 2'12-inch hose and addi tional 2'12-inch hose was needed. Before any disposition of these requests was made by Council -and since all service smoke masks for fire service cost $40.50 -it was thought expedient to try WWII surplus gas masks to see whether or not they would be acceptable for our use. Two of these surplus masks were purchased from Bill Jackson for $2.50 each and a test was conducted to check out their perform ance. The test was simple enough set fire to something in an enclosed space, put on a mask and go into the smoke -if you survived, it was a success; if not, we would have to try something else! This was not scientific, but you couldn't beat it for logic. A mattress was set afire in the closed fire truck stall; men with the masks went in and performed simple tasks to see how they could operate under those conditions. They reported no discomfort so the test was pronounced a success and it was decided to buy two more masks at a cost of $3.35. We wonder now what a dozen would have cost also, what the cost of a medium range funeral was then -and what would have been the far-reaching health hazard? Gulfport in mid and late 1951 was using more water than could be supplied to i t by the St. Petersburg water system and a critical stage was reached. The static pressure at 27th Avenue and 49th Street was tested one Monday night in August and the read i ng was only 15 lbs. Some residents on the second floor of dwellings could not get any water at all during certain hours of the day. Many meetings were held

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How Our Village Grew 105 with Councilmen and the Mayor and chief officers of the Department. Feeling was running pretty high; we were ex pected to protect the City from fire and yet we didn't have the water system nor supply to do the job. The National Board of Fire Underwriters rated Gulfport's fire defenses in the 6 category, and the Mayor promised a new fire statio n a nd new equipment would be provided to us. We were encouraged to think about more and improved equipment so a set of specifications were written in an open meeting for the purchase of a 500-gpm pumper on a Ford chassis. We were assisted in this endeavor by the representa tive of a fire equipment manufacturer. A Ford was specified because of the dependable performance of the 1939 Peter Pirsch rig and the expe rien ce of several of the men wit h com mercial chassis similar to the one which would carry this equipment. Plans were submitted and approved by Council for remodeling of the station to accommodate a new pumper p lus the existing equipment. This work was accomplished by means of subcontracting some work -work by the City crew and so m e volunteer labor. It was ready when the pumper was delive r e d B ids were advertised and two manufacturers bid on the pumper American La Fran ce Co. an d Seagrave. Mter carefully evaluating the s pe cifications and descriptions of the two engines bid, the Fire Department recommendation to the Cou ncil was for the Seagrave. Council voted subsequently to follow the Department's recomm endatio n and the Seagrave was purchased. The suggestion was made to name trucks in honor of some of our senior citi zens. It was voted to name the n ew Seagrave "Captain Walt Williams!' It was actually named for him be cause he wa s a distinguished citizen, Mayor, friend to the Fire Department, and instrumental in the purchase of the Sea grave. Mter the Seagrave apparatus was delivered on March 7, 1955, a name plaque was presented to Captain Walt Williams which he p laced on the Seagrave pumper. Capt. Williams was then given a ride in the apparatus named in his honor he was taken to his home, very much moved by the honor bestowed upon him. Only one month passed between t he time a request was made for bunker coats and helmets until the first bunker coats were placed on the apparatus. One month later, in September, helmets joined the coats on the rail of the Sea grave and the days of bareheaded, barebacked firefighting was over!

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106 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida This had been a year for firsts and it closed out on the same note; for on the 12th of December, 1955, we com pleted the first Florida State Fire College itinerate fire school -15 hours of intensive training. There were to be many more, but it started right here! The year 1956 began even as 1955 had closed -with a first. A self-contained oxygen mask4 was added to our per sonal protective equipment inventory. This mask was usable in atmospheres deficient in oxygen which was an improve ment over the canister mask which was simply a filter that had to be used in an atmosphere containing sufficient oxygen to sustain life. The filter mask was, however, the mainstay of breathing apparatus for some time. March 16, 1956, an explosion set off a major fire in Osgood's Marine Ways which totally destroyed the building. The efforts to fight this fire were hampered by a poor water supply, but the main problem developed from the inability to penetrate the sheet metal siding and roof to get to the fire. St. Petersburg responded to this alarm at our request and attempted to activate a master stream device, but the water supply was inadequate. Bids were received for a new siren. (The federal authorities would participate in the purchase of this equipment if it were designated as a civil defense siren; they would then allow it to be used also as a fire siren.) A bid was awarded and a federal siren was purchased. The first time it was sounded was Mon day night, March 25, 1957, and boy, was it loud! It was rated at 125 decibles at one-quarter mile, and we received tele phone inquiries from six miles away! Although we had dis cussed a telephone alarm system and a radio alerting system, this new siren sufficed for the tiine being. Our operations on the fire scene slowly became more pro fessional and no criticisms were being made. It was felt (mostly within the Department), however, that we still looked pretty rag-tag personally; it was difficult to distin guish between firefighters and spectators as we wore the same type clothing. White, long-sleeved coveralls, of a heavy material, with the Department's name on them and the fire man's name sewn on the pocket were obtained at a cost of $6.50 each. These certainly enhanced our appearance at fires and drills but brought to light another problem -now we needed air conditioning in the meeting hall because of the heavy uniforms. One window unit was installed and then two more, creating comfort but noise. Oh, well, you can't have

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How Our Village Grew 107 everything, as the saying goes. In November, 1957, a new Fire Prevention Code was adopted by the City Council and Mr. McCarthy was ap pointed Chief of the Fire Prevention Bureau. The City presented us with insurance covering death or dis ability for the benefit of the individual fireman or his sur vivors, the cost borne c ompletely by the City. In 1951 we continued to add new equipment to our fire fighting inventory and with the delivery of a 1500-watt generator, two 500-watt lamps and a smoke fan, we had the means to do a better job of ventilation and overhaul. Each fireman was issued a 21h-lb. dry powder extinguisher which was to be carried in his automobile. Over the year s, many fires were handled by thiS means A major improvement came in Aprill961, in one of our most critical o cc upancies, when the Cedar's Hospital was sprinkled from top to bottom. This structure was built in 1900 of the very best heart pine and covered on the exterior with cedar s hingles. A few years ago, it was covered on exterior with asbestos siding. Originally it was known as the Ba y V iew Hotel which was a very appropriate name, be cause the Bay cam e within a few feet of the south si de. The land south of the hotel was pumped in early in the 1920's. It was subsequently known as the Pipin Hot Inn" and now the "Cedars." This brings a great feeling of relief to the D epartment becau s e this frame building has been a source of great concern over the years since it became a hospital f ac ility. In April 1961, there was some fe eling in the group that there was a lack of direction at a fire scene and that too many people w ere doing their own thing with too little organization over each crew This was particularly prob lematic at a fire where the Chief and Assistant Chief were absent The s ugg es tion was made that in addition to a Chief and Assistan t Chief, that we h ave a Captain arid two Lieu tenants; so Tim M cCarthy was elected Captain Evan Bodie Lieutenant, and Nathan White Lieutenant. The Captain was to wear a gold strap on his cap and the Lieutenants silver ones. Chief Brooks, with the authorization of the Department, requested the Coun c il to provid e funds for a p ickup truck to be equipped w ith a larger generator, lights, smok.e fans, extra personal gear, and s mall tools -the cost to be $5,900.00. Also r e quested was a Council appropriation of

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108 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida $2,000.00 per year allowance toward the replacement of the Peter Pirsch Ford. Early in 1962, the Ford pickup was placed in service and proved to be a valuable piece of equipment with its 2500watt electric starting generator, porto-power, and r elat ed hand tools. It se rv e d as a service truc k and rescu e truck as equipment was added over a period of years. The 1962 budget request contained provis ions for two mobile radio units for the two e ngines most frequently u sed -the Seagrave and the Peter Pirsch Ford. Also in the budget was a chassis and allowan c e for pump, tank, etc. for a r eplacement for the "grass truck." Efforts were underway in August of 1962 to write speci fications for a new fire truck chassis in order to replace the Peter Pirsch Ford. The specifications were presented t o the City Manager for bidding. The bids were returned and the contract was awarded for a Dodge D500 chassis which was and in December 1962, construction was started on the new truck. Some personnel c hanges were in order after the r esign a tion of Assistant C hief Malcolm Whitworth. Chief Brooks recommended that Captain L. T. M c Car thy be promoted to the office of As sistant Chief and this was vote d by the Department in the affirmative. Also elected were Nathan White as Captain, Walter Brooks as L ieutenant, and Evan Bodie continued as a Lieutenant. The new truck which had been under construction for about five months was completed and wi t h a feeling of great pride of accomplishment was placed in service on May 6, 1963. The n e w truck #12 followed closely the concept which began in 1939 with the purchase of the Pete r Pirsch Ford. It carries a 500-gallon water tank where the Ford had 300, and the hose bed for 2'h-inch hose has a greater capacity. Overall, however the idea is about the same, and si nce the Ford had been so successful, there was no need to change radically. The chassis of # 12 is of greater capacity, tire siz e larger, and brakes vastly superior. The work of d esign was accomplished primarily by Chief Mack Brooks with the majority of the actual work of assembly done by members of the Department. All of the work was done as accurately and as c arefully as we were capable of, every dimension and location of every valve, fitting, n u t and bolt were c arefully assembled throughout. The result was, and is, a very happy combination of successful design and craftsmanship. This is

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How Our Village Grew 109 borne out by the fact that 13 years in service finds every thing virtually as it was when we put it into service. I might also add that this truck is a little longer, heavier, and with a capacity for 1000-1200 feet of 21h-inch hose; but it closely resembles the "mini-pumper" concept of the present day and we've had substantially the same thing since 1939. The Council set up an $8,500 budget for this apparatus, including the chassis and several hundred dollars were returned to them upon completion. Some parts of the old Ford were used such as the hose body, hand rails, and hose reel; the hose body was widened and lengthened. The tank, which is new and con structed by Bickley Forge, is low, flat, and with the top removable completely for repair or maintenance. The running boards and combination fender compartments were also fabricated by Bickley and cut, fitted, mounted, and assembled by the Department. After completion, the men of the Department wanted to honor the man most responsible for the idea, planning, and execution of the project, so a plaque was purchased, each man's name inscribed on the back, and the plaque mounted on the truck August 19, 1963, where it remains today. The plaque reads "Mack 0. Brooks" and was indicative of the regard they had for him by naming the apparatus in his honor. This plaque is to remain on the truck until its retirement, at which time the plaque is to become Mack Brooks' personal property. In addition to the new apparatus placed in service, this year brought about the introduction of the first compressed air self contained breathing apparatus. The all-purpose masks must be used with discretion, because of the neces sity to operate in a minimum of 16% oxygen atmosphere; and there is some feeling that the oxygen mask presents a danger from oxygen saturation of clothing and bunker gear making them extremely flammable. So the addition of straight breathing air solves both of these problems. The cost is great but the aim is to obtain, in due time, air masks for everyone who must enter a building full of smoke. March 3, 1970, the new Ward La France was delivered. It was driven from Elmira, New York, 1301 miles, by Mr. Tom Taylor, delivery engineer. Chief McCarthy, Chief White, Cap tain Brooks, and Fireman Don Gray met the apparatus in St. Petersburg and drove it to the Little League field where the road grime was washed off. It was then delivered to the fire station and met there by Councilmen Perry, Markham, Clymer, Skinner, and Walker, who were given a ride on the

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110 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida new apparatus. It is a Diesel-powered rig with a 1250-gpm Hale pump, 500-gallon water tank, full compartments, and is one of the finest rigs available anywhere. It surely is a welcome addition to our fleet of which we are j ustly proud. This is the first Diesel-powered pumper in this area of Florida. An improvement took place in May 1970, for which we had contended for a long time, when plectron units were distributed to all firemen. It immediately proved to be a very reliable system, which served t o alert all of the men who were at home, increasing our response at all alarms and to elimin ate the traffic going to a fire and the number of specta tors at the scene, especially at night. The s iren continues to be used the hours of 7:00a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for those men who are not near t heir plectron units. An Emergency Medical Technician course was conducted at the Gulfport station over a period of several weeks which Chief White Fireman Fred and Rick Johnson, Bob Worthing ton, Jack Tapscott, Will Travis, Will Lewis, and Bob Hunt attended. During this period of time, the other men trained on other subjects, suc h as F. D. knots, forceable e ntry, pump operations, and general equipment use. Additions to our equipment list included an overhead pro jector for use in training and a hose-drying cabi ne t in which hose can be dried after a fire or washing A .new 45-foot aluminum ladder has been placed in service, the one which was purchased for delivery on the Ward La France has proven to be very successful so another was purchased. The deluge nozzle, which has seen so little use since 1939, has been pre connected to #12's pump, a fog tip added with the idea in mind being a blitz attack on a fire to knock it down before men approach it too closely. First, a plan was devised where Chief N. White responded directly to fires north of Gulfport Blvd. and Captain Brooks responded directly to fires south of Gulfport Blvd. In this system, they would be at the fire scene some two or three minutes before the arrival of the other apparatus and could size up the situation and direct the incomi ng units as to their needed action as they approached the scene. This system proved to be a very successful one and was put to the test almost immediately at a fire in the construction area of Towne Shores Apartments. Some oil drums and stor age sheds in the area were involved and the first t ruck in laid a line going in and also tested our new deluge set-up by knocking down the fire around the drums from a distance.

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How Our Village Grew 111 The arrival of an officer early proved to be advantageous and the blitz attack worked fine. A very unusual number of structure fires at night occurred in a two-month period of time during May and June of 1974. All of them, except the one at the fire station, took place within a very limited area. All of them occurred at night and some of them caused heavy damage to the involved. There was some speculation concerning possible arson and seemed confirmed after a fire in a house in which a cache of marijuana was uncovered and an automatic weapon with a quantity of ammunition was found. At this call, a suspect was arrested and the incidents stopped. Included in the number of alarms was one at the old fire station, in the area of the vacant watchman's quarters. That is a call that surely does get to you, almost like getting a call to your own home. In August, a new closed body van was delivered to the Department and was built up as a heavy rescue, squad, and utility vehicle All of the work of arranging the interior and building all of the bins and fixtures in the new unit was per formed by members of the Department. This unit is a valu able addition to our fleet. A few years ago, when anyone spoke of forceable entry, he had reference to axes, bars, and sledge hammers, and they still constitute valuable tools of the trade. We now refer to the K saw, a gasoline-powered, radial hand-held saw, Mack bar, and other hand tools, and we must be trained in the use of this new equipment. Overhaul at one time consisted of opening the doors to allow the water to run out, encouraging it with a few brooms, mops, and squeegee, but now a man must be able to operate the water vacuum which will pick up all the water from a cement or tile floor and most of the water from even a carpet. June, 1975, specifications were prepared, sent out, and bids were received for a new pumper. A new system of writing specifications was used for the first time. Rather than the Department writing specifications covering tire and spring capacities, location, and size of each compartments, size and location of each light, and almost every nut and bolt, a very concise specification covered all items in a general way. These were: diesel-powered, automatic transmission, five-man cab, 1250-gpm pump minimum, 500-gallon water tank minimum, and must meet all requirements of the National Fire Protec tive Association Pamphlet 19. Bids were received from three companies. These were

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112 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Mack Fire Truck Company, American La France Company, and the Maxim Motors Division of the Seagrave Corporation. A very thorough evaluation of the bid specifications was conducted with each item tabulated in a comparison chart. Two manufacturers failed to meet the specifications in major cate gories and the choice lay among five different trucks offered by Maxim Motors. The Council followed the recommendation of the Fire Department and purchased the apparatus which we felt most completely met our needs. An appropriation of $4,000 was set aside for purchase of tools, fittings, and equipment with which to outfit the new engine. The new Maxim was num bered 14, and when completely outfitted, brings our fleet to the point where we are as well equipped as any fire department in the state. This pumper was delivered on September 1, 1975, being driven from Middleboro, Massachusetts, by one of Maxim Motors' delivery engineers, and Mr. Walter Manning, sales representative. Our annual routine was followed early in 197 6 when hose was tested as usual and the responsibility of our officers was shifted around. Many of the duties for our officers become boring after a period of time, so changing jobs around is wel comed by those involved. We thoroughly enjoyed a class conducted by Jerry Knight, Chief of Fire Suppression with the St. Petersburg Fire Department. Not only did we gain a better understanding of pump operations, we also answered a fire call to Town Shores with Chief Knight as observer. Be gave us a critique on the operation. Chief Knight was favorably impressed with the orderly and efficient manner in which we handled it. For once everything went just right, and he was impressed. Gulfport Fire Department has never had dress uniforms. Our white coveralls surely could not be considered dressy, and all we had before that were uniform caps! Boy, was I proud of mine! Now we are going to have trousers, shirts with all the insignia, patches, etc., and jackets and ties to finish it off. They were delivered August 30th, just in time for the dedication of the Fire Administration building. This new building, with a shop, meeting room complete with a kitchen, locker room shower and rest room, Chief's office, Conference Room and Report Room was dedicated on September 6, 1976, in honor of Chief L. T. McCarthy. There was a fine turnout of citizens and a proud day for all of us. We've come a long way from raising the roof of a one-story

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How Our Village Grew 113 combination garage and jail to having this new building of which we are so proud! Our old American La France engine has expired in spite of a liberal transfusion of money and effort to revive it. The men still want to use it fo r parades and such other gala events such as hauling Santa Claus, so a decision was mad e to put a high performance Dodge 360-cubic -inc h engine and a Chrysler pushbutton automatic transmission in it temporarily until a supply of parts can be obtained to put. the original engine in operating condition. Lt. Dewey Hunt was made the chief mechanic in this endeavor, with instructions to make no modifi cations to the original driv e train or chassis which would in any way change its original condition. This was accomplished at the .total cost of $75.00 and not even a hole was drilled in the frame. The engine and transmission were mounted ahead of the o r iginal transmission and the Ameri can LaFrance radiator was used as is. This resulted in a nine forward speed, three speed reverse 1925 American LaFrance which, I am sure, could be said without fear of successf ul contradict ion to be the only one in the world! Can you i mag ine 85 miles per hour in reverse? WOW! Christmas! I wonder if the Christmas season m e ans more to the children or to our people? I 'm not going to include "Dutch" Fenstermacher in that question because I'm sure that Chris t mas means more to him than to any of the other aforemen t ioned groups. "Dutch" is Santa Claus over SO years old, and he really comes into his own when he dons padding, whiskers, wig, and red-red outfit, and climbs upon the fire truck to be delivered to the annual Christmas tree lighting and party with all the decorations, red lights, sirens, bells and horns. He really enjoys it, and so do we! 1977 began with an organized fund-raising effort on the part of the Department for Muscular Dystrophy. Greg Davis, the local Muscular Dystrophy poster child was made an honorary member of the Fire Department. Thus the tradition of the Gulfport Fire Department's support of worthy causes is contin u ed. Our commitment to the Muscular r;>ystrophy drive resulted in holdin g a Memorial Day Flea Market, Fish Fry and Field Day on May 28, 1977, during which $1,807 was contributed after expenses. Saturday afternoon, temperature s tanding at 95 degrees six men responding to the original alarm: a two-story house fully involved sets the scene for a bad afternoon. The apart-

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114 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida ments at 2514 York Street were being renovated. Building materials were much in evidence as well as paint, thinners and attending material when the fire occurred. Chief McCarthy manned a nozzl e and everybody did double duty, but made a good stop. We had not quite reached the point where we could relax just a little when men began to fall out from heat exhaustion and, before it was over, five men had been transported to the hospital to be checked out. As it turned out, everyone was all right. Thank God for automatic sprinklers! When anyone says "Cedars" and "fire" in the same sentence, it makes you want to leave town. On June 25, 1977, the plectron sounded in the middle of the night and the dispatcher sai d we had a sprinkler alarm at the Cedars. Some of us literally prayed all the way "Lord, don't let it be bad." Whether it was an answer to prayer or just the autoinatic sprinkle r s, we'll let you judge, but a lamp and a trash; basket combined to cause a fire and one sprinkler h ead fused to put it out. As one of the old radio characters would put it: "What a revolting development." And that's the mildest way to describe the following incident We received an alarm from Gulf Club Estates o f a wire down and a house on fire during a driving rainstorm with attendant wind and lightning. A full response wa s dispatched and No. 10 was going out Gulfport Blvd. at a very r educed rate of speed in deep water, since the streets had a foot of water or more flooding them. Well, reduced speed or not, by some freak happening, water was ingested into the diesel engine of No 10 pumper. She then threw two rods completely and bent the other four; it cost several thousand dollars to rebuild. We never were able to determine just how the water ever got in, but during the re building, the air intake system was modified to make it less likely to happen again. September, 1977, marked a very success ful "boot" drive for Muscular Dystrophy, during which $2,835.40 was collected. Outside of holding a City bus and p assengers host age until all gave to charity, no undue pressure was used on anyone! Fire Prevention Week was celebrated with a demonstration of equipment at Holy Name School and a tour of the station by several hundred Gulfport Elementary School students. The middle of the year saw so m e new equipment added to our inventory. Mutual Aid radio crystals were installed in No.

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How Our Village Grew 115 14 and No. 9 radios which gives us the ability to communicate with others on the Countywide Mutual Aid radio net work. A Polaroid camera and a hydrocarbon gas detector were added to the equipment carried on No.9 squad. The Little Embers received our blessings again this year. Since our first participation in 1955, there has been only one year in which we did not sponsor a Little League team. Large diameter hose is one of the very successful new con cepts to arrive on the fire scene in later years. It is sometimes referred to as "an water main" and has the capability of providing a hydrant immediately in front of any building in town. Bids were opened November 27, for 110 feet of 5-inch hose, and would you believe, ten dollars per foot? Our ladies who provide us with coffee, Gatorade and water, not to mention moral support at our "condition red" emergencies, are so me of our greatest supporters. They turn out under the same conditions we do and are exposed to some of the same dangers, too, so we honored them with a dinner at Seaman's Cove at Maximo Marina to show them our appreciation for t heir efforts. We received and tested 1100 feet of 5-inch supply hose. Although the cost was in excess of $10,000, it giv es us the capability of plac in g the equivalent of a Class A fire hydrant in front of any house or business establishment in the City. It can deliver 1,000 gallons of water per minute 1,000 feet from a hydrant. Our standard operating procedure sends No. 14 engine directly to the scene with Squad No. 9 and then, upon instructions from the D.C No. 10 engine, lays in the 5" supply, resu lting in a smooth, efficient evolution. The City contracted with Pinellas Ambulance Service for Advanced Life Support s e rvice at a cost of $85,000 for the first year. This includes a new A.L.S. unit, supplies, para medics, EMT's etc. The City is to provide housing for them and the fire station was designated to fill this requirement. The Department wa s not overjoyed over this arrangement, fearing some conflict and inconvenience, but accepted it as something we coul d learn to live with. There were some minor problems and a set of house rules to control the situation were written and everything worked out. The para medics are a fine group and the conflicts were held to a mm1mum. Just before Christmas, Firefighter Mark Todsen's daughter Mandi died very s uddenly after a minor virus infection had

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116 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida evi dently run its course. She was struck down by Reyes Syndrome when only 7 years of age. The Department immediately contributed $50 to Reyes Syndrome R esearch Foundation in Mandi's memory and began plans for a Mandi Todsen Memorial Benefit for Reyes Syndrome Research This tragedy came very, very close to all of us. She was Chief Mack Brooks' great-granddaughter. Begun January 1980 and completed in April, 11 fire fighters and officers took a Fire Safety Inspection course to enable us to upgrade our City Fire Prevention efforts. We will take an advanced I nspection course at a later date, hoping to achieve State Certification for a nucleus of an effective Fire Prevention Bureau. February 29, 1980: a basketball game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the City of Gulfport employees team was held at Boca Ciega High School gym. It was a benefit for R eyes Syndrome Research and was a Mandi Todsen M emorial event. Many m e mbers worked hard to put it together, there was a program with ads bought by many merchants and individuals, and with ticket sales includ ed the contribution to the fund was $5,492.10. This was probably t h e most s u ccessful event eve r sponsored by this Department. We looked forward to the visit by the I.S.O inspector for a long period of time and he finally arri ved to make his evaluation. of the fire combat capabilities, water system, alarm system, communications, etc., which form the basis for the insurance rating for the City upon which all insurance rates are based. I suppose that t h e problems of that day and the inspector arrived separately, but they might as well have been seat-mates on the same train! During his inspection tour we experienced two major water-line breaks which killed the water system in a large portion of the City and ruined the rest of the day as far as the inspection went. Next day he continued his efforts to inspect our system but just as he was going out in a fire truck with several fire fighter s to assist in checking hydrants and pressure, an alarm came in that a bomb was set to explode in the Gulfport Convalescent Center. We responded with all hands and the cook to the Convalescent Center, evacuated it 100%, then waited while a Bomb Search dog and handler searched the building. Mean while, the I.S.O. inspector sat in the truck very patiently, making no comment but observing everything. I t was im possible to tell from his actions or expression just what impression we had made on him. The report came back

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How Our ViJJage Grew 117 months later and we were relieved to retain the rating of 6 which we have held for many year s. This is the best rating a city can attain with volunteer fire department. We are now using the standard County color codes for our fire -hydrants green caps on the outlets mean it is Class A or will produce the best flow, orange is the next best, and red means "find another hydrant." These are really rela tive, but a Class A hydrant will flow 1,000 gallons per minute o r more. At the suggestion of some of our lieutenants w e have adopted and put into service a new procedure. We now have duty crews. These consist of two officers and five firefighters who carry pagers (Channel 25) and who are on call6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday thru Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, and holidays. They respond to all non-emergen cy, non-life threatening calls such as dumpster fires, animal rescue, car fires, smoke odor complaints, trash fires ... in other words, all routine nuisance calls are handled with seven m en, two apparatus, and keeps the other 23 men and four trucks off the street. The duty time was originally two weeks duration but was soon changed to one week to accommodate the night-life plan s of the younger men. Two weeks was quite a drag at that. December 1 1980: $50 special donation from our recrea tion fund was sent to a family to provide Christmas dinner for 15 needy, retarded, handicapped children. Early this year we received shipment of more equipment-12 air bottles, valvage covers, boots and helmets. Some items were expendable others add to our c apability. Just a few years ago we had so few air bottles that we used all of them at a fire and waited two days without any at all until they were returned after being refilled. Since our officers and men finished the course in fire and safety inspections, several inspectors have been inspecting comm ercial properties for regular fire and safety codes and al so for C .O.'s (Certificates of Occupancy) before being granted a City O ccu pational L ice n se. Several men have days off during the week, while so me can only volunteer their services on weekends. This has resulted in a poorly organized inspection program. Also, the task is much larger than anyone anticipated, so the whole program was re organized, turned over to two lieutenants, Hensley and Kemerer, to organize and assign occupancies to be in s pected. Mr. Shapiro, City Manager directed that the in >pections be made and that the City would pay a fee for a

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118 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida regular inspection and re-inspection. Since that time, Saturday mornings and early afternoons have been devoted almost entirely by the whole group of ten men to the inspection program. The record of compliance by all of the business operators has been exceptional. The Department has established an effective Fire Prevention Bureau. A member's handbook has been prepared for all prospec tive and active members. It explains the procedure for joining the Department and rules and regulations, our standard operating procedures, various handout sheets such as hydrant locations, alarm systems, etc. Also included is a left, right, and rear view of each apparatus with a diagram of equipment located on each piece. It has proven very useful, particularly with the new men. All of our rookies are enrolled in Flremanshlp i 01 offered by P.V.T.I. and taught by our old friend, Lt. Ken Ferqueron of S.P.F.D. If they apply themselves, Ken will make good firefighters out of them. Ah, December, those wonderful holidays with too little and too much! Too little time to do, too little money to buy, too many activities to attend, too much to attend to, etc., etc. We had a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Santa Claus on a fire engine with all his little elves, who look very much like Gulfport firefighters. Also we threw a Department Christmas party with plenty to eat, gifts for the children, and games for everyone. Sometimes we wonder why our children don't act like adults, and then the adults go to a party and act like six-year-olds football, tag, and keep away! Dave Fleisher has up until this time, and continues to adequately fill, Santa's shoes (not to mention his coat and breeches) and probably enjoys his role more than the chil dren do, if that is possible. Just think, if Dave goes as long as "Dutch" did, he can keep this up for forty more years! Five of our firefighters successfully completed a 112-hour Emergency Medical Technician course and, after taking the State of Florida exam, became State Certified E.M.T.'s. All of this takes some very special effort by people with very special qualities. Those men are Lt. Ron Kemerer, Lt. George Hepsley, Lt. David Meares, Firefighter Brian Brooks and Pat Carney. They received the congratulations of their comrades for their efforts. One of the great inventions which has been available to the Fire/Rescue Service is the hydraulic-powered spreader jaws,

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How Our Village Grew 119 cutters and rams, named the "Jaws of Life" by the Hurst Company. They were demonstrated to the Department on October 12 this year. Fire Fighters Equipment Co. of Jack sonville, Florida, was the successful bidder for this versatile, powerful, (and expensive) tool. The cost was in excess of $8,000. We built a fire truck in 1963 for less than that! Several members of the Department, having completed two training courses in Fire Prevention and Inspection, took the Florida State Certification exam. We have been doing inspections for some time, but the State requirements for certification have just been initiated and an examination approved to accomplish this end. Every one of Gulfport's candidates passed the State exam and promptly received their Certification. Those who are certified inspectors are Bill Brown, Ron Kemerer, George Hensley, Pat Carney, Walter Brooks, Rick Johnson, Richard Hand, Rick Pashkow, Ken Snelling, Nathan White, Dave Meares, Brian Brooks, and Mark Todsen Our people are to be complimented for their continued efforts to upgrade their skills and education. You will re member the men who attended the E.M.T. course and the State Inspector's Certification. Mike Blank, Richard Pashkow and George Lewis enrolled in the M inimum Standards course with P.V.T.I. and graduated a short time later. Congratula tions are in order. Problems seem to be attracted to one area like iron to a magnet. We wrote of a fire at 2526 York Street some years ago where five men were sent to the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion. Well, it happened again, at the same address! After the first fire, the house was demolished and replaced with a duplex. The house was well involved when we arrived, but was brought under control in good time. We had a few bad minutes when the neighbors insisted that a woman and a child were still in the house. Three separate intensive searches were made and there was no one there. The young lady had taken the child and left as a result of a domestic disturbance and was safe with her family A thorough examination of the premises, however, revealed evidence of an accelerant The State Fire Marshall's office was called in, evidence collected, and the State Attorney's office prosecuted the husband. After a three-day trial, the jury brought in a verdict of Guilty and he was sentenced to three yeats in prison. This is the second conviction for arson successfully prosecuted by the Department and the State Fire Marshal's Office.

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120 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Many great advances have been made over the years in firefighting equipment. Early fire hoses were made of leather, riveted into sleeves with no couplings, then linen and cotton hoses were woven, rubber lining added, and now plastic hose which is lighter, more flexible, doesn't need cleaning, won't knot, doesn't have to be dried. We hope to put this hose into use on all of our pre-connected lines on each pumper. The first pumper has been equipped with this new hose. In connection with Fire Prevention Week every year, school children from several of the local elementary schools, private as well as public, come to the station to be entertained, lectured, and generally made aware of fire safety. I'm sure that it has been very effective over the years, and Capt. Hensley has usually taken the lead in this endeavor, being ably assisted by several volunteers, for which much credit is due. We have failed to mention one of the most interesting aspects of this up until now. When the kids go back to class, they always draw posters and decorate Thank You cards to send back to the Fire Department. (Some of them are half as big as bed sheets!) Don't sell these kids short. Their depth of perception is sometimes astonishing. They may draw a fire engine leaving off the wheels, but they put on the hoses; numbers, door handles, red light and siren and many details you didn't think they even noticed. Ten weeks, three hours per session, one class per week: the first Responder course trained many of our firefighters, several wives, and some other interested individuals in advanced first aid, which will enhance our Paramedic-E.M.T. units with qualified first aid personnel able to assist them whenever necessary. The Paramedic group, several of whom are also firefighters, asked for the assistance of the Fire Department in entertain ing the Fire Department Training Officer's seminar which was held in the Gulfport station. The facilities of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on Osgood Point were offered and the Fire Department provided a fish fry for them. We also demonstrated a 5" hose lay and master stream evolution which turned out very well. Something new has been added to the school children's fire station visit this year. We have purchased a set of puppets which, with recorded dialogue and music, puts the fire safety message across to the children everywhere. They loved it. The firemen who put on the show had a ball. They put as much

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How Out Village Grew 121 into it as t hey do fighting fires. W e were blessed with the usual b lizzard of Thank You notes, posters, and artwork from the classes involved. -Deputy Fire Chief W alter M. Brooks, Nathan Wh ite THE POLICE DEPARTMENT PA S T AND PRESEN T La w enforc emen t as w e know it was, of course, unknown in early Gulf port. According to one s ource, when a law officer in St. Petersbur g wanted someone from this area, he s imply asked the trolley conductor to tell the man to go in since ther e was a warrant for his arrest. Another long-timer r esident a ptly put i t that there was no need fo r eith e r police or jail because people took c are of one another and of t heir differenc es of opinion, one way or ano t her! Appar ently Johnney Leigh was the lone first policeman, desk sa r geant and Chief on Sundays and holidays or when important people like the golf er Bobby Jones came visiting. Then he had help, for example, from a m otorcycle cop, Barney Atkinson White. With incorporation in 1910, a police "department" was established, but probably only one man was employed. Comp laints arose-the neighbor's cow s might be wandering on another's property, boys m ight be involved in a fist fight, or t h e r e could b e a tav ern brawl. Extra deputie s were hired when needed. The first Marshal wa s John C. White appointed in 1910. A bond issue for $4,000 was approv ed to build a town house and jail. Marshal White s job was comparativ ely simple. At one tim e he had to deliver u t ility bills o n the last Saturday of each month! By t h e ea rly twenties there were disturbances of note. The Euening Independent printed an article about them and the story w as at first vehemently d enied until Mr s. Lucky, a resi dent, testified that t hey were correct. Within that year, thre e Marshals we r e hired, resigned or were r e placed Special police were often employed, and for reasons undisclosed in Council Minutes, t h e J. A. Detec tive Agency was hired for $88. 00. Fred Roberts resigned as Marshal 4/8/23 and Irving Slauter was named 5 /15/23 but resigned 8 / 21 /23 and John White was appointed. On 10/ 2 / 23 J. L. Nash was m ade a sp e cial police officer t o e n force the dog control ordinance In December, an ordinance prohibiting drunken dri v i ng was

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122 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida passed. By 1925, a pistol and holster were furni shed the Marshal. The next year, Sam Renney became Marshal and was the first to ride a motorcycle full-time (his own machine!). The jail was moved from Chase Park to City owned lots in Veteran City subdivision located in the present City Hall complex. In the economic pinch of the thirties, Council decided to ask the County Sheriff to make our Police Chief a Deputy of Pinellas County. The "blue laws" increased police duties and when they were rescinded, the auto was causing lots of activity speeding limited to 15 miles per hour meant collection of many $15 fines or 30 days in jail. Old record s are not available, but native sons r eme mber -for example, Nathan L. White (who remembers practically ever ything ). He talked a lot about Lloyd "Mout" Holland, a good man who handled this town full of commercial fisher men who liked to drink and brawl, but he had a way with even the toughest. A criminal one week might well be help ing with another the next. He really had a work program going before it was the thing to do! He corrected the situation whether it was a family quarrel or a real tough problem. He was Chief when Nathan went into service in 1942, and when he came home four year s later, Sullivan was Chief, then "Sandy" Sanderson, "Rudy" Roth, "Bill" Jopson, and then Golliner rose f rom the ranks. There has never been a scan dalous situation here, he said, and many local men have ser ved, including Norman Haines, French Bishop Stutts Gilbert and others. "Mout" wasn't what you'd expect a policeman to look like -neither tall nor husky, but h e was very effective and deeply loved, especially by the boys he influenced by his example of fairness. Many stories focusing on his tenure can be heard when old-timers get together. '"Jo" Pippin told how he tried to pla card her house when the children had diptheria, but she stood her ground, would have none of that, and ordered him off her porch. He left, and Mr. Pippin kept on delivering milk, diptheria or not! They called him "Mout" because he kept saying "I mout lock you up or I mout not." The jail was seldom locked, and often those put in to sleep it off would be gone by sunup. That didn't bother Mout's good wife, Alice because the Chief had to feed his prisoners from his salary of $12.50 a seven-day weekt He also was allowed to pump five gallons of gas from the City tank weekly for his '35 Chevy. In spite of hard times, that salary

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How Our Viilage Grew 123 kept increasi ng until it became $35.5 0 a week; but in 1934, salaries of both the Chief and the School Offi cer were abolished, along with salaries of City officials. Much police work at that time had to do with mortgage forec losu r es and collection of d elinq uent taxes and boat slip rentals. A diary of 194 1 s h ows many arrests but few sentences im posed by lenient judges. The i nterv iew with Herma n Hap Golliner, in Jul y 1983, told us a lot about his memori es and of how William C. Jopson was Ch ie f when he joined the Police Departm ent in 1959. Hap remembers hearing stories of how it had been before the Department became so well organized and equipped. It was once the custo m, for instance, for the Marshal to light the wa t er tower when he needed a cop, but the c r i m inals / culp ri ts knew that signal and would be long gone by the tim e the law arrived at the action scene. The Department had a 20'x20' room, a kerosene stove, no air alert system or rest room, and their old radio room is now enclosed in the new structure which houses the present Police Department. They had thr ee patrolmen, a sargeant, and t h e C h ief. If any of them got confused finding their way back to the station from a call, they would use the water tower as their guide. Chief Jopson did a wonderful job, especially when the City Court tried all local violations. People would gathe r i n front of the station and the windows were opened so pl ead ing could take place. For the last f ive year s all sm all City c a ses go to the County Court. Hap said a number of famous judge s started here, i n clu ding State Attorney Jim Russell, Seth Walker, Jack Dad swell, Harry Folwell and others .. Hap b ec ame Chief in 1971, and now the Depart ment has thirty-on e full-time staff qualified to meet Florida standards and m ore. Recruits are sent to training school t o learn the law s, b r ought back to the station to work with a senior officer, and remain on probation for six mont hs. All have retraining classes periodically Academy and St. Peter s burg Junior College courses are used extensi vely Today the Poli ce Department is quite sophisti cated with three computers. Now the officer knows who he is s topping and why befor e he gets out of hi s car! A criminal's record can be available to him in the matter of minutes They used police dog s for a while, but they are expensive and it takes six weeks to train the man and his dog, plus the latter costs a lot to feed. Another expens e with canine patrol is that

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124 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida they usually ride one dog handler and dog to a car, and that is expensi ve, too. But it does give a better overal l coverage to the area Another problem with the dog s is that once one gets into poiso n he won t put h is n ose down again! Cities will rob one another to get a well-trained police officer -and that happens! Hap feels a cal l received should be answered carefully here in Gulf port especially, because our population includes many r etirees. I t is true that some calls are peculiar, but they are important to the one mak ing them. P olice d id al l the rescue work before the Paramedics were trained and employed. He dispatches for all c alls. He is proud that he asked for, and got, u se of natural gas in the cars. It costs only 39 a gallon but has a slow er pick-up quality. The c ar s have _to be adjusted for it, of course. Income fro m fine s goes to t h e City. Po lic e receive a call about every 24 minutes, about what St. Pe tersburg does ; but here that means more calls per man. He is proud that we have N eighborhood Crim e Watch ar eas esta blished in n early all parts of our City Most other communities charged each area for signs and all -but Gulfport p aid all our costs. Of course traffic problems are steadily i n c rea sing with the extension of Interstate 275 and with exits leading cars through Gulfport on their routes to t h e beaches. Getting the public to cooperate with law enforcement is difficult, even though it is done for their b enefit. Sometim e s groups of kids ge t into trouble f our o r fiv e do not constitute a ga ng! Many here lose money early each month becau se, in s pite o f repeated warnings, they carry cash and often injuries are added to the crime of purse-snatching! Peopl e who think they can spend the night on our beach are sent e lsewhere. Several o f his men are about due f o r ret irement and, with the increase of popul atio n an d proble m s, "Hap" is asking for an additional man as well a s for replacements. Yes, Gulfport used to be a "quiet little fish ing village" with only two phones and no radio o r tele vis ion or any of the other attributes our City now offers those lucky enough to live h e r e and like it! If you haven't visited our s p lendi d Police D epartment, why don't you? Then you can see how well we are protected -often in s p ite of our care l ess ness -and how w e c an do more to support Gulfport's "finest." -Agnes Conron and Frances Purdy

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How Our Village Grew 125 POSTAL SERVICE The following information is from the book, Chronology of Florida Post Offices, published by the Florida Federation of Stamp Clubs in 1962. I have been told that it took many years of research, locally and in Washington, and that it is highly accurate. Here are some facts from it: Bonifacio -established May 10, 1880; discontinued April6, 1883; reestablished January 5, 1885. Disston Cityname change October 16, 1889. Veteran Cityname change, July 10, 1906. Gulfport-name change, December 27, 1910; discontinued, June 30, 1928-mail service from St. Petersburg; reestab lished April15, 1937, as branch of St. Petersburg. Quoting from The Sea Breeze, we learn the following about mail service in the early days. "The Postmaster General has ordered that a contract be made with Wm. C. Chase, of Baltimore, Md., for carrying mail in safe and suitable steam boats, from Tampa to Ellenton, six times per week return, with side supply to Pinellas and Bonifacio three times per week and return, from July 1st, 1886, to June 20th, 1887. Deliver the mail accordingly, and report date of commence ment of service." (6/15/86) "Mr. Chase has thrown up his contract for carrying mail by steamboat, so that we shall get only two mails a week . and will have to depend upon a sail-boat to bring it. However, as Capt. Williams has one of the fastest sharpies in these waters, our mail service is still more satisfactory than at many other places on the coast." (7 /1/86) "Mr. Torres has moved one of his houses down near his store, and has moved the Post Office into it, and very good quarters it is too." (12/1/86) "Steps are being taken towards changing of the name of our town and Post Office, and we hope that something more satisfactory than the present condition of things will be arrived at." (2/1/87) "The Cherub after making a few trips to Tampa with the mail, drew off, and the sloop Sneezer, Captain Brown, has been making the regular trips ever since. We think that Capt. Whitehurst did not treat the people here quite right in this matter." (3/1/87) "Our mail boat has been making prompt time of late. We guess about equal to the Pinellas boat." (4/1/87), and more the same date. *

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126 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida "So we are to have a Money Order Office at last. Post master Torres has received favorable word from the Depart ment, and all that is necessary now is for him to give security for a certain amount and forward the same to Washington, when the necessary papers will be sent him. The article on the second page was in print before we knew anything of the above" AND "Our mail facilities are not what they ought to be. We need a Money Order Office on the Point badly, and in order to obtain such, a certain amount of mail must pass through the office. We are informed that some people are in the habit of sending their letters to Tampa . whether be cause they dislike the Postmaster or the mail carrier . a word to the wise, etc." Joseph Torres, emigre from Louisiana, fought with Maxi milian in Mexico, settled here, bought land from Barnett and another 169 acres from the State. He served as Postmaster in 1885. According to [infor on one of] Irving Slaughter's (tapes], a Mary McRoberts was Postmistress in 1905 and the Post Office was in her home at about 56th Street and 27th Avenue. When the Gulf Casino was finished in 1906, the Post Office moved into it. Mail was brought in and out from St. Petersburg by the trolleys. There were nine families here then. Later, from December 27, 1910, Clara B. Giger was in charge of mails brought in from St. Petersburg, until Walter 0. Brooks took it over in 1914. Because he could not tolerate winters in Tennessee, Mr. Brooks brought his family to Florida in 1913 and settled here where there were perhaps f ifty or more people living. He built his house on the southeast corner of 30th Avenue and 55th Street S. during October-November, 1925. A part of i t housed a grocery store and a fourth-class Post Office. On the south side was a real estate office Brooks and Swift -and on the east, on 30th Avenue, was a barbershop. Mr. Brooks was appointed Postmaster and served until the office was abolished by Hoover in 1928. He moved his original building to the back lot facing 30th Avenue in 1925, and Holiday Inn was built on the corner. The northwest corner of the Inn verandah was used as an outdoor Post Office because Brooks built window boxes with combination locks to keep people from waking him at night to get mail. Later, the main Post Office in St. Petersburg also built outdoor boxes. Mail came twice daily by trolley, was taken off by the Brooks family (usually) at 30th Avenue, and the other bag went on to the Pier and off to the boat to Pass-A-Grille where "Ruchee"

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How Our Village Grew 127 Steinwinder was the Postmistress. Both the first Post Office and Holiday Inn are now used as apartments. Mail delivery since has come from St. Petersburg, for home delivery in boxes on the street in some locations, on the house in others, or to boxes in the Beach Bazaar. For several years we had twice daily delivery. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Barter ran the Bazaar from 1953 to 1973, and since then Mr. and Mrs. "Jack" Auman bought it from "Chuck" Anger in 1978 or so, who had taken over from Mrs. Toni ??? who ran it a short time. At present, as then, the general variety store is the larger portion of the building, but full govern mental mail service is available in the rear. With the present growth of Gulfport, shall we once more appeal and get our own Post Office and the privilege of postmarking our mails? It was helpful to talk about this article with Mrs. Sydney Brooks who remembered some whimsies -her father-in-law got permission to cut through the Pier floor to permit him to build steps down into the water. He went fishing many morn ings, got enough flounder or mago snapper for lunch every time he went! He was deathly afraid of dogs, and since he had to deliver special delivery letters (cost 10 cents), he carried a long pole to fight any canine attackers who might leap for his throat. Mrs. Brooks said that lots of mail would be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Brooks" and they would know which of the five Brooks' families it was meant for by check ing the postmark-Michigan would be for W. L., Tennessee for W.O., etc. Mrs. Brooks remembered that there were no sidewalks, only boards laid upon cross-boards lining Beach Boulevard, and the water came up then to 30th Avenue, even without heavy rains. She described spear fishing and said also that all "Florida Crackers used gigs on long poles." She can still visualize the little boats all over the Bay catching trout and many other kinds of fish with gigs. These and others are now only dreams in the minds of those who recall former days. Bonifacio: In and out mail from 5/10/80 to 4/6/83 was by the Cedar Key steamboats. I have no idea why it was discontinued on April 6, 1883. Those Cedar Key boats were still running. The reestablish date of January 5, 1885, coincides with the arrival of the first railroad at Tampa on January 1, 1885. -Sydney Brooks, Willard B. Simonds, and Others

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128 Our S t o r y of Gulfport, Florida POSTMASTERS GULFPORT OFFICIAL POST OFFICES 1880-1928 BONIFACIO Joseph R. Torres. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 May 1 8 8 0 (discontinued 6 Apri l 1883) Joseph R. Torres ........................ 5 January 1885 Geor ge W. Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . 30 June 1885 May Turner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 June 188 8 Richard L. Locke ...................... 5 February 1 8 8 9 NAME CHANGED 16 OCTOBER 1889 DISSTON CITY Richard L Locke . ..... ............. 1 6 October 1889 A lonzo A Hoyt . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 May 1887 William B Catl i n ........... . ............ 16 March 1898 Ogden Ingersol . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 May 1899 William P. Woodworth . . . . . . . . 1 1 December 1899 NAME CHANGED 10 JULY 1906 VETERAN CITY Alonzo A. Hoyt . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Jul y 1906 Ma lcolm M cRobert s ..................... 26 M arch 1908 Cl ara B Gige r ........ ......... ..... 12 October 1910 NAME CHANGED 27 DECEMBER 1910 GULFPORT Clara B Giger. . . . . . . . . . . . 27 December 1910 Wa lter 0. Brooks .... ....... ......... 24 October 1 9 1 3 DISCONTINUED 30 JUNE 1928 PRINTED WORDS Di sston City will forever hol d the distinction o f having had the first newspaper on the Pinellas peninsula south of Clear water. Diss ton City's newspaper, The Sea Breeze, was first p u blis h ed April 1, 1886. (The West Hillsboro T imes had been published in Dunedin and Clearwater s t arting in 1884. In 1892 it was moved to St. Petersburg and became the St. Petersburg T i mes.) A number of years ago, Society member Willard B. Simonds, with the help of the then President of the St. Petersburg Historical Society, Everett Lehnert, loca ted a complete set of original copies of The Sea Breeze in the SPHS archives They were yellowed, faded, and brittl e with almost a hundred years of age; but it was possible to make copies. Complete sets of t hese copies, with an introduction by Mr. Simonds, can be read at the Museum, and can be purchased. Mr. Simonds' introduction reads in part: "W. J. (Will) McPherson, founder and editor of The Sea

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How Our Village Grew 129 Breeze, was one of three sons of Elias B. McPherson who had homesteaded 168 acres of today's St. Petersburg Beach in 1885. Besides The Sea Breeze, the McPhersons, father and sons, operated a job printing busin ess, a lumber yard, a con tracting business, and a general business agency -all in Disston City. Besides all of that activity, the father, Elias B., was Superintendent of the Disston City Sunday School. "W. J McPherson was assisted in publication of The Sea Breeze by G. W. Bennett, 'a veteran newspaperman,' and there are indications that his father, Elias, also had a hand in the publication. "The Disston City of the 1880's was no metropolis, but it was the largest settlement on the lower Pinellas peninsula, with a population of about 150. These people were farmers, fishermen, small merchants, skilled tradesmen, and a sp rinkl ing of real estate agents. The three earliest arrivals had acquired their land by homesteading; later arrivals had to purchase their land from one of the Hamilton Disston land companies or from one of the homesteaders "During its one year of existence, The Sea B reeze carried no news of earth-shaking importance. Its 17 issues did chronicle the daily comings and goings of the people of the entire lower peninsula -the events which were of importance in their daily lives. Thus, perusing it can give us some idea of life in pioneer Pinellas County." One of Gulfport's most important features is its Gabber, and on June 9, 1984, George Brann was asked to tell his story about how he started it in October, 1968. At that time was engaged in Goodyear Warehouse in the location of the present Gabber. "Young Bob Sargent came and asked for work which I could not offer him, but when he persisted, I decided I could start a 'shopper' and let him run it." "It" was a mimeographed sheet and didn' t make any money, but George started another business to help support Bob and the paper which they named to indicate it would contain news of interest to readers. Ads were free at first, but then they got $2.25 for them card size they were. The first issue had 200 copies and about 150 were picked up. One night George went to Council meeting, listened, and went back to the office to write up what happened. From then on, the paper grew. Council meetings were dominated by one person while others said nothing, and that intrigued readers about as much as did the decisions they made. George felt residents should know what was going on NEWS PAPER

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130 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida a paper of news! Bob couldn't make it, so he returned to Connecticut and George gave up other business to work alone, as he prefers, on the Gabber. He wrote, "It will come out every we e k, even if it has to come on a postcard." He gave up his flying over five counties to distribute mer chandise for Goodyear and instead plugged away to establish this paper which defies most rules f o r journalism but which r emains a deeply respected and e njoyed weekly treat. It was still a mimeographed sheet, but in 1970 George published 500 copies and had none left over, s o he bought a printing press (about which he knew nothing!). He called Palmer Paper in Tampa and said that he would buy a Davidson press if they would bring it ov er, set it up, and show him how to run it: They ran off about a dozen copies; George could do it and still use his regular typewriter. He soon l earned how to make columns. Ads were only busin ess-c ard size and still cost only $2.25. He n eeded a camera so made one out of a card board box with floodlights on glass weighted down to make contact. Soon he had to get an ele ctric typewriter-an IBM Executive -for about $70. The pape r at last began to cover itself-it paid for only supplies for nearly two years! Then when George cleared $100 a week, he bought a camera dark room gear, a folding mac hine, and a magnifier-that was late in 1970. One Monday, the press broke down and George had abso lutely no way to keep his promis e to get the paper out on Thursday. Father Goodman dropped in to visit, heard his dilemma, and told him he would take care of his department" if George w ould go out bac k and try to rig up so me repairs while he thought about how he could procee d He got an inspiration, called Orlando and told them he' d buy a new press if they would come and do whatever they could to get his press running in time to meet his publication date. They did even took off the back door to get the new machine in. There was no stopping t he G abber after that! In fact, i t was doing so well that George decided he' d better sell rather than kill himself with overw o rk, and he did five years ago this month (June 1984] when circulation had grown from 200 to 550 copies. It's much higher now. In his day, the total operation took place in that one place, but now printing is done outside George cited se veral instance s of reforms in city govern ment in which he believes he had a distinct role because he always told the truth in his paper about what was being done

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How Our Village Grew 131 by Council. That reputation was built and maintained -that his purpose was to write what was factual. He never had to solicit ads, always thanked people for their help, and put the importance of people served over other considerations. The Gabber was never in business to make money but primarily to print news. "Gulfport has been awfully good to me, and I'm here in Pasadena now only because of location," said George. "I take care of Gulfport still and they support methey let me buy all this gear and I'm grateful." George, a most modest man, came here from Gardiner, Maine, six miles south of Augusta, and has lived either in the Disston area or at his present home many years. Then we talked with Ted and Elsie Haveness, present owners and editors, to find out how they have changed operation, quantity of copies and their distribution while maintaining the aim to tell the truth about what is happening in our City. On June 20, 1984, it was about five years since tlley had acquired the paper. Circulation, now about 7,000 weekly, has grown because of increased locations. The weekly has grown to 24-32 pages, and advertisers call in for space from further distances, including many parts of St. Petersburg and Pasadena. Ted leaves copies at Pasadena Shopping Center and other heavily-trafficked stores, and new readers keep popping up. Sixteen pages used to be maximum but even in summer they do 24 pages or more. Ted said that Elsie was the one who urged their purchase She'd been in circulation work in New Jersey for 18 years and never got it out of her blood. Ted knew nothing about printing, but respecting Elsie's judgment, agreed the offer was too good to pass up. All he knew, he said, was the "aggrava tion and long hours" -but he has learned a lot more since. The press was temperamental and learning how to use it was not easy. Now the Havenesses send their paper out to Sun and Fun, Clearwater, and the type is clearer and they can breathe on Fridays! At first, while they published Wednes days, 20 pages meant four to a sheet, 5,000 copies stacked all around the room while they and a student after school collated, folded and all, taking well over five hours of hard work to get it ready really rough work! They had to print Fridays, Saturdays, and often Sundays too but they always got the paper out on Thursdays. Ted and Elsie still have the Davidson press Brann bought, but it is used only in emergencies. They also have George's old printer, but it is on the front desk for you to see if you

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132 Our Story of Gulfport Florida visit their office at 1419 49th Street S. They don't do any other printing but the Gabber. They maintain the original goal -to print news, not to journalize. They hope that inserts by former and present Gulfport residents will support concerns for proper values. Irate letter-wr iters are often cooled down, but only if they ask for and take advice! May our City always have devoted newspaper people! -Willard B. Simonds, Frances Purdy STREETS AND NEAR BANKRUPTCY Gulfport today has over fifty miles of streets, all paved except for a very few blocks. That paving has been accom plished during two periods of time: 1924 through 1927; and since 1947. The Paving during the 1924-27 period was the direct result of the great Florida Land Boom of the late 1920's, and when that boom collapsed ear l y in 1928, trying to meet the financial obligations resulting from that paving almost bankrupted the town. Walter Fuller, in St. Petersburg and Its People, Chapter XXIII, says in part. "It is impossible to tell when the rapid growth -of the 1921-1925 period became sky blue promotion, and not grow t h. Two events, more than perhaps all others com bined, triggered the boom. One, promotion and construc tion of Gandy Bridge . The second headline event starred I. M. (Handsome Jack) Taylor, promoter of Pasa dena Estates .... (Italicizing ours.) And, most of Pasadena Estates, including its star attractions, the Rolyat Hotel and the Pasadena Golf Course, was within the town limits of Gulfport! Of course, there were other developments in Gulfport, and many new residents bought lots, built homes, and moved in almost entirely south of Gulfport B lvd. and close to the trolley line. While the boom lasted i t seems everybody had "land fever." Lots were sold and resold at ever increasing prices, usually with very little cash, but heavy mortgages were involved. Apparently, just about everybody, including the Gulfport Town Council members, came to believe that it would never end. But end it did, early in 1928! Pasadena Estates, the Rolyat, and the golf course were thrown into bankruptcy and Taylor disappeared. Most of the other

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How Our Village Grew 133 development companies suffered the same fate. Land values dropped to almost nothing, lot purchasers by the hundreds defaulted on their mortgages and tax payments. The lots were repossessed and many of the mortgage holders, now stuck with hundreds of almost worthless lots, went into bankruptcy. During the height of the boom, various Gulfport Town Councils paved over twenty miles of streets at a cost of almost $1lh-million. About four miles of this paving was in the Pasadena Estates section; most of the rest was south of Gulfport Blvd. All of the pavin g was paid for by issuing municipal bonds, backed by the "full faith and credit" of the town, and with arrangements made to make the required principal and interest payments from assessments pla ced against each lot on the paved streets. Apparently no one had the slightest doubt but that land values would continue in creasing and that the lot owners would have no trouble making those assessment payments which ran from about $200 to well over $600 per lot. By the end of 1927, s ucce ssive Town Councils had p led ged payment of about $90,000 in interest and a lmost $150,000 in principal payments each year for about the following ten years. But owners of defaulted lots and bankrupt develop ment and mortgage companies do not pay paving assessments -or taxes! That was the situation from 1928 until about 1930. The town was struggling but apparently making ends meet. The southern part of Gulfport, with a firmer base of residential and business development, apparently remained r easonably prosperous. Then the effects of the great national depression which followed the stock market crash of 1929 began to be felt. The man who had a regular job became a rarity. Most Gulf port resident s were reduced to subsisting on fishing, hunting, and home-grown vegetables. Cash money became a very scarce commodity. The result: almost nobody could pay those paving assessments, or taxes, and the owners of the bonds were getting upset about not receiving their interest or principal payments. Just how bad things were is shown by some of the economy measures instituted by Town Councils during this period: Cut out all street lighting. Cut out all lighting at City Park s.

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134 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Cut out all City telephones, except one each in City Hall, the Fire Station, and the Police Station. The Police Chief, and all other City Officials, to serve with out pay. All City employees to take one half of their pay in scrip which could be used to pay their taxes. Try to borrow money from the State to make some much needed repairs to City equipment. In the mid-1930's, Mr. Dixie M. Hollins, a dealer or in municipal bonds and who had become owner of Pasadena Gulf Course with its associated land, arranged a refinancing scheme which satisfied the bond holders and gave the City a "breathing spell" in which to get its financial house in order. With this help, and with the general recovery from the De pression, Gulfport struggled through. But no more paving projects were undertaken until 1947, and since then there has been some paving almost every year as needs required. In addition, many of the 1924-27 period streets have required repaving, some with and some without widening. But financing is quite different, with no more paving on credit, municipal bonds, or otherwise. These costs are now paid from a Capital Improvement Fund, and as the lot owners pay their assessments, that money goes back into the fund, making a type of revolv ing paving fund. All of the paving of the 1920's was with brick. Unfor tunately, as repaving has been required, the o ld bricks have been covered over with asphalt. This has totally destroyed the ability of the brick streets to get rid of storm water by soaking through the bricks into the soil. Bu t it has become impossible to find people today who can, or will, lay paving bricks at any price! Because of their catastrophic effect, and because they did result in paving about one-fourth of the streets of today's Gulfport, we are including the following tabulation of the 1920's paving project. Appendix A lists all of the streets which were paved during this period, and the map following shows most of them. Note: On February 21, 1928, the City Council changed the names of almost all of Gulfport's streets to conform to the St. Petersburg street-numbering-and-naming system. Appendix B provides cross-references between present and original street names. Throughout this article, today's names are used.

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How Our Village Grew 135 PAVING PROJECTS SUMMARY-1924-1927 PROJECT DATE 4/15/24 7/21/25 9/22/25 9/22/25 3/15/27 4/19/27 5/4/27 3 /17/27 TOTALS NOTES: FEET PAVED 26,0231 5,751 31,7122 1,509 22,7233 22,251 613 13,2005 123,782 MILES PAVED 4.93 1.09 6.00 0.28 4.30 4.21 0.11 2.50 23.44 COST (Total) $ 291,908 93,899 484,804 Unknown 266,601 194,103 8 ,470 89,365 $1,429,150 COST $Per Foot $11.22 16.326 15.286 11.736 8.726 13.726 6.77 1 Includes dual lanes on Beac h Blv d. from Gulfport B lvd. to 28th Ave 2 Includes dua l lanes on Gulfport Bl vd. from 49th Street to 59th Street. 3 Gulfport paid only half the cost of 49th Street from 7th Avenue to 26th Avenue. 4 Includes dual Janes on 14th Avenue from 62nd Street to Gulfport B lvd. 5This p roject was outside today's City Limits. 6Costs w h ic h were esti mated or calculated but beli eved t o be reason ably accurate. The map on page 136 includes only the two more heavily populated areas of the City -the areas where most of the 192427 paving was done (south of Gulfport Blvd and the Pa sadena Estates section). I n the entire northeastern portion of the City, 7th Avenue to Gulfport B l vd and 49th Str ee t to 61st Street, the o nly r esidential development wa s along the trolley line Tang e rin e Avenue and 55th Street. Di sston Junior High and Gulfp o r t Elem entary Schools had been r ecently c ompleted. Other wi se, this entir e 800acre (approximately) was m ostly agri cultural with so me of it still in t he wilderness state. The only paved streets in this northeast area were: 49th Street. . . . . . . . . . . Central Avenue to the Bay 53rd Street ............... ..... 11th Avenue to Gulfport B lvd (serving Gulfport Elementar y School) 55th Street. . . . . . . . Tangerine Avenue to Gulfport Blvd lOth Avenue ....... 49th Street, 1 block west t o Oisston Junior High 20t h Avenue. . . . . . . . . . . . . 49th to 53rd Street (serving Gulfport Elementary School) 15th Ave nue .......... 49th Street to G ulfport B lv d at 63rd Street (serving the Rolyat Hotel)

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GULFPORT STREET S 1 Pave d H PASADENA ESTATES AREA U A Y I _!! / '!.!' .1 / ... f!" I I I "' I I. 1.. I , "' IIJJ._ I .. ., 10 I ) /.3 A 4 i / I II#U'A.,. : : I I.FA v <.., ..... ....... .... June, 1985 19 27 Hiles % r I SCALE I I U npav e d r 500 1 000 2000 Feet lfiiRIHitfllfltil111 X ....... ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, .......... SOUlliER N PORTIO N OF CITY -(; lA 1'.1 ,' ' I I I I r--I 1 I L.--I 1--..,--:. --, 1----' '-I ... I -----I I I I I l--. '1 ---..,----------l I I I I I I :2. IIIII I L _ -I ---1 I I C., lTAYI '--+--I I I I I ll. I /lv e I \:. I I I It) I I Cl\ I I I I 1 :.::1 /1vs .. V} I : S.; i.; ; : : .: } 41) .,=: c: -r --1 I I "':" L. "' --' I I : -.J-I I -Jlf ...9 I .tlv l I f--I SHe>l'fr ... w (f) 0 s:: .... fn s 0 ...., Q E. .;' 0 .., 0 .... p,. II>

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How Our Village Grew 137 Tangerine Avenue was hard-rolled shell from 49th to 55th Streets. Otherwise, whatever streets existed in the area were trails opened up by the various grove and dairy farm operators. Space considerations prevented including on the map the area east of 49th Street and north of Clam Bayou (26th Avenue to 29th Avenue and 44th Street to 49th Street). In this area, 29th Avenue was paved, as were most of the north south streets from 26th Avenue (unpaved) to 29th Avenue. We believe that the paved streets on the map are shown with a good degree of accuracy, but som e of the unpaved streets may have existed only as trails or as footpaths. A new book, published in 1984, Fifty Feet in Paradise The Booming of Florida, by D avid Nolan, discusses the causes and effects of all of Florida's boom-bust periods start ing in 1821. Nolan devotes a large part of his book to the biggest boom-bust of all: that which almost bankrupt Gulfport in the late 1920's. While the book includes little detail of the St. Petersburg area, the causes and effects of that boom-bust here were no different from those in the Tampa, Sarasota, or Miami area!?, all of which are discus sed in conside rable detail in Nolan's book. As an interesting sidelight, no streets at all existed in the area west of 57th Street and south of 29th Avenue until about 1957. This area and the adjacent Town Shor es site was a tidal swamp, known locally as "Fiddler's Flats. The taped memories of some of our old-timers tell us that these Flats were u sed as the town dump during the early years of the century. In the late 1950's and early 1960's, Dixie Hollins, owner of the Town Shores site, seawalled and filled the area, and 58th Street, 30th and 31st Avenues, and Shore Blvd. were built into the area. So much for street paving within Gulfpor t. Vehicular access into and out of the City, until about 1924, was not much different from that of the early years of the century, as discussed in the chapter on "Transportation." From the east, Lakeview and Tangerine had been shelled, as had been 49th Street from the north. In 1924, Lakeview and its extension through Gulfport Gulfport Blvd was paved as far west as 64th Street. And 49th Street from the north was paved through from Central Avenue to the Ba y in 1927. There is no record that any part of Tangerine Avenue was paved before 1948. In 1924, a new access road from the north, 64th Street, was opened by the

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138 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Pasadena Estates developers, but it was not paved until1959. In 1927, 62nd Street was paved south to Gulfport Blvd. and may have been open through from Central Avenue since 1924. (If there was a vehicular bridge across Bear Creek at 62nd Street, it has long since been removed and replaced with a footbridge.) Our other access road from the north, 58th Street, did not even exist between 6th Avenue and 11th Avenue until the mid-1950's, and records show it was paved in 1967. Although the area west of 64th Street was within the Gulfport City Limits until the mid-1930's, there were no roads into that area, which for the most part was tidal mud flats. Most of it is now within the City of South Pasadena. In 1926, the County started construction of the Corey Cause way and Bridge to St. Petersburg Beach. As its part of that project, Gulfport paved Pasadena Avenue f rom its City Limits at about today's Date Palm Avenue to the Corey bridgehead, and Gulfport Blvd. from its then end at 64th Street to the junction with Pasadena Avenue. This work is included in the tabulation as the 4/19/27 project. Sources: City records from the 1920's are sadly lacking in detail, and much material is missing. (If the City Clerks of those days did, in fact, record it!) Most of the material in this article was derived from old maps, copies of 1920's Council Resolutions, and tabulations of those resolutions filed in the office of Mr. L. T. McCarthy, City Superintendent, with much help from Tim. Some other information came from the Council Minutes of the years in question, located in the office of the City Clerk. Also, Allan Fougstead provided some information. -Willard B. Simonds NOTES TO APPEN DIX A (facing page) 1 Applied only to west side of 49th St. St. Petersburg paved the east half. 2 Each of these items largely duplicated Item Immediately above. They were probably cancelled and rescheduled at the later date shown. 3Total cost of this street, assessment fi&uHs not available. *Dual lanes with median strip. NA. Not Available.

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How Our Village Grew Street Beach B l vd. Oelette St. Gu lfport Blvd. Shore Blvd. T ifton St. Up ton St. 8th Ave. 9th Ave. 1Oth Ave. 11th Ave. 12th Ave. 13th Ave. 14th Ave. 15th Ave. 17th Ave. 20th Ave. 25th Ave. 26th Ave. 27th Ave. 28th Ave. 29th Ave. 30th Ave. 31st Ave 46th St. 47th St. 48th St. 49th St. 50th St. 51st St. 52nd St. 53rd St. 54th St. 55th St. 56th St. 57th St. 58th St. 61st St. 62nd St. 63rd St. A PPENDIX A STREETS PAVED 19241927 From To Project G u l fport Blvd. -28th Ave 4 5-24 28th Ave Shore 4-5-24 52nd St 53rd St. 3 -15 49th St. 51st St. 9 -22 51st St.59th St. 9-22 59th St. 64th St. 9-22-25 54th St. 58th St. 3-15-27 26th Ave. 29th Ave. 3-15-27 26th Ave -29th Ave 3-15-27 61 st St. 64th St. 4-19-27 58th St. -64th St. 4 19-27 49th St.51st St. 9 22-25 61st St. -64th St. 4 19-27 61st St.64th St. 4-19-27 61st St.63rd St. 4 -19-27 61st St. Gulfport B lvd. 4 -19 62nd St. Gulfport Blvd. 4-27 49th St. Gulfport Blvd 9-22-25 60th St. -Gulfport Blvd 4-19-27 49th St. 53rd St. 9-22-25 55th St. -56th St. 9-22-25 49th St: 53rd St. 9 22-25 49th St.56th St. 9 -22-25 49th St -58th St. 4-15-24 46th St. 49th St. 3-15-27 49th St. 53rd St. 3-15-27 53rd St. 58th St. 3 15-27 55th St. Clinton 4 -27 49th St. -55th St. 3-15-27 26th Ave 29th Ave. 3-15-27 26th Ave. -29th Ave 3-15-27 26th Ave -29th Ave. 3-15-27 7th Ave -26th Ave. 3-15-27 26th Ave Bay 3 15-27 28th Ave. Bay 4 -15-24 28th Ave. 30th Ave. 5-24-27 30th Ave. -Shor e Blvd. 9-22-25 Gulfport Blvd.28th Ave. 4 15-24 28th Ave. 31st Ave. 4 15-2 4 11th Ave. 30th Ave. 9-22-25 31st Ave Shore Blvd. 4-15-24 19th Av e.Gulfport Blvd 6-5 -24 28th Ave. -Shore B lvd. 4 15-24 G u lfpo r t Blvd. -28th Ave. 4 15-24 15th Ave. 28th Ave. 7 21-25 28th Ave. Shore Blvd 9-22-25 15th Av e th Ave 9 22-25 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 4 1 9-27 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 4-19-27 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 4-19-27 Outside of Present City Limits Gulfport B l vd. 64th St. -Pasadena Ave 3 17-27 Pasadena Ave. C ity Lim i t Corey Br i dge 3 17-27 (Date Palm ) 139 Length Assessment (feet) ($per ft.) 1980* NA 1697 NA 377 8.88 566. 3.57 3066* 8.52 4950 13.89 1037 6.41 1226 4.86 1226 4 .86 1650 NA 3771 4.99 1509 NA 1650 4.01 1650 4.30 1037 4.24 1414 4.32 707* 6.36 7260 9.72 660 6.18 1226 9.91 283 8 .28 1677 7 .97 3017 8.41 4431 8 .86 660 9.08 1697 9.0B 2169 11.06 566 NA 2451 6.63 1226 4.86 1226 4.86 1226 4 .86 6411 8 .141 2357 8.45 1886 NA 613 6.91 943 9.14 1980 NA 1414 NA 6694 6 .732 566 NA 950* NA 1697 NA 1980 NA 3677 7.772 1698 9.15 3677 10.48 3207 32,0333 3064 5 .92 27 34 19,2823 6072 41,127: 7128 48,238

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140 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida APPENDIXB STREET NAME CHANGES On February 21, 1928, the City Council adopted a resolu tion changing the names of most of the then existing streets in the City to conform to the St. Petersburg numbering and naming system. The following lists provide cross references between Gulfport's original and present street names. The first list is indexed by today's street names, the second by the original names. Both lists are arranged by (1) alphabetically by named streets; (2) numerically by avenues; and (3) numerically by streets. One name change made at a later date has been added and some changes involving streets not now within the City limits are included. PRESENTORIGINAL STREET NAMES As Changed February 21, 1928 Present Name From (between) To Original Name Clinton St. 28tjl Ave. Shore Blvd. Wendell Ave. Dellett Ave. 52rid St. 53rd St. Delett Prkwy. 53rd St. West to alley Havana Ct. 54th St. Beach Blvd. Bay View Pl. DuPont St. 28th Ave. Shore Blvd. Seminole Ave. Essex Ave. 54th St. Beach Blvd. Washington Pl. Freemont St. 7th Ave. 15th Ave. Espana St. Gray St. 7th Ave. Tangerine Ave. 60th St. Gulfport Blvd. 49th St. 59th St. Lakeview Ave. 59th St. 64th St. Gulfview Ave. Jersey Ave. 52nd St. 55th St. 17th St. Hull St. 7th Ave. 17th Ave. 61st St. Newton Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 12th Ave. Preston Ave. 51st St. 52nd St. Patton St. Quincy St. 26th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Unnamed Tifton St. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Del Rio Ave. Upton St. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Buena Vista Ave. York St. 11th Ave. 15th Ave. Torres Ave. Tangerine Ave. 20th Ave. Rose Ct. 30th Ave. 31st Ave. Torres Ave. 7th Ave. 61st St. 64th St. 9th Ave. 8th Ave. 49th St. 55th St. 9th Ave. 61st St. 64th St. lOth Ave. 9th Ave. 49th St. 55th St. lOth Ave. 58th St. 64th St. 11th Ave. lOth Ave. 49th St. 51st St. 11th Ave. 52nd St. 55th St. 11th Ave. 61st St. 64th St. 12th Ave. 11th Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 16th Ave. 57th St. 64th St. 13th Ave. 12th Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 15th Ave. 57th St. 58th St. 14th Ave. 61st St. 63rd St. 14th Ave.

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How Our Village Grew 141 13th Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 14th Ave 57th St. Gulfport Blvd. 15th Ave. 14th Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 13th Ave. 57th St. 58th St. 16th Ave. 62nd St. Gulfport Blvd. 16th Ave. 15th Ave. 49th St. 57th St. 11th St. 57th St. Gulfport Blvd. 17th Ave. 16th Ave. 51st St. 58th St. Seminole St. 17th Ave. 49th St. 58th St. lOth St. 60th St. Gulfport Blvd. Flora Ave. 18th Ave. 49th St. 51st St. Blackberry St. 51st St. West to? Pine St. 52nd St. 58th St. Parkview St. 59th St. Gulfport Blvd. Parkview St. 19th Ave. 59th St. 60th St. Oleander St. 52nd St. 58th St. Oleander St. 20th Ave. 49th St. Gulfport Blvd. 9th St. 21st Ave. 52nd St. 58th St. Pinehurst St. 23rd Ave 49th St. 51st St. Curn Ave. 52nd St. 53rd St. 7th St. 53rd St. 54th St. Hover Pl. 54th St. 59th St. 7th St. 24th Ave. 49th St. York St. Harding Ave. 53rd St. 54th St. 7th St. 58th St. 59th St. Donbeya Ave. 25th Ave. 49th St. 59th St. 6th St. 26th Ave. 49th St. 59th St. 5th St. 27th Ave. 49th St. 59th St. 4th St. 58th St. 59th St. Persea St. 28th Ave. 46th St. 58th St. 3rd S t 58th St. 59th St. Crescent Dr. 29th Ave. 46th St. 58th St. 2nd St. 30th Ave. 51st St. 52nd St. Oak St. 52nd St. East to alley Fairchild Ct. 53rd St. East to alley Curtis Pl. 53rd St. West to alley Shore View Ct. 54th St. 58th St. Bon Air St. 31st Ave. 48th St. 59th St. 1st St. 44th St. 26th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Palm St. 46th St. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Grove Ave. 47th St. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Florida Ave. 48th St. 26th Ave. 29th Ave Bedford Ave. 49th St. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Disston Ave. 50th St. 27th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Palm Ave. 51st St. 11th Ave. 23rd Ave. Palmetto Ave. 29th Ave. 31st Ave. Live Oak Ave. 52nd St. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Pinellas Ave. 53rd St. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Lee Ave. 54th St. 7th Ave. Shore Blvd. Grant Ave. 57th St. 11th Ave. Shore Blvd. Egmont Ave. 58th St. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay DeSota Ave. 59th St. Gulfport Blvd. 26th Ave. Lakeview Ave. 25th Ave. 28th Ave. Buhinia Dr. 60th St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. Casuarina Dr. 61st St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 62nd St. 62nd St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 63rd St. 63rd St. 7th Ave. 13th Ave. 64th St. 64th St. 7th Ave Gulfport Blvd. 65th St.

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142 Name Changed at a later date Beach Blvd. Gulfport Blvd. 55thSt. 11thAve. Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Shore Blvd. Gulfport Blvd. Davis Blvd. Davis Blvd. NOTE: A Veteran City map of about 1905 shows this street as "Boca Ciega Blvd." When it was changed to Davis Blvd. is unknown. Following Streets are Outside of present City Limits: Changed in 1928 Gulfport Blvd. 64th St. Oleander Way Oleander Way Pasadena Circle Pasadena Ave. Central Ave. Later name change Oleander Way Gulfview Blvd. Villa Grande Ave. Washingtonia Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Boca Ciega Way Boca Ciega Bay Oleander Way Sunset Dr. Pasadena Ave. Villa Grande Ave. Gulfport Blvd. NOTE: If a street is not included in these lists, it is because: (1) Its name was not changed or (2) It did not exist in 1928. CITY OF GULFPORT OLD PRESENT STREET NAMES As changed February 21, 1928 Original Name From (between) To Present Name (Present Names) Bay View Pl. Beach Blvd. 54th St. Dellett Ave. Bedford Ave. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. 48th St. Beuna Vista Ave. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Upton St. Blackberry St. 49th St. 49th St. 18th Ave. Bon Air St. 54th St. 58th St. 30th Ave. Brown Ave. 24th Ave. 25th Ave. York St. Buhinia Dr. 25th Ave. 28th Ave. 59th St. Casuarina Dr. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 60th St. Crescent Dr. 58th St. 60th St. 28th Ave. Curn Ave. 49th St. 51st St. 23rd Ave Curtis Pl. 53rd St. East to alley 30th Ave. Del Rio Ave. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. Tifton St. Delett Prkwy. 52nd St. 53rd St. Dellett Ave. De Sota Ave. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay 58th St. Disston Ave. 7th Ave (Blvd.?) Boca Ciega Bay 49th St. Donbeya Ave. 58th St. 59th St: 24th Ave. Egmont Ave. 28th Ave. Shore Blvd. 57th St. 11th Ave. 28th Ave. 57th St. Espana St. 7th Ave. 15th Ave. Freemont St. Fairchild Ct. 52nd St. East to alley 30th Ave. Flora Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 60th St. 17th Ave. Florida Ave. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. 47th St. Grant Ave. 7th Ave. Shore Blvd. 54th St. Grove Ave. 26th Ave. 29th Ave. 46th St. Gulfview Blvd. 59th St. 64th St. Gulfport Blvd. Harding Ave. 49th St. York St. 24th Ave. Havana Ct. 53rd St. West to alley Dellett Ave. Hover Pl. 53rd St. 54th St. 23rd Ave. Lakeview Ave. 2 Gulfport Blvd. 26th Ave. 59th St. Lakeview Ave.2 49th St. 59th St. Gulfport Blvd.

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How Our Village Grew 143 Lee Ave. 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay 53rd St. Live Oak Ave. 29th Ave. 31st Ave. 51st St. Oak St. 52nd St. 51st St. 30th Ave. Oleander St. 59th St. 60th St. 19th Ave 52nd St. 58th St. 19th Ave. Palm Ave. 27th Ave Boca Ciega Bay 50th St. 26th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay 44th St. Palmetto Ave 11th Ave. 23rd Ave 51st St. Parkvie w St. 59th S t. Gulfport Blv d. 18th Ave. 52nd St. 58th St. 18th Ave. Patton St. 51st St. 52nd St. Preston Ave. Persea Ave. 58th St. 60th St. 27th Ave. P ine St. 51st St. West to end 18th Ave. Pinellas Ave 7th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay 52nd St. Pinehurst St. 52nd St. 58th St. 21st Ave. Rose Ct. Tangerine Ave. 20th Ave. York St. Seminole Ave. 28th Ave. Shore B lvd. DuPont St. Seminole St. 58th St. 51st St. 16th Ave. Shore View Ct. 53rd St. West to alley 30th Ave. Sunset Ave 11t h Ave. Shore Blvd 56th St. Torres Ave. 11th Ave 15th Ave. York St. 30th Ave. 31st Ave York St. Washington Pl. Beach Blvd. 54th St. Essex Ave. Wend ell Ave. 28th Ave. Shore Blvd Clinton St. 9th Ave. 64th St. 61st St. 7th Ave. 55th St. 49th St. 8th Ave lOth Ave 64th S t 61st St. 8th Ave. 55th St. 49th St. 9th Ave. 11th Ave. 64th St. 58th St. 9th Ave. 55th St. 52nd St. lOth Ave. 51st St. 49th St. lOth Ave. 12 t h Ave. 64th St. 61st St. lOth Ave. 57th St. 49th St. Newton Ave. 13th Ave. 64th St. 57th St. 11th Ave. 57th St. 49th St. 14th Ave. 14th Ave. 63rd St. 61st St. 12th Ave. 58th St. 57th St. 12th Ave. 57th St. 49th St. 13th Ave. 15th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 57th St. 13th Ave. 57th St. 49th St. 12th Ave. 16th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 62nd St. 14th Ave. 58th St. 57th St. 14th Ave. 57th St. 49th St. 11th Ave. 17th Ave. Gulfport B lvd. 57th St. 15th Ave. 1st St. 58th St. 49th St. 31st Ave. 2nd St. 58th St. 46th St. 29th Ave. 3rd St. 58th St. 46th St. 28th Ave. 4th St. 59th St. 49th St. 27th Ave. 5th St. 59th St. 49th St. 26th Ave 6th St. 59th St. 49th St. 25th Ave. 7th St. 59th St. 54th St. 23rd Ave. 54th St. 53rd St. 24th Ave. 53rd St. 52nd St. 23rd Ave. 9th St. Gulfport Blv d. 59th St. 20th Ave. 58th St. 49th St. 20th Ave. lOth St. 58th St. 49th St. 17th Ave. 11th St. 57th St. 49th St. 15th Ave. 17th St. 52nd St. 55th St. Jersey Ave. 60th St. 7th Ave. Tangerine Ave. Gray St

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144 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida 61st St. 7th Ave. 17th Ave. Hull St. 62nd St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 61st St. 63rd St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 62nd St. 64th St. 7th Ave. 13th Ave. 63rd St. 65th St. 7th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 64th St. Unnamed 26th Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Quincy St. Name Changed at a later date Davis Blvd. 11th Ave. Gulfport Blvd. 55th St. Gulfport Blvd. Shore Blvd Beach Blvd. Outside of present City Limits Boca Ciega Way Pasadena Circ. Boca Ciega Bay Oleander Wy. Gulfview Blvd. 64th St. Oleander Wy. Gulfport Blvd. Oleander Wy. Central Ave. Boca Ciega Bay Pasadena Ave. Washingtonia Av. Oleander Wy. Villa Grande Av. Gulfport Blvd. More Recent Change Gulfport Blvd. Pasadena Ave. Villa Grande Av Sunset Dr. TRANSPORTATION trans'porta-tion: "Systems and modes of conveyance of persons and goods from place to place." (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) It is fundamental that there can be no settlement of an area without some means of transportation. The settlers, and their goods, must get to the area in the first place. Then they must be able to ship out whatever it is that they produce that brings in money. There must be means of bringing in the needed goods they purchase with that money. As the settle ment grows, this whole operation compounds upon itself and is increased by the comings and goings of visitors. It is equally fundamental that the better the transportation is -the more convenient and dependable it is (other things bein&, equal) the faster the settlement will grow, the more prosperous it will become and the more visitors (tourists) it will attract. The history of Gulfport falls into three t1me periods, and this discussion of the local transportation means will follow these same divisions: Disston Citypre-1900 Veteran City -1900 to 1910 Gulfportpost-1910 Major transportation changes and decisions took place during each of these time periods and greatly affected everything which followed.

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How Our Village Grew 145 Note: In this mater ial there are no foot notes. When necessa.ry credits are given in the text. At the end of each division there is a list of credits and suggested additional reading. Material in "quotes" is direct quota tion from the source given. Material in parenthesis is background or genera l informational matter. D/SSTON CITY-Pre-1900 D issto n City, with its maximum po pulation of about 150, was the largest of a half dozen or so settlements which grew up along the shores of the lower Pinellas peninsula during the years following the Civil War. Whe n, in the late 1880's, it became apparent that only one railroad would enter the peninsula, and that it would terminate at Paul's Landing, all of those settlements except Paul's Landing started to decline. P aul s Land ing became St. Petersburg ; the others, except D issto n City, vanished completely_ Until the railroad came, there were essentially no overland t ransportation m eans on the peni nsula. The entire area (ex cept for the beach isla nds) was covered by a virgin fores t of closely spaced pine and other trees. A ll ground between the trees was grown solidly with palmettos, sawgrass, and man groves a practically impenetrable jungle right to the water's edge. And within this jungle were numerous strea ms, tidal inlets, and s wampy areas. All this made w alking or horseback riding from point to point impractical if not im possible. All the ea rliest settlers arrived with their families and their good s in their own boats. Mter the backbreakin g labor of clearing their new property and raising their first cash crops, those c rops were shipped to marke t by the same means. By the early 1880's the county had cleared a few so called roads through this wildernes s. One ran roughly south-north from Maximo Point, approximately along the route of today's 9th Street, skirting Bethel's village of Pinellas, Williams' village of Paul's Landing o n through Safety Harbor, and around t h e north end of Tampa Bay into the county seat of Tampa. The other road of interest to us ran eastwest along the line of today's Lakeview Avenue, connecting Disston City with the other road mentioned. (Its name even then was Lake Vi ew Blvd.) But these w e r e roads in name only. They wer e merely narrow clearings through the forest with little attempt at stump and root r emoval, no bridges across the stream s and tidal inlets, and ge nerally fit only for slow, cautious travel on foot or horseback. Not until some time in 1886 was work

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146 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida begun on bridges over the two streams which Lake View then crossed -and still does -Manual Branch at about 42nd Street and Mule Branch at about 38th Street. The settlers themselves had cut a wagon-width road along the ro1,1te of 49th Street to enable getting their crops to the Disston City dock. Just how far north this road ran is not known., but about 15th Avenue would be a good guess. It might also be worth mentioning that there had been no attempt at grading any of these roads, or at providing any paving except the native sand. We can imagine what they were like during Florida's rainy seasons! So, the only practical means of getting people, goods, and crops into or out of Disston City was by water. While most of the earliest settlers owned their own boats, some public transportation by water was available. After the Florida Railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key was rebuilt about 1867, several steam and sailboat lines ran more or less regular service from rail head at Cedar Key to Tampa, Manatee River points, and Key West. Some of these boats made regular or occasional stops at Disston City, handling passengers, freight, and mail to the Post Office at Disston City, which was estab lished in May, 1880, under the "Bonifacio" name. (One of those Cedar Key boats was the Mary Disston, owned by Hamilton Disston and named for his mother. Local legend has it that this boat burned at Disston City dock, and that until rrecent ly her boiler could be seen off York Street at low tides. But it is known that the Mary Disston was operating in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/ Manatee River service from 1889 until well into the late 1890's. So, if there was a boiler off York Street, it almost certainly came from some other ship.) This fairly good Cedar Key ship service came to an end in January, 1885, when Plant's railroad reached Tampa and that city had no further need for the ship service from Cedar Key. From then on, the only regular ship service at Disston City was a twiceweekly sailboat service to Tampa operated by a Captain Williams. That this service was unsatisfactory is indicated by the fact that the Sea Breeze, during its one year of existence, carried several editorials on the need for better mail service. It did carry six announcements of better service to come, either in the fonn of more trips per week or in the substitution of steam for sail. But, at least as long as the Sea Breeze lasted, none of this better service materialized. Disston City's dock was located approximately at the foot of today's York Street. We have been unable to locate any

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How Our Vill a ge Grew 147 details about it, such as length, width, type of construction or available waterdepth. With transportation by land being virtually impossible, and transportation by water being slow, undependable, and some times dangerous, the people of Disston City realized that the only hope for growth of their settlement was railroad transportation. In this they were not alone. Florida, at the time, had numerous small settlements along the coasts and inland along the rivers and lakes. All wanted to grow; few had a chance without some kind of railroad transportation. F lorida had gone into the Civil War w ith about 400 miles of operating railroads, all in the very northernmost part of the state. The state, railroads, and everything else in the state came out of the war in 1865 bankrupt and physically wrecked. Only 56 of those 400 miles of railroad could still be operated, useable rolling stock was practically non-existent, and almost all terminal facilities had been destroyed. However, through the activities of a group of "carpetbaggers" -who enriched themselves in the process-all of that original mileage was rebuilt and back in operation by about 1870. But practically no additional mileage and no southward ex tensions were built until after the "Disston Purchase" of 1881. The $1-million the state received from Disston enabled it to pay off the liens which had been placed against all stateowned land by the holders of defaulted state bonds. This en abled the state to resume the land grant program which largely financed all railroads built during this period. Over 3,000 miles of railroad were built in Florida between 1881 and 1900, practically all of it financed with the aid of state land grants. Starting in 1881, the predecessor railroads of the Atlantic Coast Line and of the Seaboard Air Line, Florida's two great railroad systems, built southward from the seaports of Fernandina and Jacksonville and from Live Oak, the only point of connection between Florida's railroads and those to the north. But neither of those systems had any plans for the building into the Pinellas peninsula. Both were aiming for Tampa, then onto Manatee River and Charlotte Harbor points. That left the people of Disston City, and all of the other Pinellas settlements, looking to the "independents" if they were to have any rail service. There were dozens of those independent railroad com-

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148 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida panies in Florida at the time, all aiming to provide service to points being bypassed by the big systems. Most of them were underfinanced and headed by people with little or no railroad construction or operating experience. Some of those people were more interested in those land grants than in ever operat ing a railroad. Two of the independents had charters to build into Pinellas -the Silver Springs Ocala & Gulf and the Orange Belt. Almost until the end, it seems that the people of Pinellas expected the SSO&G to be their railroad. The Sea Breeze carried several articles stating the intention of that railroad to complete its line into Pinellas "very soon." The Tampa Tribune published at least one article along the same lines. But the SSO&G never extended any further south than Inverness, and it established its Gulf of Mexico terminal at Homosassa about the same time that the Orange Belt railroad reached Paul's Landing. The Orange Belt railroad was the creature of a Russian immigrant, Peter Demens, who had become very successful in the sawmill business at Longwood. In connection with that business he had acquired, for unpaid bills, the 35-mile-long Orange Belt Railroad running from Longwood to Monroe, a small St. Johns River town a few miles west of Sanford. That gave Demens a taste of railroading. He obtained a state charter to build to the Pinellas peninsula and a land grant which eventually amounted to over 60,000 acres Using his own money, and some more raised locally, he built 30 more miles, reaching Oakland on the south shore of Lake Apopka in November, 1886. At that point the money ran out. On December 1, 1886, Hamilton Disston approached Demens and offered him 60,000 acres of Disston's land if the Orange Belt were terminated at or near Disston City. Demens counter-offered with a demand for a total of 110,000 acres for running the railroad through Disston City enroute to Mullet Key where he would establish a great port city. Disston and his associates turned him down promptly and finally. Demens then tried several schemes to raise money to con tinue building. One of those schemes was to obtain donations (land or cash) from landowners who would benefit by pro ximity to his railroad. Committees were appointed at each settlement along his proposed route to solicit such donations; the committee for Disston City was made of Miranda, Torres, Ward, and Cox. So far as is known, no donations were ob-

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How Our Village Grew 149 tained in Disston City, and only a few from other settlements. In the meantime, John C. Williams had platted a town site on 2,000 acres he owned surrounding the settlement of Paul's Landing. He offered Demens one half of those building lots, plus free right of way, if the Orange Belt were terminated at Paul's Landing. Half of the lots in a 2,000-acre town site was a far cry from Disston's original offer of 60,000 acres, but it was better than nothing. So the first train on the Orange Belt Railroad arrived at Paul's Landing under its new name of St. Petersburg on June 8, 1888. While the Orange Belt did not do much for the growth of St. Petersburg for several years, it did start the decline of Disston City and the other settlements of the area. The business people especially realized that there was little hope of success away from the railroad. The retailers either closed up or moved into St. Petersburg. King moved his sawmill from Clam Bayou to a point on the railroad at about today's 12th Street, where over the years it grew into the Pinellas Lumber Company. By 1900 there were only about five families remaining at Disston City. Epilog: Demens had built a strictly minimum cost, almost comic-opera type of railroad. Derailments were an everyday way of life, his second-hand, poorly maintained locomotives broke down with distressing frequency. Few trips ever arrived at anywhere near the scheduled time. His unstandard, narrow gauge made impossible the interchange of passenger or freight cars with other railroads. The only town of any consequence along his entire 150 miles of route was Longwood (1890 pop ulation: 1,000). The net result was that the Orange Belt Rail road carried few passengers and little freight, and was in bankruptcy within two years. It was purchased by interests representing Henry B. Plant, builder of the predecessor system of the Atlantic Coast Line. Plant moved the eastern terminal from Monroe into the larger river port of Sanford, and changed the name to the "Sanford & St. Petersburg Railway." He made no other changes, and service continued to be atrocious. But eventually, about 1898, Plant rebuilt enough of the S&SP (Trilby to St. Peters burg) so that through passenger and freight trains could be operated between Jacksonville and St. Petersburg. That marked the real beginning of St. Petersburg's growth. Peter Demens salvaged enough cash out of the bankruptcy to go West and become successful in other lines of business a steam laundry and a fruit brokerage.

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150 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida CREDITS AND SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL READING 1) Details of the terrain and roads of the Pinellas peninsula will be found in Straub's 1929 History of Pinellas County, and in Grismer's 1924 History of St. Petersburg. Also, first-hand accounts by people who actually lived in the area at the time are in Bethel's 1914 His tory of Point Pinellas and in the Sea Breeze. 2) Definite infonnation about the Cedar Key steamboat service has been found only in scattered mentions in various Florida history books and in railroad timetables and guide books of the time. The fact that Disston City had a Post Office in 1880 is documented in the book Chronology of Florida Post Offices, issued by the Florida Federation of Stamp Clubs in 1962. 3) lnfonnation about water service to Tampa comes mostly from the Sea Breeze. 4) The story of rebuilding, economically and physically, of Florida's 400 miles of railroad during the reconstruction period following the Civil War is told in a series of three articles by Paul Fenlon in the Florida Historical Quarterly, issues of October 1953, April 1955, and January 1956. 5) There are two excellent sources of infonnation on the "Disston Purchase." Florida's Promoters, published in 1973, includes a very readable article on the subject. Another book, Land Into Water Water Into Land, by Nelson M. Blake, published in 1980, includes a highly detailed and thoroughly documented account. It should per haps be noted that Disston's Pinellas activities were a very small part, probably less than 10%, of his Florida operations. 6) Histories of the Silver Springs Ocala & Gulf railroad, and of the pre decessors of the Atlantic Coast Line and of the Seaboard Airline railroads are found in George Pettengill's book, The Story of the Florida Railroads, published in 1953 (out of print, but the St. Petersburg Library has a copy). 7) The story of the Orange Belt railroad has been told with varying degrees of accuracy by every local historian, starting with Bethel in 1914. The most recent, and most authentic, account, written by Professor Albert Parry, appeared in the St. Petersburg Times of June 5, 1983. My account is a condensation of that article, with some additional detail given me privately by Professor Parry and some "first-hand" infonnation from the Sea Breeze. Professor Parry is currently working on a biography of Peter Demens which he expects to publish in the near future. VETERAN CITY-1900-1910 The greatest transportation happening in all of Gulfport's history occurred on April 5, 1905, when the first trolley arrived from St. Petersburg carrying the crowds to the dedication of the Veteran City development and to the first trip of the boat line to Pass-A-Grille. Although the Veteran

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How Our Village Grew 151 City promotion was unsuccessful, and for several years the trolleys never took in much revenue to meet expenses, they made possible the development and growth of Gulfport many years earlier than would have been the case otherwise. After the Orange Belt Railroad bypassed Disston City in 1888, the little settlement went into a fast decline. The mer chants and most of the population move out, and the dock and hotel were wrecked by the 1901 hurricane. Everything pointed to the probability that the area would revert to its original trackless wilderness state. But in three widely divergent locations Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, and Pass A-Grille events were transpiring which, when they jelled together on that April, 1905, day, would start our area on its path to becoming a modern, pro gressive city. In Philadelphia, Hamilton Disston had committed suicide, still owning many thousands of acres of Florida land (in cluding most of the Pinellas peninsula) but practically penni less cashwise. He had spent his entire fortune in a vain attempt to drain the Everglades and establish lush farms on the super rich soil resulting. His major heir, a younger tgother Jacob, was a much more practical man than had been Hamil ton, and his chief interest in the Florida land was tp turn most of it into cash as promptly as possible. He sold all of it except the Pinellas peninsula holdings -where he part of each year and for which he apparently saw future develop ment opportunities. In St. Petersburg, Frank (F. A.) Davis, another Philadel phian, had come upon the scene. Walter Fuller describes Davis as "the man who started St. Petersburg on the road to greatness" in his St. Petersburg and Its People (page 109) and as "the man of vision" (page 114). Davis foresaw that if the little village was to amount to anything two things were needed: electricity and a trolley line. Also in St. Petersburg, Captain J. Frank Chase was in the Tampa Bay steamboat business, in partnership with sawmill owner George King. Captain Chase had served with distinc. tion in the Civil War (Union side) and had come close to dying from wounds received at Gettysburg. Chase, as much as and perhaps more than Davis, was "the man of vision," since he saw the little town's need for electricity and trolleys and tried to do something about it before Davis did. At Pass-A-Grille, George Lizotte had converted an old beach house into the first Hotel Bonhomie to accommodate

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152 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida the people, mostly from Tampa and St. Petersburg, who were beginning to realize that the then unspoiled Gulf beaches had great potential as a place for fun, rest, and relaxation. Un fortunately, the only way to get to Pass-A-Grille was by a long, sometimes rough, steamboat trip around Point Pinellas. (Few people nowadays remember, if they ever knew, the great importance of the electric trolley car throughout the entire country from before 1880 through the early decades of this century. The automobile was the toy of the hobbyist or the pride of the very rich. Roads and streets upon which it could be driven were almost non-existent. For most of this period the only practical way for most people to get around within the cities was on the trolley car. Extensions of the City trolley lines into the surrounding rural areas made pos sible the beginnings of today's suburban developments and the growth of the smaller "satellite" towns. The trolley line made it possible for people to live in the suburbs or in the satellite towns while still working, shopping, and finding entertainment in the cities. Starting as early as 1910, very gradually at first but with ever-growing tempo, the streets and roads were paved, the automobile was improved and its cost brought until it was within reach of almost everyone. The inevitable result was that the suburban trolley lines and most of the central city lines were driven out of business. The only difference in this detail between the St. Peters burg trolley system with its five suburban extensions and the trolley lines in most other parts of the country was that the St. Petersburg system was later in starting and later in being abandoned. In 1900, St. Petersburg was a long way from being a "big central city" but Disston, Davis, and Chase had great faith that it would become just that, and soon!) The founding of Veteran City, the building of the St. Petersburg trolley line with its extension to Veteran City, the construction of the dock with its "Gulf Casino," and the starting of the boat line to Pass-A-Grille, were all the result of complicated corporate and financial interrelationships be tween Jacob Disston, F. A. Davis, and J. Frank Chase. The trolley line which encircled St. Petersburg and the line to Veteran City were planned, built, and operated as a single trolley system. The history of one cannot be separated from the history of the other. And, to a lesser extent, that history is closely interrelated with the history of electric power in St. Petersburg The trolley company and the power company

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How Our Village Grew 153 were under the same ownership and shared the same local superintendent. Starting as early as 1891, proposals were made in St. Petersburg by various people to build electric power systems, water works, and a trolley system. The first such proposals to actually reach the town council were in 1886 when Captain Chase, "representip.g a Philadelphia syndicate" (Buckley, page 4) applied for all three franchises. The council turned him down. F. A. Davis must have been a better salesman of dreams! On February 2, 1897, he received a 100-year franchise to provide electric power within the town. He built a 50kilo watt, wood-burning power plant with second-hand equip-. I ment at the foot of Central Avenue and, on August 5, 1897, St. Petersburg had its first electric illumination -34 street lights. (To put things in proper perspective, that 50-Kw plant, at full capacity, could not have operated all of the floodlights on today's Gulfport Lions Little League baseball field!) On December 1, 1901, Davis received another franchise from the town council -to build and operate an electric street railway within St. Petersburg. By February 13, 1903, the necessary second generating unit at the power plant was in place, track had been laid, trolley wire strung, and service was inaugurated with one second-hand, eight-bench, open car running along Central Avenue from 9th Street to the Bay. Construction proceeded on the balance of the system pro vided for in the Davis franchise -from the comer of 9th Street and 7th Avenue N., east on 7th Avenue to 2nd Street, south to 4th Avenue, east again to Beach Drive, south again to Central, west to 9th Street, south again to the City limits at 9th Street and 6th Avenue S.a total of about 2'h miles. Partial service was provided as portions of this route were completed. September 28, 1904, service was started over the entire route with a celebration, including a round-trip on which "Conductor Scott rang up 71 fares as the jolly party whizzed over the delightful route." To take care of the anti cipated crowds of riders, the St. Petersburg & Gulf Railway had purchased two used eight-bench open trailers to supple ment its one motorized car. Davis set up two corporations to hold and operate his St. Petersburg franchises -the St. Petersburg & Gulf Railway and the St. Petersburg Lighting Company. Both were owned

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154 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida by the St. Petersburg Investment Co., F. A. Davis majority stockholder and president. Secretary /Treasurer and a minor ity stockholder was B. F. Massey, an attorney who had been chief cashier of the Pennsylvania State Treasury. Fifteen years later, Mr. Massey wrote reminiscences of his early days with the Davis enterprise which were published by the St. Petersburg Times on February 21, 1915. Some excerpts will give us a picture of Davis, his dreams, his methods of opera tion, and of conditions in the area in the early 1900's, written by the man who was Davis' chief legal and financial officer: ... he moved his machinery to St. Petersburg, and ... it was the most primitive and out-of-date aggregation of machinery which had ever been collected from the four comers of the world, but after being put together ... the light it gave was wonderful to behold! ... Mr. Davis naturally looked around for other worlds to con quer, so applied to the council for a franchise to operate a trolley system which no one but Mr. Davis seemed to think was a necessity in any way .... "However, Mr. Davis, who seemed to be endowed with powers prophetic more than is allowed to the ordinary mortal, went right ahead as if the entire country were teeming with people crying and pleading for transportation from place to place. "After a careful study of the geography of the Pinellas peninsula, Mr. Davis concluded that, at least sometime, it would be profitable to have a trolley line from St. Petersburg to a point on Boca Ciega Bay where boat service could be installed making Pass-A-Grille the point where in the future ... there was sure to be a flourishing sea side resort ... people must flock there by the thousands and tens of thousands, and ultimately both the electric light and power com pany and the trolley line would be money-makers of the highest order. "I was driven along the line of the proposed trolley from St. Petersburg to Gulfport, very few houses or inhabitants to be seen almost impassible thickets through which we have to force our way ... water up to the horse's knees, all the while Mr. Davis pointing out the site of a future great city, but I failed to see anything which impressed me with the fact that Mr. Davis would ever see any of the prophecies fulfilled. ... only through friendship for Mr. Davis I assisted in the for mation of the St. Petersburg Investment Co." Mr. Massey's article winds up with three paragraphs about the extreme difficulty of raising funds, as the banks in Phila delphia (and other northern cities) had no faith in Florida and would make the requested loans only when personally endorsed by persons of known good credit. He boasts that no obligation of the St. Petersburg Investment Co. was ever protested, and that no endorser of the company's loans was

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How Our Village Grew 155 ever called upon to make good. (That was in 1915. Two years later, the company was in r eceivers hip and everybody who had invested in it lost most of or all of that investment.) {The terms u se d and "second-hand" appear frequently in acco u nts about the Davis enterprises. With the exception of two trolley cars purchased at a barga i n sale every single p iece of equip m ent, either trolley o r power plant, ever purchased b y either o f the Da vis companies, was used and much of it had been u se d to the point of exhaustion.) Davis never had any intention of terminating his trolley line at the south town limits. On January 7, 1903 (before that first stretch of line along Central Avenue was finished), he obtained a county franchise for a route t o Boca Ciega Bay via 9th Street, Tangerine Avenue, and Disston Blvd. Then, in 1904 (b efore the co mplete line in St. Petersburg wen t into operation), he received a state charter providing for Building and operating an e lectric railroad from St. Petersburg to the Gulf of Mexico via Disston City." (Hill & Pledger, pag e B -41) Even while co nstruction was still in progress on the trolley line within the town, St. Petersburg & Gulf crews w ere work ing on the biggest single project involved in the extens ion to Boca Ciega Bay -the 160-foot long bridge over Booker Creek at 9th Street and 7th Avenue (today's Roser Park area). January 1, 1905"The Booker Creek bridge is and trolley service is extended to Greenwood Cemetery (9th Street and 11th AvenueS.)" March 2, 1905-"The SP&G Railway has completed grad ing of the roadbed to the shores of Boca Ciega Bay at Disston City. The work of laying the rail s and putting up the wires has reached a point a little over two miles from Disston City (Maximo Road, now 31st Street) .... The school bus (horse drawn) running on the Tangerine and Glen Oak route has been discontinued. The county school board has made arrangement s with the SP&G Railway, which covers the same ground, to carry t h e c hildren at the same price paid the driver of the bus This is much more c omfortab l e and convenient for the children and is very much appreciated (At the time all of the schools wer e in or close to downtown St. Petersburg. The Glenoak School on 19th Street was not opened until 1914.) April 5 1905 -The Big Day! A party and picnic lunch were given at Veteran City to celebrate the completion of the trolley line combined with dedi catio n ceremonies for the Veteran City land promotion. who was anybody

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1 56 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida in St. Petersburg rode the trolleys out to Veteran City to participate. (And to listen to several seemingly endless s peeches about the great future for Veteran City.) While the Davis franchise had called for building south along Disston Blvd., he had actually built south right down the middle of the Veteran City plat, along 55th Street (Boca Ciega Blvd. on that plat, now Beach Blvd.). The Vet eran City dock was not yet fini shed so t his first "end of line" was probably at about 27th Avenue where a combination pas sen ger, freight, and mail transfer station had been con structed. The whole story of the Veteran City promotio n is told elsewhere. Briefly in spite of the big dreams of Captain Chase and of F. A. Davis, and the big money of Jacob Disston, it was an almost complete flop. Many veterans came, looked, and went away. (It was too far out in the wilderness, too undeveloped.) Others started for Veteran City, got as far as Tampa, liked what they saw, and stayed there. (Tampa and its surroundings were much further along in their development than was St. Petersburg. For exam ple, in 1906, Tampa had 35 street railway mile s and 51 cars; St. Petersburg had less than nine miles and five cars.) The major impact of Veteran City o n Gulfport 's history was that it brought the trolley line to the area Later, when developmen t really started, the trolley line enabled people to get to Gulfport ; then, after they had settled, it enabled them to travel easily to the "central city" which by then St. Peters burg was becoming, to work, shop, and find entertainment. The initial trolley sc hedule provided for seven round trips per day from St. Petersburg to Veteran City, with two addi tional trips as far as Glen Oak. Three of the Veteran City trips connected with the launch "Jenny" for Pass A Grille. Since the dock was not finished, this connection in volved some walking and sometimes some wading! August 19, 1905-"The cars now run clear to the end of the wharf, making direct connection with the launch 'jenny,' and the wharf being electrically lighted, doing away with the heretofor nuisance of walking through the dark to the boat." January 14, 1906 -"The Casino at Veteran City opened last night with a dance to the music of King 's orchestra. The Casino has a 40' x 110' dance hall on the second floor with a stage at one end." This Casino was built on piles beside the trolley wharf and about halfway out to the end of that

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How Our Village Grew 157 wharf. Considering the land filling which has been done since those days, that would put that first Casino just about where today's Casino is located. The first floor of the Casino appar ently housed a refreshment stand, many slot machines, and facilities for the trolley and the Pass-A-Grille boat crews. (It was very common in the trolley car days for the trolley com panies to own various amusement enterprises along their lines. They hoped to make money from these enterprises, but their main pur pose was to generate passengers for the trolleys.) The Casino, and its two successors, provided much of the revenue for the Gulfport trolley line during its entire exist ence. "Old-timers" tell of seeing during the 1930's, three or even four trolleys parked on Beach Blvd. most every dance night, waiting for the dancers to go back downtown. The following quotations are from an unpublished history of the St. Petersburg trolley system, written by the late Robert (Bob) F. Torbett. Bob tells rather graphically what conditions were like in the Veteran City days: "On Sundays and holidays the cars were crowded with people wanting to get away from it all; on weekdays hardly anybody. ": .. The carline was the only connection with the city and the crews were most accommodating. They would always wait for some one to finish dressing or some other chore so they wou l d not have to wait for another car. "Occasionally storms and high water would wash out parts of the line. People with urgent business in town would have to walk. "Many fishing boats tied up at Gulfport; the fishermen would take the street car to St. Petersburg. They would string their catches across the front of the cars. ". . The ride was described as bumping and rattling over pal metto flats." The entire length of the line was single track, and initially only one passing siding was provided. This severely re stricted the flexibility of scheduling, limited the number of trips which could be operated, and sometimes resulted in long delays waiting at that siding for a passing car which might never show up due to some malfunction. In 1906, a second passing siding was constructed, which somewhat re lieved that situation. However, there was no signal system (there never was on any of the St. Petersburg lines) which meant operation "by time card" and sometimes useless wait ing at the sidings. During the first year or so, the company used trailers, pulled in one direction, pushed in the other, by the motor cars. This operation led to the first fatality on the system.

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158 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida On November 5, 1905, Conductor Hughes, when stepping from a motor car to its trailer, fell between the two cars and was run over, receiving such severe injuries that he died with in two hours. This was one of only two recorded fatalities on the entire St. Petersburg trolley system. There were three other accidents on the Gulfport line during the early years, two of which resulted in injured em ployees and two which resulted in totally wrecked cars. Otherwise, the Gulfport line was quite free of accidents, unless you count the killing and injuring of horses and cattle and the runover of snakes and 'gators which were frequent occurrences. Davis had projected that much of the SP&G profit would come from freight and express-fish, fruit, ice, lumber, and miscellaneous material for the people of Veteran City and Pass-A-Grille. Initially the company used homemade flat-bed trailers pulled or pushed by passenger cars for this service. Irving Slaughter tells of a siding at about 27th or 28th Avenue S. where these trailers, loaded with lumber, were parked for unloading by people building at Veteran City. In October, 1906, an enclosed combination freight, ex press and mail car was put into service. It had been purchased used, probably from the recently abandoned Manatee County trolley line. (The Society had a picture of this car, along with passenger car # 34 on the Veteran City dock, taken some time after 1913.) For a while, a daily "ice trip" was made with this car, which would stop anywhere enroute to sell a block of ice. The early records on passenger cars are murky at best, but it seems reasonably certain that by 1910 the company had purchased 11 passenger cars; an unknown number of these had been resold, wrecked or junked. Best guess is that in 1910 the company owned two or three open cars, two or three enclosed cars, and one combination open and closed (Metropolitan type). It is certain that it was a rare occasion when all (five or six or seven) of these cars were available for service at the same time. The use of passenger trailers lasted only a couple of years. The only trackage extensions made by the SP&G prior to 1910 were all minor, and all in downtown St. Petersburg. One was a line on the company's new Tampa Bay pier to pro vide direct interchange of freight and passengers between the Tampa Bay steamboats and the trolleys. During this 1905 to 1910 period, as the company acquired

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How Our Village Grew 159 more cars, more frequent trips were scheduled. However, equipment breakdowns often made the actual service quite different from the advertised service. The most frequent ser vice during this period was during the spring of 1908 when cars were advertised every 45 minutes. The worse service period was during the summer of 1907 when the company had only one operable car which ran with no particular schedule, taking about two hours for the round trip. Most of the time, the company tried to maintain a one-hour frequency until 9 p.m. with an additional trip when the Casino dance ended, and with as much additional service on week ends to accommodate the Pass-A-Grille "sun-worshippers" as the number of passing sidings and the number of useable cars would allow. Very soon after the ferry service to Pass-A Grille was started, it became apparent that the launch Jenny could never cope with the demand, and it was replaced by larger boats -the Gypsy and the Florida. These two boats pro. vided this service until it was discontinued after the open ing of the McAdoo Bridge to St. Petersburg Beach in 1919. Throughout this five-year period, fares from St. Petersburg to Veteran City remained at 15 cents, with the return fare being 10 cents. A combination round-trip ticket, Tampa to Pass-A Grille and return via steamboat, Tampa to St. Peters burg, then trolley to Veteran City, then the launches to Pass A Grille, was priced at $1.50. The F. A. Davis companies (which, besides those previously mentioned, included the St. Petersburg Transportation Company providing steamboat service between Tampa, St. Petersburg and Manatee River points) had never, since its founding in 1897, taken in enough revenue to meet expenses. There were continual demands on "Philadelphia" (actually, on Jacob Disston and certain associates) for cash to meet construction costs, equipment purchasing, payroll and other operating and repair bills. In early 1907, a local money panic hit the St. Petersburg area for reasons not now clear. Neither of the local banks had failed or suspended payments, yet cash became so scarce that much local business was being transacted by barter, and some of the local businesses took to pay ing their employees in script or lOU's instead of in cash Apparently, this money panic was the trigger which re sulted in the decision by Disston and associates to force the Davis companies into receivership. Frank Harrison, a local

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160 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida hardware store owner, was appointed receiver, with the job of operating the companies until a new management could be found to take over. Davis was forced to give up all his stock holdings and his positions with the companies. (Disston's two major associates during all of this money lending to St. Petersburg area enterprises were Warren Webster, a banker, and George S. Gandy. Gandy was related to the Disstons by marriage, and was "well off" in his own right as the result of financial operations involving Pennsyl vania street railroad systems. Later he moved to St. Peters burg where he became very active in busi ness, social and civic circles, and gave his name to the first bridge across Tampa Bay.) Late in 1907, H. Walter Fuller (father of local historian Walter P. Fuller) became president and manager of all of the operating companies, and Gandy became president of the St. Petersburg Investment Co., the holding company which actually owned the operating companies. Fuller had been in various businesses in Bradenton, including management of Manatee County's short-lived trolley line. He had also owned a Tampa Bay steamship line which competed with the Davis operation in the same field. F. A. Davis went into the real estate field and with two partners founded Pinellas Park. Then, with H. Walter Fuller, he started the development of Davista in the West Central area. Both of these projects were big successes later, but in those early days they suffered the same fate as Veteran City complete failures. F. A. Davis died in 1917, a broken man who had seen every one of his great visions for the future of the St. Petersburg area fail -only because he was too far ahead of his time. Transportation by highway during this era was not much better than during the Disston City era. Tangerine Avenue was opened beside the trolley tracks from 9th Street to Beach Blvd. The tracks bridged the brooks and tidal inlets, but horses and wagons still had to wade. One side of Beach Blvd. was opened from Tangerine to the Bay, and a few streets in the Veteran City area were cut through to provide access to the hopefully-to-be-sold lots. All of these street openings were nothing more than wagon-width clearings through the native forest and underbrush, with no paving except the sand. In 1903, 2lh miles of 9th Street and Lakeview Avenue were "hard-paved." Actually, that paving was rolled-down

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. How Our Village Grew 161 oyster shell. Grismer said "the work was done very poorly and soon went to pieces." One other trail which was opened up during this period was Disston Blvd which was cut through from the Bay to the line of 30th Avenue N. to meet another trail known as "John's Pass Road" which ran from 9th Street to Boca Ciega Bay. Only the most adventuresome ever attempted to drive an automobile over any of these so-called roads. The only public transportation by water available at Veteran City was the Pass-A-Grille launch service. CREDITS 1) James Buckley, Street Railways of St. Petersburg, Florida, 1983. 2) Robert F. Torbett: unpublished manuscript of a history of the St. Pet ersburg street railways. 3) Robert F. Torbett: research notes. 4) Walter P. Fuller, St. Petersburg and Its People, 1972. Chapter 16 and other scattered men t ions 5) Karl H. Grismer History of St. Petersburg Chapter 5. 6) Contemporary St. Petersburg and Tampa newspapers. GULFPORT1910-1985 Section 1 -The Trolleys The coming of City government t o Gulfport in 1910, of itse l f, caused no changes in trolley service. But in other parts of the St. Petersburg area, major changes to the St. Petersburg & Gulf Railway Co. were in the making which later on would result in changes to Gulfport's trolley service. Starting about this time, the first of many real estate booms hit the area. Subdivisions were being planned and platted in all directions from downtown St. Petersburg. Many never got beyond the paper stage, others actually cleared land and started selling lots. The promoters of these subdivisions all had one thought in common success would be impossible without a trolley line to downtown St. Peters burg. Between 1911 and 1914, four more suburban extensions, totalling about 17 track miles, were built radiating from the downtown portion of the trolley system. Every one of these extensions, including track, poles, wire and right of way, was built and paid for by subdivision developers and turned over free of charge to the SP&G for operation! The extensions, with the date of firs t operation of the en-

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162 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida tire line and their approximate routes were : (In all cases, por tions of the route were in operation before the date shown.) Bayboro-Big Bayou .................... March 12, 1914 South along 5th, 3rd, and 6th Streets to 38th Avenue S. Piedmont-Seminary .................. December 1 1914 North along 9th Street to 34th Avenue N., east to Lo cus t St. to the Southerland Seminary (now Masoni c Home}. North Shore . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar c h 1915 From the line on 7th Avenue N. along Oak and Locust Street s to a new baseball field on 21 s t Avenue N. (Later rerouted to the mainland end of the Snell Isle Bridge.) Wes t Central-Jungle ................ December 21, 1913 Central Avenue to Park Street, north to Elbow Lane west to t he Ba y where connecting launch servic e was provided to Treasure I s land and Mitchell's Beach. Shore Acres. . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 1 1926 (Actually a further extension of the S e m i nary line.} North from 34th Avenue and Locust Street to 40th Avenue N., east across Placido Bayou to Shore Acres. This additional mileage, which more than tripled the original system, required more c ars and more power In the four years between 1910 and 1914, the SP&G purchased eleven used cars and two new cars which were acquired at a manufacturer's distr ess sale when the original purchaser went bankrupt before taking delivery The two new cars, at 45'-10" length and capacity of 48 passengers were the largest cars ever used on the St. Petersburg trolley system and they spent most of their active days running the Gulfport Line. To handle the increasing electrical loads, both from the trolley system and from sales of residential and co mmercial electricity, two more generating units were added to the waterfront power plant again only second-hand equipment was used. Of the four generating units at that plant, three produced commercial AC, only o ne produced DC for the trolley system. Result -when it had its occasional failures, all run,ning trolley s ground to a stop and stayed where they were until repairs c ould be made, be it an hour or a week! Under Fuller 's management, a couple of more passing sidings were built on the Gulfport ILine. These, together with the availability of more cars, resulted in generally increased service and fewer delays. However, there was much tinkering with the schedule in attempts to find the best arrangement which would meet the demand for service consistent with the availability of cars and the need to hold down expenses Probably the best service offered during the remaining

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How Our Village Grew 163 days of private ownership was during the winter of 1917 1918 when Gulfport service was advertised every hour, with the cars running express to 49th Street and with additional local service along Tangerine every half hour. Eight additional trips were advertised every day to connect with the Pass-A Grille boats. The worst service period appears to have been during the winter of 1915-1916 (during World War I) when only eight trips per day were operating on the Gulfport In areas other than scheduling service continued to be bad. The poorly maintained cars broke down regularly, resu l ting in cancellation of trips. The track was still rough, uneven and "soft," causing frequent derailments with resultant delays, not only to the derailed car but to all others trying to use the same track! At times electric power was so scarce that cars running at night could not use their lights. In the electric power area, by 1912 it had become appar ent that the waterfront power plant had been enlarged to the maximum possible extent at that site, but was becoming un able to meet the demand, either from the trolley system or from regular electric customers. Construction was started on a wholly new plant on the east side of 16th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues N. The first two generating units at this new plant went into service in April, 1914, with a total generating capacity almost double that of the entire water front plant, which was demol ished. This 1 6th Street power plant represented two firsts for Disston's St. Petersburg enterprises: it was outfitted with all brand new equipment and was largely financed by publi c sale of bonds in s tead of using Disston's personal funds. Two other generating units were later added at this plant, which served the area electric needs until1926. Unfortunately, the designers of the 16th Street p lant again provided only one source of power for the trolleys a rotary converter. Rotary converters were highly reliable pieces of equipment, but, like any piece of machinery, they did fail occasionally. When this one failed, all trolleys stopped where they were and stayed there until the converter could be re paired. This was yet another source of public resentment against the SP&G I At the same time this new power plant was under con struction, a new combination carbarn, repair shop, and car storage yard was built on the west side of 16th Street be tween 3rd and 4th Avenues N. Here, for the first time, the street railway had under-cover repair and painting facilities

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164 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida for its fleet. The result was a noticeable improvement in the reliability and in the appearance of the cars. The actual breakup of what had been the F. A. Davis com panies started April 12, 1915, when the St. Petersburg Light and Power Co : was sold to General Gas & Electric Co. of Balt imore, one of seve ral such holding companies engaged in buying up utility operating companies all over the country. Even the official history of Florida Power Corporation, Lightning in the Sun, does not disclose how much Disston received for this property; but it was obviously enough tore pay most of the loans he had made for electric power purposes. (While under General Gas & Electric ownershi p the St. Peters burg company was m erged with several other small utility companies o perating along Florida's west coast. When the holding company was broken up in the early 1940's, the St. Petersburg company by then greatly enlarged emerged as the Florida Power Company, servin g much of west central Florida. After a few more mergers and a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people, it has become the Florida Power Corporation of today still serving St. Petersburg under the same franchise although somewhat amended which F. A. Davis o b tained i n 1897 !) H. Walter Fuller turned out to be more of a "man of vision"or, to be blunt, more of a promoter-than Davis and Chase put together. Using some of his own money, some obtained through mortgages, some borrowed from Jacob Disston, and working through the various Disston cor pora tions, he purchased almost all of the land along Central Avenue from 16th Street to Boca Ciega Bay, in some places miles deep, in others only a few blocks deep. Numerous sub divisions were platted, the three largest being the original Pasadena Subdivi sion, Davista, and the Jungle. Fortunes were spent clearing this land, and Fuller even talked the' City fathers into paving the entire length of Central, a job which was completed March 13, 1915. 175 automobiles took part in the dedication parade (Grismer, 1925, page 75 ). (This should have alerted all concerned as to the ultimate fate of the trolleys!) Everything appeared to be going beautifully real estate was selling, enough money was coming in to make the pay ments on those mortgages, and the trolleys were finally making money. But gradually World War I was beginning to take its toll. Fewer and fewer tourists were arriving to buy lots, cash was getting scarce, more and more lot purchasers were failing to make their payments Fuller began to have -

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How Our Village Grew 165 trouble meeting his obligat ions and, finally, in October, 1917, the companies were forced into receivership by a rela tively small mortgage holder who had not received his interest During the period of receivership, minimum trolley service was operated. On the Gulfport line this meant a car every hour, with no express service and no special cars to meet the Pass-A-Grille boats. In April, 1919, the entire trolley system was offered for sale to junk dealers at its scrap value of $165,000. The St. Petersburg City fathers WL.-ke up fast! Even though the auto mobile was coming, it was not yet here, and without the trolleys downtown St. Petersbq.rg was dead. A rush deal was worked out by which the City acquired an option to pur chase the system for $175,000, with the City to take over operation immediately. The money was raised by means of a bond issue which included enough extra cash for some badly needed immediate improvements. The City took title in August, 1919. The City acquired 15 cars in this deal, of which only seven were considered to be useable. The immediate effect was a severe reduction in service -that on the Gulfport line be came every two hours, and trolley company launch service to Pass-A-Grille was discontinued. For some years, private operators ran Pass-A-Grille boats from Gulfport, but the trolley system made no attempt to coordinate its schedules with those of the boats and no more through tickets to Pass A-Grille were sold. Actually, the need for this Pass-A-Grille ferry service was disappearing. The McAdoo bridge from Villa Grande Avenue (about 7th Avenue S.) to the north end of St. Petersburg Beach was open, more and more automobiles were showing up, and the resort business on the beach island was gradually moving northward, away from Pass-A-Grille toward the beach end of the new bridge. On October 25, 1921, a major hurri cane came through the area and totally destroyed the Gulf port trolley pier and the Gulf Casino, among much other damage. Neither pier nor Casino was rebuilt, putting a perma nent end to any public transportation by water at Gulfport. Immediately upon taking over, the City of St. Petersburg instituted a program of improvements. Very soon enough of the un:useable cars had been rebuilt so that during. the latter part of the 1919-1920 winter season, 20-minute service was being provided along part of Tangerine Avenue, with hourly

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166 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida service to Gulfport running express as far as 28th Street. Major improvement was also made to the track, with over one half of the Gulfport line being totally rebuilt and the balance being reworked. This substantially eliminated the de railment problem More passing sidings were added which greatly increased the flexibility and possible frequency of scheduling. The City also set about on a program of purchasing addi tional cars. During its period of ownership it acquired 42 new cars, and toward the end of trolley service, greatly increased business forced the rush purchas e of four used cars. The cars which had been acquired from the SP&G, except for the two new large cars, were junked as quickly as they could be re placed by new cars. The two SP&G cars, which were quite new, were held in reserve for occasional rush period use until 1927 when they were retired. In 1929, their bodies were installed on concrete platforms on either side of the tracks on 6th Street, between Central and 1st Avenue N., to provide waiting shelters for the major trolley transfer station being established at that point. The last t r ip made by any of the old SP&G cars was during the 1926-1927 winter when one of them was being operated to handle a large circus crowd. When curving into Central Avenue, its frame broke and tied up trolley and automobile traffic for several hours. Not everything went smoothly in connection with the City takeover. At the time, a Mr. George Barber was superin tendent of the power plant. In 1975, Mr. Barber wrote a letter of reminiscences. To quote one paragraph: "As was usual in such a decision, the 'City fathers had to make an inspection of the property, which naturally included trolley rides over existing tra ckage. Well, part of that inspection included an evening ride in an open car to Gulfport, during which a quite violent lightning storm caused our rotary converter to flash over. (The only source of power for the trolleys.) This necessitated a thorough clean. ing of the commutator and bru s h holders before resuming service. ( Probably took a couple of hours .) I n the meantime that open car stood somewher e out on Tangerine with the City official s and other free riders fighting the rain and the mosquitoes. Well, you can imagine what the Times' comments read like the following morning!" The first 28 of the new cars were small, one truck (four wheels), one-man "Birneys," and were placed in service on various lines as received. The Gulfport line was the first to have all new cars. These one-t ruck cars were nicknamed "katydids" because o f their habit of swaying front to back on their very short wheelbase, making for a rather uncom-

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How Our Village Grew 167 fortable rid e. But the City accountants estimated that each saved over $2,800 per year on labor costs. The other 16 of the new cars which were purchased after 1924 were larger 48-passenger, one-man double-truck units which provided a much smoother ride They were purchased whe n it was be co ming apparent that all of Florida was enter ing ano t her of its periodic booms while the demand for public transportation was still strong. The Gulfport line re ceived the first of these larger cars because it had(and always did have) the largest ridership of any of the St. Petersburg trolley lines. Then, in the early 1940's, another local boom mad e even this fleet inadequate and a rush purc hase was mad e of four, fairly large used cars two from Miami and two from Ft. Wayne, Ind i ana This purchase was required even though the first abandonm ent of trolley service had already occu rred (Service over the Placido Bay bridge to Shore Acres had been discontinued in 1938.) Fares on the Gulfport line remained at 10 cents until August, 1928, when they went up to 20 cents, or by pur c hasing tokens in advance, 15 cents. Later, toward the end o f trolley service as patronag e began t o decline, a variety of dis count rates were offe red in attempts to encourage trolley riding. But nothing worked. People would not give up the convenience of their automobil es regardless of how low trolley fares were. Very early during the period of City ownership, the prob lem of providing service to growing areas not served by the trolley tracks came up. Extend the tracks, add new lines, or go to buses? After the City spent a lot of money on con sultants, the buses won. The first bus service operated by the City was an extension of the Jungl e trolley line, in 1932, across the Long Bayou bridg e to serve the then new V A. Hospital at Bay Pines The first bus line to actually replace a trolley line appeared in 1935 when the trolley bridge across Placido Bayou to Shore Acres became unuseable and bus service connecting with the North Shore line at the mainland end of the Snell Isle bridge was substituted. Throughout the 1920's and 1930's, the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System operated with small losses. Part of the problem was the seasonal nature of the area tourist oriented economy. During the winters it was next to im possible to operate enough service to meet the demand, but during the summer downtown St. Petersburg was totally dead

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168 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida -most of the stores and practically all hotels closed up tight from April through November. Yet the permanent residents demanded some semblance of good public transportation, even though it meant running many trips with few or no riders. The coming of World War II changed all that for a few years The armed services converted the entire area into a massive training camp with tens of thousands of recruits, other service personnel, and many families located here. The demand for public transportation exploded. All bus and trolley lines operated day and night the year round, carrying far more passengers than their supposed capabilit ies. In the six years 1939 through 1944, the transit system made almost enough profit to make up for all the losses sustained during the previous twenty years! The coming of peace ended that period of transit pros perity, and the area economy reverted to the prewar pattern, with one difference -the automobile was now h e re! All winter long, all day long, every day the downtown streets were choked with an almost immovable mix of trolley, auto mobile and truck traffic. More and more demands were heard to "get rid of the trolleys." More expensive consultants were engaged to make studies with the end result a decision to. convert the entire transit system to an all-bus operation. As buses could be obtained the trolley lines were aban doned. The first to go were the North Shore and Big Bayou lines on January 12, 1948. The Gulfport line was the last to go, with the final trip being run at midnight, May 7, 1949. Officially, one car-#100made that last run, carrying an invited load of area greats and near-greats .and some old-time transit system employees. One of these was Warren Scott, one of the first two men hired by the original St. Petersburg & Gulf Railway in 1903 (On September 28; 1904, Scott had been Conductor on the first trip over the completed City portion of F A. Davis' original trolley system.) While written history tells us that Car #lOO made that last trip, verbal stories by people who were there tell us that actually three cars were run on the trip to accommodatethe crowds of trolley buffs from far and near who came demand ing to be part of this sad ceremony. And that all three cars arrived back at the carbarn stripped of everything not very solidly nailed down!

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How Our Village Grew 169 Section 2 -The Buses The next morning, Sunday, May 8; 1948, buses started serving Gulfport, i nitially following the same routes and schedules as had the trolleys. Over the years there have been many changes in the routes and schedules. At this time the Gulfport line from downtown St. Petersburg serves Central Plaza, the 49th Street-Gulfport Blvd. area, the Gulfport Casino area, then runs north on 58th Street to serve Tyrone Gardens, Crossroads Center, and Tyrone Mall. Weekday service is hourly from St. Petersburg to Gulfport from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Gulfport to Tyrone Mall. No evening or night service is provided. Instead of Sunday being the big day, as it was in the trolley days, bus service is operated only every two hours on Sundays Bus service to the western portion of Gulfport has been provided since the early 1930's. At first this service from St. Petersburg ran south on 4th Street to Lakeview-Gulfport Blvd., to 62nd Street, then returning over 15th Avenue S. in front of the Florida Military Academy to 49th Street, then back to Lakeview. No schedules of this service have been found. After 1945, this line was rerouted along 11th AvenueS. in Gulfport, continuing on to South Pasadena, then north on Pasadena Avenue to Crossroads and Tyrone Mall. Service is irregular, with twelve daily trips along 11th Avenue S. to South Pasadena but only nine of them continuing north to the Mall. Only six trips are scheduled on Sundays, and no evening service is offered. On October 1, 1984, the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System merged with the Pinellas Transit System to form the Pinellas Suncoast Transit System serving the entire county except some of the beach cities. One immediate result of this merger was a route from the Gulfport Casino area north on 58th Street, west on 11th Avenue to South Pasadena. Hourly service is run from 6:50 a.m. until 5. 50 p.m., with only nine trips on Sundays. Base fare on all bus lines is 50. cents, with an extra charge for transfers and discounts for students and senior citizens. The future of all public transportation in the United States is very much in doubt. President Reagan's proposed budget would eliminate all federal subsidies for such services. Most of the systems, including that of Pinellas, depend upon those subsidies for one-third to one-half of their investment and

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170 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida operating costs. Without federal subsidies few of the systems can stay in business. Section 3 -The Railroad "Gulfport welcomed its first train -the entire population turned out to greet it. All members of the Gulfport Board of Trade boarded the train for the trip into St. Petersburg." -so the St. Petersburg Times reported on September 22, 1914, in its article about the first train on the newly -co mpleted Tampa & Gulf Coast Railroad. That first train wa s a 15-car special which had stopped at every station between Tampa and St. Petersburg to pick up the guests who had been in vited to the dedication ceremonies held at the railroad's new St. Petersburg station on September 21, 1914. That new station was l o cated in the city blo c k southeast of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue S., the block whi c h later becam e Webb s City main parking lot. So Gulfport finally had its railroad 26 years after Disston City had been bypassed by the Orange Belt Railroad in favor of Paul's Landing H o wev er, the Tampa & Gulf Coast Railroad, skirting as i t did the City 's northern boundary a mile and a half from the then busine ss and residential center around the Casino, never had much impact on Gulfport. Its major help to the local economy was in cutting out the long wagon haul to freight . stations in St. Petersburg for the fishermen and fruit and vegetable growers The Tampa & Gulf Coast Railroad started out in life as a logging road connecting the lumbering operations and the sawmills of northern Pinellas and southern Pasco counties with the Seaboard Railway at Lutz New owners took over in 1913 and obtained a charte r to build from Sulfur Springs on the Seaboard to Clearwater and St. PetersbUrg. The route in the Gulfport area crossed Central at about 70th Street, crossed 64th Street at 5th Avenue S. then gradually curved to meet 7th Avenue S. at 49th Street (7th Avenue S. was then as n ow the northern b o undary of Gulfport .) The Gulfport Station, a combination passenger/freight operation, was set up where the railroad crossed 49th Street. While it remained independent, the T&GC used the motto "The Orange Belt Route." This has caused some writers to confuse .this railroad with the 1880's Orange Belt Railroad which bypassed Disston City in favor of Paul's Landing Although it had little direct impact on Gulfport, the

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How Our Village Grew 171 T&GC had tremendous effect on the area as a whole. For the first time there was direct rail service to Tampa, making the trip in two hours as against the all-day trip with two changes of trains on the Atlantic Coast Line (successor to the Orange Belt). Freight, express and mail service was correspondingly speeded up. And along with Gulfport, the Seminole area, Safety Harbor, and Oldsmar had railroad service for the first time. During its first few years, the Tampa & Gulf Coast ran two passenger trains daily in each direction, both stopping at all stati ons enroute and timed to connect at Tampa with the Seaboard trains to the northeast and midwest. Starting early in 1917, an express train was .added which stopped only at Clearwater and Safety Harbor. The express train and one of the locals carried through PulJmans and coaches to the Washington-New York area About this same time, the Sea board Air Line Railway purchased the Tampa & Gulf Coast, and from then on the line was operated as a Seaboard division. The maximum service ever operated on this line was during the 1929-1930 winter season when four express trains and one local were run in each direction. The express trains carried through Pullmans and coaches to Washington New York, to the Chicago area, and one of them had through cars to Miami. By the early 1950's, service was down to three express trains daily in winter and two in summer, with no local service. Three stations to serve the Gulfport area have existed at various locations and various times during the period of operation of this railroad: GULFPORT -at the 49th Street crossing, was established when the road was built. During the first few years, all trains stopped here, but none of the express trains ever stopped at Gulfport. A 1938 schedule shows no trains stopping here and, by 1951, the name Gulfport had disappeared from the schedules. Sidings for the delivery of carload freight, pri marily to serve the Anderson Lumber Company, were main tained at this location until the railroad was abandoned. FLORIDA MILITARY ACADEMY -at the 64th Street crossing, existed from the early 1930's until about 1951. It was a "platform only" stop, with no station building. No available schedule shows regular stops here, only "flag" or "conditional" stops. (Conditional stops are made only to handle long-distance passengers, generally those to or from

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172 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorid a Virginia and points north.) There was also a freight siding here to serve the ice plant on 5th Avenue S. at 65th Street . (The old ice plant building still exists but now houses a vintage automobile restoration firm.) The story is told that when the Florida Military Academy m ove d from Green Cove Springs to Gulfport, the entire faculty and student body arrived at this station on a s p ecial train, then paraded through 64th Street and 13th Avenue to the new home in the old Rolyat Hotel buildings with each man and boy carrying his personal belongings and as much school property as he could carry. PASADENA -there is confusion as to the exact location and to whether or not a station building existed. Publicity material issued by the Pasadena Estates develop ers states definitely that it was located at the Pasadena Avenue crossing on the site now occupied by the Kenfield Funeral Home. That material also carries an architect's drawing of the station building On the other hand, careful checks of rail road mileage tables indicate that it actually was located at the site of the original Davista station at the Central Avenue cross ing at 70th Street. If at this location, it was as a platform stop only with no station building. In either case, its prime purpose was to serve the Pasadena developments, most of. which were located withiri the then city limits of Gulfport. (Research is underway to try to re s olve this question but it will probably be mon ths if ever before a definite answer is found.) In either case, service here was similar to that at the FMA station, with no regular stops but most trains making condi tional stops. The "Pasadena" name first appeared in railroad schedules in 1926 and had vanished by 1954. A freight siding carrying the Pasadena name was maintained at the Central Avenue location until the railroad was abandoned. All passenger and through freight service on this original Tampa & Gulf Coast line between Clearwater and St. Peters burg was discontinued with the Seaboard-Atlantic Coast Line merger in 1967. Local freight service was continued until the line was abandoned in late 1984. At this writing, the tracks are being torn up and the right o f-way has been purchased by Pin e lla s County. The County's intent is that some day a modern trolley line will be built on this right-of -way from St. Petersburg to Clearwater and se rv ing the intermediate cities and a couple of modem shopping

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How Our Village Grew 173 malls which are close to that right-of-way. If this ever happens, Gulfport will again have its trolley cars! Willard B. Simonds CREDITS Section 1 -The Trolleys: Same as listed in Division No. 2, Veteran City era. Section 2-The Buses: Maps and transit schedules in the author's collection. Section 3 -The Railroad 1) Interstate Commerce Commission, Vol. 35, Valuations, page 732. 2) Seaboard Railroad, by Richard E. Prince, 1969, Green River WY. (copy in St. Petersburg Public Library, Reference). 3) Moody, Manual of the Railroads, 1918. 4) Official guides to the railroads and Seaboard Air Line schedules in the author's collection. CHAPTER 9 SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS ANDY ANDERSON POST 125 The Gulfport American Legion was originally chartered in December 1941 as American Legion Post 125. Meetings were first held in donated space in a Gulfport waterfront building. Then it was re-chartered in December, 1947, under its present name. Anderson was a Marine Veteran of World War I and was the first of the original membership to die in service of his country. The land for the Post Home at 1607 49th StreetS. was acquired early in 1948. The present facilities include a large meeting hall, lounge, full kitchen, and a spacious parking lot. There are 422 members and our number is increasing. There is an active Ladies Auxiliary and a Sons of the American Legion Organization. Post 125 has made a special effort to draw in Vietnam Vets with excellent results. Fully 25% ,of our membership consists of such men, including the Post Commander Steve Lacey, Second Vice Commander Steve Hoek, Adjutant Gene Boland, and Historian Pat Davis Johnson. The Post serves as a social center for members, their families and guests. More important, Post 125 strives to fulfill

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174 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida the Legion goal "For God and Country We Serve Our Community, State and Nation." For example, during the ;holidays, food baskets are distributed to the needy; in 1983 Flo McRoberts raised about $1400 for this purpose. Hal loween and Christmas parties are held for children and youths, and an Easter egg hunt always brings many seekers! Our local Nursing Home and the Shelter for Abused Wives and their Children are visited, Blood Bank programs are sup ported (200 pints of blood collected in 1983), and half of the collections are donated to the community. The Post really supports baseball: enthusiastically sponsor ing youth under leadership of Earl Roney. Last year, more than $1400 was donated for uniforms and caps and to help maintain the playing fields, and it sponsored the Winter In structional League for 15-18-year-olds. Each year the Post sends five or more boys to Boys' State at the Capitol. We work closely with Gulfport business people for this worth while program. The participants learn to reproduce our governmental processes. One of our recent recipients went to Girls' State and was elected to the Supreme Court! The Post has a Service Officer expert in Veterans' Affairs including educational and medical benefits. Service Officer Frank Brunson advises and assists members and non-members and has a splendid record in this work. We donate American flags to schools, churches, and scouting organizations. One year we gave the flag to Boca Ciega High School and sent our Color Guard to raise it with their school flag. Annually we endorse an oratorical contest at our high school. That progtam is chaired by Scotty Fisher and participating students compete for State and National scholarships. A new and popular event recently was a dinner for the football team of our high school. They enjoyed our spaghetti dinner and went on to win their Homecoming Game that day! We observe Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and the Fourth of July with Color Guard and Firing Squad ceremonies to which the public is invited. On the Fourth of July, tradition ally we hold Open House for Gulfport families; and food and entertainment are provided. At sunset there is an impressive ceremony, with proper disposal of National, State, and Allied Flags by torching. Hundreds of torn, tattered, and otherwise flags are brought in during the year for this rite, which is unique in the Tampa Bay area. The Honor Society of the Post is the 40 and 8, named in

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How Our Village Grew 175 memory of World War I box cars which carried either 40 soldiers or 8 horses. The Society has a continuing program of support for nurses' training, and the Leprosy Foundation. Post 125 Officers and Members work closely throughout the year with the Police and Fire Departments of Gulfport and with the Lions Club. We are proud to be a productive part of the community ...:... Pat Davis Johnson, "Scotty" Small BOCA CIEGA YACHT CLUB It was July 21, 1965, when the City of Gulfport welcomed the Boca Ciega Yacht Club to its new home on our Bay. Until that time the Club had been a boating organization since 1940 in the downtown harbor of St. Petersburg, and its name was the Sunshine City Boat Club. With the coming of the M.G.M. Bounty of Mutiny on the Bounty as a tourist attraction, the Club was given its depar ture orders and $25,000 as compensation for the loss of docks, clubhouse, and other improvements. Added to the Club's treasw-y, the sum of $30,000 was available for a new home somewhere . .except that there were few available locations! With membership depleted due to long uncertainty of location, many of the surviving members were in favor of disbanding the Club, in which case each member would receive about $350 in cash. The hard-core faithful won out, however, and the move to Gulfport was made. Public opinion on the wisdom of the ouster raged. Red Marston, long time boating editor of the St. Petersburg Times, said, "Gulfport, steadily improving its waterfront and happy with a marina that is realistically planned and financed, considers the Sun shine City Boat Club an asset." The new name was adopted from the original Boca Ciega Yacht Club, the first of its kind in South Pinellas County, which about 1910 was located at the foot of 52nd Street, close to the Pier. Some time later, perhaps in the 1926 hurri cane, it was swept away by the tropical fury and only the pilings remained long a favorite place for fishermen to dry their nets, by the way! Bill Nettling, Building Superintendent for the City of Gulf port, and an avid yachtsman in his younger days, assisted the new group in transforming the former Retired Coast Guard Officers' clubhouse into an active sailing organization. The

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176 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida location was good, and a strong program of building and im provement was enacted under Commodore Peterson. The Club members, many of them skilled craftsmen, did most of the labor. Some of the major improvement s which continued over the years, were: 1. Employment of West Coast Engineering to prepare acceptable plans for the improvement program. 2. Construction of a south breakwater or jetty with rocks, landfill and seawall; the latter surveyed by Glace Engineering Co. in 1969. 3. Dredging a boat basin out of a mud flat from a depth of two inches to ten feet of depth. The fill was pumped to create more upland on the C lub area lease and to the location of the Police Pistol Range across the harbor channel. 4. Repair and refurbishment of the existing building on the property, including a t en-foot addition to the east side of the structure to be used for offices and storage. There was an en tirely new galley section rebuilt at the north end. 5. Constru ction, in a series of projects, of new docks for the mooring of cabin-sized sailboats. 6. Construction of a substantial launching ramp by Pierce Construction Company so that dry storage could be provided and drainage could be assured. 7. Paving of the entire area for parking and boat storage. 8. Erection of a launching crane for smaller boats, stepping masts and docks on the harbor channel. By April 6 1966, the first phases of the improvements were completed and the Boca Ciega Yacht Club formally celebrated its flag-raising conducted by Admiral Farragut Academy cadets, a ribbon-break ing by the first yacht to enter the new slips, and the driving of the golden spike by Chief Carpenter -Member Jimmy Willcoxon. The Mayor of Gulfport and many well-wishers approved. The hard-core survivo r s of the old Club stood tall and proud as they presented Boca Ciega Ba y with this momentous send-off into yachting history. Let us not forget the Ladies' Auxiliary of the old Club, eve r ready with coffee and sandwiches for the toilers and donators of many much-needed improvements around the Club. But the new m ooring facilitie s were definite l y ahead of their time. Attraction of new members and boats was pain fully slow. The once-healthy treasury hit bottom. Some

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How Our Village Grew 177 drastic measure was necessary to attract the yachting world to Boca Ciega Bay. More editorial comment on the ouster from St. Petersburg still raged. Red Marston, in 1970, maintained, "It is a small club but it is more a yacht club than a couple of more heralded, affluent clubs we can think of on this coast. Its sailing school, soon to graduate its 500th member, takes it far out of the card playing, influence-dealing and socially prominent status world which seems to be part and parcel of many larger clubs loaded down with armchair admirals." The solution to attracting more yachts and yachtsmen to Boca Ciega Bay was found in the highly successfully sailing school opened in 1967. It coincided with the provision in the Club Charter "to promote instruction and education in safe boating and all nautical activities while remaining as a nonprofit organization." The Boca Ciega Yacht Club created widespread recognition by bringing in well-known nautical authorities and by teach ing hundreds of neophytes how to sail a boat. Over half of the membership were sailing school graduates and a waiting list was soon set for mooring spaces. Activities around the present-day Club (1983) make it look like a three-ringed nautical circus. The Sailing School prospers in turning out new wind sailors twice a year. The youth program does likewise for the youngsters. The Club is a valuable member of the Florida Sailing Association and, among other events, annually produces the Statewide Veterans' Day Regatta brought to and financed by the Boca Ciega Yacht Club. Formerly on Tampa Bay, it was financed by the City of St. Petersburg. The ladies call themselves the Rhumb Runners and compete with their feminine counter parts in interclub regattas. Boca Ciega Yacht Club, a member of the Florida Women's Sailing Association, keeps the ladies' nautical pot boiling. Our biggest and best unusual Club activity is the sailing family weekend cruises to nearby out-of-the-way islands and ports of call. Summer often sees a small flotilla venture as far as Sanibel Island. When you see the fleet crowding the start after a cannon booms, it means a Sunday race on Boca Ciega Bay. Look for the results in the sports page on Monday morning! All of these boats are cabin sailboats with comfortable quarters to spend a weekend or a month aboard. All this -not to mention what they call "day sailing" purely on the Bay for pleasure and a delight to the folks on

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178 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida shore who love the water. Did someone ask about nautical social events? They are once a month covered dish ... lots of fun. So the people in Gulfport say of the newcomers, "We're glad you came to our town." Carl A. Norberg FRIENDS OF THE GULFPORT PUBLIC LIBRARY, INC. A small group of women led by Mrs. Andrew E. Potter met at the Methodist Church on February 15, 1971, to organize for the purpose of attaining a cultural center where "music, art and literary appreciation could be enjoyed." This aim has been continued; but additionally, fund-raising has been included to make possible numerous gifts to the Lib rary, primarily those unprovided by the City's budget, gener ous as it may be. "The Friends" was incorporated March 12, 1971 -the signers were Frank E. Quindry, R. W. Caldwell Jr., Grace Brajcki, Emily Wilson, Eva B. Jopson, Betty Sweet, Father Frank Goodman, Edith Haas, and Karen Godfrey. Frank Quindry was the first President, followed by Karen Godfrey, Katherine Baker, Anna Marthe Pence, Allean Davis, "Connie" Burde, and Frances Purdy. By April 1971, there were 125 members, including 14 life members. As of this date (1984) we have more than twice that number, including 54 life members. Meetings were held at the Methodist Church or the Pasa dena Country Club, and the first dinner, which was to be come an annual event, was held April 21, 1971, at the Club. The late Dick Bothwell, St. Petersburg Times columnist, was the speaker on that occasion. Story hours, puppet and mime shows, and lately special occasion parties for children through the generosity of George Sladkovsky, have recognized our concerns about involving children in library services. Monthly art exhibits have enabled local artists to display and "The Friends" to receive token donations from thei r sales. Seven yearly programs devoted to book reviews especially by local writers, travelogues, caligraphy, writing personal his tories, have given members and the public opportunities to learn and to make new friends during social hours following the programs Annual dinners have featured a variety of musi cal treats. Fund-raising events include biennial sales of

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How Our Village Grew 179 donated books and magazines and flea market tables offered for five dollars a space. Purchases to improve library services have been topped by a copier replacing the previous purchase and income from that far outweighs costs of supplies and service; and recruitment of both users and "Friends." In 1983 we moved from meeting in the Community Center to the new Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center. Our "nest egg," zealously earned through these years, will perhaps be used as seed money for restructuring our library building to provide suitable spaces for children, offices, small meeting rooms, and entrance redesigning. Our library serves about 600 readers, including less than 100 part-time and about 100 full-time non-residents. For ten years there has been a movement to incorporate all libraries in Pinellas County into one system; our stand has been that we hope for library services for all people but wish to main tain local control over and support of OUR library. Hopefully, libraries will be made available where they do not exist and all may enjoy the caring and community centered type of service we have. Allean Davis, "Connie" Burde, Frances Purdy GULFPORT CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION The Gulfport Citizens' Association was organized in November 1980. Charter members included the first officerMorris Rabinowitz, Mort Zimbler, Lawrence Anthes, and Ella Jean Macken. It has grown steadily and now has about 200 members. The prime objective has been to promote good government and the welfare of residents in Gulfport. Members regularly attend Council and Zoning Board meetings and participate when they feel it is indicated that they do so. Our meetings have been well attended and have been de voted to Hurricane Preparedness, Crime Watch Programs, Forums for Candidates in City Elections, the Countywide Bus System, and other timely topics. Town meetings offered chances to discuss issues of concern to all residents. A Forum on Proposition One drew a large audience, including several invited guests members of the County Commission, State Representatives, and others. The Association looks forward to continually working for the best possible government in Gulfport. -Dr. Morris Rabinowitz, President

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180 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida GULFPORT CIVIC CLUB, INC. On October 1, 1969, a group of concerned residents of Gulfport met at the Community Center under the temporary chairmanship of Col. Reginald B. Keating, Ret. USA Corps of Engineers. Quickly the formalities of organizing were ac complished and the Colonel was elected President and served until his death February 23, 1972. Frederick S Allen served as President a few months but resigned when elected Council man because of possible conflict of interest. Col. William E Kerns, Ret. USA Corps of Engineers, was elected and served two years, faithfully devoted to the objectives of the group. He was succeeded by Frances Purdy who vigorously sup ported most of the earlier programs Five other officers were elected to serve, but with improvements in City government the need for this organization's watch dog aim receded. The Gabber announced January 26, 1978, that the Club was in a state of suspension. The balance of about $100 in the treasury was given to the City of Gulfport for use in the Library. During its first year the Club attracted 600 members, largely from the new Town Shores condominiums through Mr. Geller's anxiety to have his complex owners feel a belongingness to the City. Monthly meetings were held and bulletins mailed to members, though the dues always stayed at one dollar. 'il'he Club obviously was responsible for a re surgence of City pride! Many supported overall improve ments, especially in the new Library and in beautifying selected City properties. Tag Days and the Booster Committee, chaired by Kather ine Baker, targeted money-raising efforts to buy large-print books, encyclopedias, furnishings and carpeting. Social events were sponsored danced attended by as many as 600; and fish fries and festivals were held at the beach. Business and program meetings concentrated on learning about local government, recreation and recreation opportu nities, how to encourage small business, and other timely topics. Home decorations at Christmas were judged and awarded, starting in 1972. Members were certainly influential in establishing and maintaining suitable standards of perfor 'mance in City employees and elected officials. Senator "Bill" Young was a frequent visitor. Scrapbooks c<:mtain pictures and clippings supporting the above statements. Proclamations issued by the Mayor of

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How Our Village Grew 181 Gulfport were published for Tree Planting in November, 1973, and a ceremony held at Beach Blvd. and 23rd Avenue S. is reported in pictures. That Mrs. Potter moved to Texas after 40 years of active participation in community affairs was selfishly deeply regretted. Annually there were pro grams devoted to care of trees and shrubs sponsored by the Beautification Committee which Mrs. Potter had initiated. The Senior Citizens' Advisory Committee was started by Council in January, 197 4, upon recommendation by this Club because of the tireless efforts of Robert Gordon, Presi dent of the Reassurance Plan. This Committee has served continuously, spearheading the services which make Gulf port uniquely suitable for senior adults (see description elsewhere). When Las Vegas Nights were declared illegal, card parties and rummage sales were held to buy treelings, shrubs and other improvements for some City properties. Efforts to have certain buildings identified as historic sites failed. Talks reported in available clippings included "Indians of Florida and Old Cemeteries," Bothwell's "Birthdays and Reunions," "Driver Safety," "Marine Biology," "Hurricane Preparedness," and many more. Members participated in the Swine Vaccine program in 1976; and bought 12 safety seats for swings for Gulfport Elementary School. Of course, the group was active during the Bicentennial Celebration serv ing on City Committees, helping with the Citizens' Parade, and preparing the Time Capsule (in Library) -2/5/77. Efforts of some members resulted in identification of Wood Ibis Park on 58th Street S. and its dedication on March 22, 1975; and later, in the dedication of Clymer Park. Perhaps the most spectacular accomplishment of the Civic Club was initiation of the Festival of States, which ran several years. Read about them elsewhere in this book. Several of the early programs are available with other Club papers, in our Museum. -FrederickS. Allen, Norman Schalm, Frances Purdy Three Past Presidents GULFPORT COMMUNITY CLUB Early in 1939, five ladies were talking together and decided it would be nice to meet regularly with their hus bands to have supper and chat about their travels and other

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182 Our Story o f Gulfport, Florida common interest s. This started the Community Club, which has been living up to its first -stated aims -to foster good fellowship, interest in recreation, and the orientation of new residents to this area. The first members didn't keep records but, in 1943, they elected Mr. Frank Hayward as Chairman, Mrs. Edna C hriss man as Vice C})airman, Mrs. Elsa Roberts as Secretary, and Mr. George Kolb as Treasurer. Dues were one dollar; recently they have been raised by fifty cents. Minutes wer e kept beginning in 1944 and have been carefully preserved ever Since. Many eventful times have been enjoyed concerts by the Disston City Band the Florida Military Band and there have been water races on the Bay, minstrel shows and, quite regularly, musi cal and slide progr ams in homes of m embers. They have generously shared memories of exciting trips abroad and throughout the United States; and continue to sponsor trips to Florida attractions, including boat rides on the Bay. The Club has donated to National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis, the March of Dime s, the Salvation Army, and Goodwill Industrie s. During early years, the meetings w ere held at Casino # 2, then at the Community Center. Now they are held at the Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center twice monthly except during June, July, and August. Membership is about 85 but has been as high a s 160. At this time there are several members who have cele brated their 90th birthdays, and Mr. Reynolds was over 100! Parents of seve ral were, and/or are active, including those of the Immediate Past President and the Incumbent. Their scrapbooks have been b ea utifully done by the His torians. Mr. Hubert Bell started them off well! Another early H istorian was Mrs. E. J Leverk who at the c lose of her term: "What is the old year? It is a book on which w e back ward fondly look, the laugh, the tear, the sun, the shade, all 'twixt the covers gently laid; no leaves uncut, no page un scanned, close it and leave it in God's hand." We feel the Gulfport Community Club, in existence for 48 years, is now the oldest functioning social club in the City of Gulfport. Claire Deel, Jame s E Anstead

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How Our Village Grew 183 GULFPORT COTERIE CLUB Formerly the Young Woman's Club, we were organized by several members of the Woman's Club, primarily by Mrs. John Squires (Doris). It was hoped we could become a Junior Club, federated by Florida Federation of Women's Clubs. However, we were sponsored by our parent and functioned under our first name until we outgrew it and about ten years later we obtained our Charter as the Coterie Club. The first Chairman was Mrs. William MacNeill (Barbara) who convened the first session at the Pasadena Country Club with 24 members present. Dolores Dwight Anthon was elected President April 13, 1953. Sixteen have served in that office since then several more than once; and membership has continued to be about 25, including three charter members Midge .Fischer, Sophie Hern, and Maxine Fantz; In our first year we raised $483.53 for the American Cancer Fund. Mrs. Noble Doss (Almeda) was our next Presi dent and that year we had a reception for Gulfport's first City Manager, Aaron Marsh, and his wife. All City officials were guests and the public was invited. From time to time we sponsored Brownie and Girl Scout troops. We have continuously helped with donations to the St. Petersburg Science Center and AI Lang Memorial Field. We marched as Colonial Ladies in the Bicentennial Parade in 1976. We started a 5th and 6th grade Cotillion for Gulfport students at the Retired Coast Guard Center and it was popular for ten years, until1964. Through the years we have helped financially with many Federation projects, as well as certain local ones. For twenty years we have given one or two scholarships each year to a Gulfport student to attend a Florida college. Annually we contribute to our elementary school, our Library, the Free Clinic, and other organizations. We meet in our homes and are really good friends and good Club members. -Maxine Fantz, Historian GULFPORT GARDEN AND BIRD CLUB Early in 1941, several women doing Red Cross sewing in the "Piping Hot Dining Room" of Sunny Manor (now Cedars) decided they would like to know more about raising flowers and vegetables here in the South. They were a deter mined nucleus who shortly gathered others around them and,

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184 Our Story o f Gulfp ort, Florida by May, 1941, they organized the Garden and Bird Club with over 200 members within two years. At the first meet ing, 60 attended and became charter members. Mrs. Stella Tamm, her mother Mrs. Abagail Fredericks, Mrs. Daniel O Keefe, and Mr. and Mrs. Francis Walker were the o r ganize rs and included the first officers. The initial e n terpris e wa s to build a s mall hot house where many beautiful items were later shown and won prizes -with help from the St. Petersburg Garden Club. In order to attain their main objective (the beautification of Gulfport) they held flower sho w s and garden and yard contests. Mr. and Mrs W. L. Bro oks won the h o n ors in the first contest. Flower or vegetable arrangements became a feature of t he early meetings and shell c ollec t ions were also popular. Summer picnics, trips to beautiful garde ns like those of the Andersons, and boat trips under the leader shi p of Mrs. Daisy Morris, were held to the delight of bird-lov e rs The Audubon Society provided many pleasant meeting s with slide talks on our bird s. The first fiv e-year plan" i ncluded cleaning up along the railroad tracks and advertised a "blackout" of old grass and weeds everywh e r e. We started an annual habi t of planting 800 petunias in February 1942, and 1,000 more in December along our main streets. The Victory Gardens during the war were a "must." That the members did not neglect the flowers is established by the fact that our members won blue ribbons i n the St. Peter sburg Flower Show of 1946 (see S c rapbooks in Museum) The years p assed, highlighted by clea n-up days, p etunia planting, and interesting program s including one on snakes. A little nine-year-old expert on growing of orc hid s Miss Laurel Coleman was a delight! More ribbons were won. We learned about the hydroponic gardens of Dr. Paul Chatelier, enjoyed a danc e exhibit by the "Young Ballerinas" (4thgrader s) piano solos by Mr s Lester Yeager and, o f course, our own annual Flower Shows. Some of our Flower Shows had exciting and eye-catc hing themes: Brea t h of Spring," "A R ainbow Garden, "Circus Cap e rs," ''Blue Skies and Green Thumbs" and one which certainly describes us well "Marching Along Together." The beautifif catio n projects continued -t r ees were planted along the waterfront, planters on Beach Blvd. were initiated, hibis c u s were planted a t the new Gulfport MultiPurpose Senior Center, and new shrubs were planted at the

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How Our Village Grew 185 Gulfport Public Library in 1984. One of the earliest projects was the improvement of the grounds of the Community Hall back in the 1940s and today we have plans to upgrade the appearance of what was the "Red Cross Building Gems Building" and now is the Histor i cal Society Museum. Hope fully, we shall replace shrubs at the Community Center when their restructuring is. complete. The condominium era brought a slight swing toward potted plants and small flower arrangements, but trees and flower gardens have never been neglected by our Horticul ture Chairman who, for many years, was Mayor Jay P. Clymer. Also among our members who were well-known in other spheres Baroness Cherkasoff who served as President from 1947 to 1949; Anna Marley Smiernow, the "Troubador of the French Freedom Fighters" (an active member when she lived in Gulfport). So we go on, like the theme from one of our flower shows -"Marching Along Together." -Stella Tamm, Agnes Conron GULFPORT LIONS AUXILIARY The Gulfport Lions Auxiliary has a very busy history where to start? As all good stories begin with "Once upon a time," so must ours! ... Once upon a time there lived in a pretty little town by the water a nice aggressive young male Lion named Bill MacNeill. He was so strong and capable that his fellow Lions chose him to be King Lion in 1951-52. Now the King soon discovered, in addition to all the honor and glory connected with his position, there was also lots of hard work. He called his fellow Lions together and said, "Look here we're not being very smart. There's too much work for everyone, so why don't we get all our lady Lions [wives] to gether and sell them on the idea that buying toys, putting on children's parties, and making Christmas baskets for the needy are the kind of jobs that need the woman's touch?" The Lions all thought that was a grand idea! So, on December 4, 1951, the Head Lion and Mrs. Ethel Brant gathered the ladies together at the Pasadena Golf Club and, after feeding them well, told them how much better off the men Lions would be if the ladies would help. They were happy to organize the Auxiliary right then and chose Viegne Jenkins as temporary Chairlady and Flo Fussell as temporary Secretary (she later became the first President) Barbara Mac-

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186 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florid a Neill became W e lfare Chairlady and Lucille Jellison was in charge of the Christmas party. Other charter members in cluded Betty Barrs, Grace D'Amato, Marge Dudinsky Cassie Moyle, Mary and Dee Dwight, Ma e Herne, Lola Tatten, Nellie Whitworth, Clair Duval, Ruth Geldhert Helen Morr is, Helen Mahagan Emma Pollard, and Hel e n Sullivan. A new group w as born and hasn't yet stopped w orking We helped give the Christmas party for all Gulfport c hildren until Gulfport outgrew our ca pabilities, but w e have kept on dressing dolls for the Christmas Toy Shop, or buying dolls for it. By 1953 w e w ere in high gear and purchased our first eye scre ening machin e and tested 350 students at Bo ca Cieg a High School. This became a big opera tion, ext ending to 23 schools and banks and mobile h o m e parks. Later the Auxiliary bought four Goodlite Eye Screening machines and four Dioptic Lens Glasses for screening c hildren. All are still in use today, but with the CET A funding and screening toda y, we mainly work in church schools only. To earn mone y for our proje cts w e have held card partie s, dances, auctio n s, raffl es, rummag e sales, fall hoedowns, and spring dinner-dan ces. During the late '50s and '60s we were involved with the Sheriff's Boys' Ranch and all of us were made honorary members of the Ranch. We worked with Red Cross, Community Center for the Blind, and have maintained the c oncess ion at Little League Fiel d We sponsor t h e Girl Scouts in Gulfport, contribute to the Free Clinic, STRAIGHT, Epilepsy Foundation, and furnished over 300 large prin t and m e moria l books t o our beautiful Gulfport Libr ary. We also give to the Florida Lions' Leader Dog Program, the Lions' Camp for the Visually Hand icapped in Lake Wales WUSF Radio Reading Service to provid e radio adapters for the blind. We assist in t h e Club's mont hly Glaucoma Clinic in our clubhouse and t h e Labor Day "Miss Gulfport Beauty Pagean t and Fish Fry." We try to help the needy during the year a s w e ll a s at Christmastime. We purchase d the Wurlitze r piano, the ice machin e, and much of the other furnitur e in our clubhouse. As Gulfpor t h as grown, we too have grown and we feel sure that Male Lion Bill MacNeill and Lady Lion Ethel Brant lived happily ever after, knowing they had shared the startin g of such an acti v e and outstanding pride of Lady L io ns. Doris Brown

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How Our Village Grew 187 GULFPORT LIONS CLUB Chartered in June 1948, this is the oldest continuously operating civic-ty pe club in the City of Gulfport. Like all Lions Clubs worldwide, it has two major objectives, both de pending upon volunteer work by its members support Lions national, state, and local sight conservation work, and support worthwhil e local causes. Early in 194 7, a member of the St. Petersburg Bea c h Lions Club met with Gulfport contractors, Bill Herne and Mer t Barrs to discuss the idea that Gulfport had grown to the point where a local Lion s Club was needed. About the same time, a member of the St. Petersburg Lions Club and local mechanica l e ngineer Bart Saalfrank, were talking about the same subject. Thes e talk s led to invi tations to other Gulfport cit izen s to attend a se ries of meeting s first at Herne and Barrs' contracting offi ce, later at Bell's Corner Restaurant, and at the then Community Cent er (now Scout Hall). At these meetings, State and District Lions officials explained the benefits and the responsibilities of Lions Clubs, and the obligations of Club m em bers. Even t ually more than the re quired 20 signatures w ere obtained on a Charter application, which wa s granted by Lions International in June, 1948. Charter Night and I nst allation of first Officers was held at the P asaden a Golf C l ubhouse o n July 10, 1948. Club Sponsor was James Woodhou se o f the St. P eters burg Bea c h Club and Master of Ceremonies was E. B. "Sunshine" Brandt of the St. Petersburg Lions Club. The Gulfport 's new Charter was pre sented by Lions Distric t Governor, Robert C. Halgrim, and accepted by the Club's first President, Richard H. Hern First Officers and Charter M embers of the Gulfport Lions Club wer e: OFFICERS: Richard H. Hern, President; Dewey T Morris, First Vice President; Theodore Fuss e ll, Second Vice Presi dent; Martin V Ahl, Secretary/Treasurer; Samu e l A. Moyle, Lion Tamer ; and Howard J. Snyder, Tail Twister. DIRECTORS : John A Barrett, William L. H erne, Thomas J. Bell, Sr., and Merton F. Barrs. MEMBERS: William J Bell, John Dudinsky, Norman W. Haines, Edward E. Duval Ralph Koenig, Edwin S. Markham, William MacNeill, Sam T. Papps, Raymond N Porter, Arthur W. Stephens, R Malc olm Whi tworth, Jame s B. Geldert, Harry C. McCra e, Walter S. Most, M. Bartlett Sealfrank, and Francis G. Weiss.

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188 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Then, as now, the Club's membership is a representative cross-section of Gulfport's business, professional, and civic leaders. Nowadays the membership includes many retirees Membership averages around 60. The Gulfport Lions Club has always been a "dinner club," meeting twice each month. The first regular meeting place was at Bell's Corner Restaurant. When the Club outgrew Bell's facilities, it moved to the Boca Ciega Inn during its open seasons and otherwise to the Pasadena Golf Clubhouse. In the mid-1950's a semi -permanent home for the Club was found at Sunset Beach Clubhouse of the St. Petersburg Beach Lions Club, which was used until the Club's own building was completed in July, 1967. During the 38 years of its existence, the Club has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and its members have devoted countless thousands of man-hours working toward its major objectives, which are: SIGHT CONSERVATION: Lions Foundation for the Blind, Florida Lions Eye Bank (transplants), Lions Summer Camp for Visually Handicapped Children, schools for the training of guide dogs and their humans, eyecare ranging from simple glasses to the most expensive eye surgery for-Gulfport residents who could not otherwise afford it, plus other sight conservation work. LOCAL ACTIVITIES (mostly youth-oriented): Gulfport Lions Little League, girls' and boys' softball, junior Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts. Junior College scholar ships for local students. Christmas baskets for the local needy, Christmas parties for the children. For several years the Club sponsored "Gulfport Gala Days" -an annual, week-long festival of parades, dances, beauty contests, land and water sports events, water shows, and more. In its early days, the Club did much direct local welfare work, and it has occasionally donated items of needed equipment to some City department. The money for all this giving has come from many pro jects. The largest single source has always been the Thursday evening Bingo held at the Casino almost continuously since the Club's founding. The idea for this project came from Lions John Barrett and Marty Hendley who served as Bingo Co-Chairmen for many years. Another major source of funds has been the sale of "Blind Seals" mailed annually to every Gulfport residence. Other sources have included the Labor Day Fish Fry, frequent pancake breakfasts at the clubhouse,

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How Our Village Grew 189 sponsor fees for participan ts in beauty contests, walkathons and the like, candy sales, Christmastime sales of fruit cake and childre n's coloring books. The biggest single event in the Club's history since that Charter Night in 1948 was the dedication of the Club's own building on September 24, 1967. A group of Lions, includ ing "Dee" Skinner, Jack Parker, and W. "Kay" Jamison worked for over a year with City Council toward obtaining a long-term lease on a piece of City-owned land at the Marina upon which to erect this building. Ground-breaking cere monies were held early in 1966 with Gulfport Mayor John Robin son, Club Presiden t W. K. Jamison, First Vice-President Jack Parker {who was also Chairman of the Building Com mittee), and Lion District Harris participating. The building was finan ce d through the Club's own re sources and no-interest bonds purchased by members and others. Much of the actual construction work on the building was performed by Club members working under the super vision of Lion Bill Heme. First use of the new building was for Installation Night on July 24, 1967, when Bert Williams was installed as C lub President. Starting at that same time, the Club has donated use of the building every Tuesday to the County Heal t h Department for operation of a Glaucoma and Diabetes Detection Clinic. Club members and members of the Auxiliary provide support services for the clinic This clubhouse is entirely supported and maintained by money from members' dues, from rentals and work by Club memb e rs. No money raised from the public for the Club's charitable work goes into it. -Willard B. Simonds SOURCES : 1 ) Leng thy taped interv i ews with W L Heme, R H. Hern, M F B arrs, and W J Bell 2) Informal conversations wit h N. W H aines, M. V. Ahl, Jack Pollard and othe rs. 3 ) The Clu b's Charter, Constitu tion, and By-Laws. 4) Revie w of the Club's historical scrapbooks. 5) Personal knowledge gained over a lmost 25 years of Club Member s hip.

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190 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Pius II Council 5131 We received our Charter from Supreme Counc il, New Haven, Connecticut, dated April 23, 1961. There are 60 Charter members. We first met in the old skating rink on 49th Street. Our first Chaplain was Fathe r Frank Goodman, Pastor of Most Holy Name of Jesus Cath olic Church, Gulfport. Jac k Spata for e was our first Grand Knight of this new council. We moved to our presen t location 491 9 17th Avenue S. in 1965. We are currently operating in our 25t h year as a chartered council. Plans are now bein g prepared in anticipation of celebrating our Silver Anniversary on April 23, 1986. On behalf of our entire m embership, 175 strong I con gratulate our fair City of Gulfport in attaining her Diamond Jubilee of 7 5 years. May she have many, many more happy and progressive years ahead. fraternally Arthur W Davis, GK NEWCOMERS CLUB OF GULFPORT The Conrad Powells moved to Gulfport on May 2, 1967, and shortly after they asked City Clerk Bernice Dopico to supply them with a list of names and addresses of n e w comers so a club could be started. Bernice was most cooperative, thought theirs was a good idea, and she gave us monthly lists for some time. The first group of six grew rapidly and through the years has continued to fun ctio n primarily as a welcoming club help ing "outsiders" b ecome "insiders." Our first Officers were the Powells as President t h e Van Dorns Vice President, the Charles Speidels Secretary, and the Ma c hamers Treasurer. At the annual meeting of 1968-69, w e again elected couples for each office, Col. William and Mrs. Steiner heading the group. Programs have varied, including early trips through City Hall, the Planetarium, the Mu seum of Art, and more; there have been picnics in many pla ces and lots of holiday parties. During the last few years J esse and Hazel Squires have con ducted us on frequent tours -to EPCOT, Disney World, Lake Okeechobee, and other Florida attractions. We have

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How Our Village Grew 191 had specialists teac h us how t o coo k Southern style and how to grow Florida fruits, flowers, and vegetables. At first the Club met at homes of members, but when we outgrew that w e met in the Social Hall of the Methodist Church. This last year, when we passe d our 17th birthday, w e moved to the new GMSC where we continue to enjoy catered dinner s monthly and exciting programs and fellow s h i p Now, with over 75 member s, including the Powell s who are Life members w e certainly do enjoy our times together. The Newcom ers Club has had twelve President s, and as the present one it gives me pleasur e to help write this history and we believ e that your perusal of our Scrapbook and other pape r s, especially those by Wilde, will supplement our notes. -Leavitt L. Wood and W ilda Lakin SENIOR CITIZENS' CLUB The Senior Citizens' Club of Gulfport was founded in 1960 with 15 people present at a meeting held in a store near the Post Offi ce. Charter members were: R Albe r tso n J. Billing s, E. Cotton, J. Griffin, M. Schmidt, B Brandauer, J Stohmidel, E. Millaly, and E. Whitney. The first Pr esident was Mrs. Ali ce Kittelburger, and the second wa s Mr. Max Ulrich. Meeting s were held in the Old Community Hall on 28th Avenue S. As the Club grew it moved to the Coast Guard Building then to the Casino, then to the Community Gen t er, and most recently (1985 ), to the Gulfport Mult i Purpose Senior Center, except for the dances on first Mon days at the Ca sino. Other Monday s, business meetings will be held with sing-alongs led by Bill Mahoney with Elsie Miscovic at the piano and, as usual, the card-playing follows. Throughout the years, this group has maintained a friendly attitude toward one another and their guests -a warm feeling of fellowship pervades each meeting. Many must use canes, but all come wi t h a smile and a song in their hearts as they greet long-time friends. Memb e r ship has varied from about 400 to about half that number now. The Club ha s given donations to several local chUrches and homes, but primarily it is a social group promoting f e llowship and a caring attitude. Last Chr istmas members enjoyed the first of what may become an annual affair -a dinne r subsi dized from the treasury. Another recent innovatio n wa s a Trash Party held o n the beach; Sophia Jensen was c hosen

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192 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Queen of the Day. Dues remain $2.00 a year and payment for light refresh ment makes possible a small balance. Bus trips are exceed ingly popular -conducted during recent years by Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Squires (Hazel). Such outings broaden everyone's horizons and contribute deeply to the enjoyment of life both during the event and later as they remember. We hope those interested in our programs will join us as visitors if not members, to see how much security and pleasure we receive from one another as we live in our beloved Gulfport. Note: A history of the Senior Citizens' Club was written by a former Pre side nt, Mabel Mayne and it is av ailab le in our Library for your reading pleasure. Hazel Squires, Mary Konz, and Others WOMAN'S CLUB OF GULFPORT Within a few days of Pearl Harbor, 1941, nine residents of Gulfport met at Sunny Manor (now Cedars) and planned to organize a Red Cross sewing group to help in the war effort. They also stated concerns about local community improve ments and agreed they might well become a permanent organization. In January, 1942, they began to meet at the Community Hall which had been d esignated by the City as a se wing center. Mrs. Stella Tamm remembers worki ng with her mother, Mrs. Ralph Uptegrave (A bagail) to maintain and increase this group which later became the Woman 's Club. The first President was Mrs. G. S. McAffee and since then 27 have served in that capacity. Mrs. Bradley Lay burn (Clarice) is the incumbent. True to their early objective s, programs have inc luded talks about local welfare agen cies, trips to Bay Pine s V .A. Hosp ital, to P ARC and to museums. At first they had departments of Fine Arts, Education, and Civi c Affairs; but all worked together to support fund-raising for sc holar ships given to Boca Ciega graduate s for gifts to Little League, the Library, and several health agencies. "Fashions of Long Ago," featuring gowns and children's clothing from 1800 to 1926, initiated an annual custo m of style shows still popular today; w e now combine the fashion show with card parties. Irma Newman, who wa s Pre sident twice, recalls they had nearly 75 tables of player s at the

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How Our Village Grew 193 Casino when they first publi cized concerns about g1vmg scholarships for Gulfport high school graduate g irls. During the early days, each President could designate her favorite project which would receive $200, and this diversi fied money services nicely. Bus, water and land trips to health agencies were popular, and membership grew to 146 in fif t een years. Federated from the start with the Florida Federation of W omen's Clubs, the Woman 's Club of Gulf port withdrew in November 1956 and remained outside for four years a fact deeply regretted now when s uitable recognition for services of 44 year s can be claimed by FFWC as only 25-continuity was broken! Historian Gertrude Tunan stated that a t the close of its 25th year, with 125 member s, they had given generously not o n ly to many youth groups previ o u sly mentioned but had raised nearly $3,000 for a clubh ouse. By then their Choral group had given many concerts lo ca lly and at both County and State Federations. A later H istori an, Ruth Ann Ramsey, described "The Gulfettes" in detail in 1956. Program s flourished in hospitals and retirement and nurs ing homes where holidays were b rightened by these visit ing club-women with gifts and goodies. The Hope Award, a silv er tray, was given to the Club for outstanding work at P ARC in 1962. A second scholarship was started at St. P eters burg Junior College, $100 was given to two more health agencies, and $200 to the City for card tables for the new Community Center. The 25th Birthday Party wa s celebrated at the Center and honored Pas t Pre sidents and Charter Members, including Mrs. Stella Tamm, Mrs. Jessie Brozka, and members fr o m local clubs serving as FFWC officers. During the '70s, the Woman's Clu b continued its dedicated se rvices to community groups, to selected FFWC and GFWC projects and program s. Of special inte r est have been Hacienda G irls' Ranch Spec ial Olymp ics, and in c reasing our sc holar ships ( now three). In 1978, Mr s. Frederick S. Allen (Florence) se lected, trained, and introduced "The Ensemble" which is now known as "The Music Makers" who enthrall audiences with their artistically sung variety of music. Donation s to that group are used only for their music they bear other ex pens es individ ually All volunteer w ork is primarily r ewarded by the satisfaction that one has helped another toward a more contented life and has learned a fuller appreciation of

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194 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida his/her own talents and gifts. Several revision s have kept the Bylaws of the local Club in conformity with the Departments and Divisions of FFWC, the better to implement and report programs selected for local use. Topics presented during meetings (held second Wednesday afternoons, October through April at the Community Center) are suggested by either FFWC or GFWC and reported to the parent organizations. Volunteer work is done in small groups or by individuals. Hundreds of hours and dollars are contributed annually in service to youth groups, our Library, and to people in hospitals nursing homes, and in support of Neighborly Senior Servi ces offered in our community. Membership hovers around 100, and many regularly attend District 14 FFWC and other FFWC meetings. One member served as Club President, District Director, and now serves as Chairman of the Standing Committee of FFWC. The Woman's Club of Gulfpor t exists "to stimulate inter est in the arts, education, and civic improvements" as it started out to do in 1941. Frances Purdy, H istorian I .:. ., .... w ,.. j,lr.!' '. l "' ... f. J!'!a a t J First trolley to GulfportFebruary 10, 1915

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How Our Village Grew ,. .. _._ In 1916 a group of women of Gulfport organized to pro mote beautification of Gulfport. They called themselues the Town Improvement League Their main project was to place benches along the troll e y line and beautify the grounds along the track. Mach Brooks, on bicycle in front of first Post Office. 195

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196 O u r Story of G ulfport, Florida !ruing Slaughter (inset) serued as a deckhand on the ferry Gypsy. A house is shown behind the ferry in this early 1900's photo Courtesy St. Petersburg Times On end of Gulfport Pier, 1925 . '\ .. / Holiday Inn, 1926

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How Our Village Grew 197 Pasadena-Gulfport Street Car 1924 Hampton Dunn collection St. Petersburg Municipal Railway cars passing on Beach Blvd. at Gulf port Blvd. 1926 (location is now part of Clymer Park). -Robert F. Torbett, collection of W B. Simonds

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198 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida ---Between Pier and Casino, about 192627. Photo by Harry C. Thorne Corner drug store on Beach Blud This picture was taken about 1926. It was a successful drug store for many years and the deliciou s sodas always attracted folks to stop and enjoy. It is now an antique store. Gulfport Pier 1927-28

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How Our Village Grew School "Toy Orchestra"2nd grade, April1929. MARY LOU GRAY principal of Gulfport Elementary School for 34 years, retiring in 1953. '>rize tarpon caught by Mr. rhorne and displayed proudly 'ly his daughters, Kathryn and W"arie Wilson Thorne. The fish ere caught in Gulfport waters md weighed 130 lbs. and 55 lbs T.-- .'j; .. -. -. .. 199

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The Garden Club of Gulfport was organized February 1942 with Mrs. Stella Tamm as first president. Pictured above is a frO up ready to go to work on the annual petunia plan ting along the Boulevard leading to the Casino. Standing next to the sign m the white yachting cap is Capt. "Walt" Williams long-time Mayor of Gulfport and much loved by all. Also pictured along with the news story is one of the yard displays of many in this most interesting yard beautification contest staged by the Garden Club It created quite a contest among the garden ers of the town. !>:) 0 0 0 s: '"' rn ... 0 0 ,..., 0 s: -0' 0 :+ "'l 0 '"' -Q. "'

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How Our Village Grew donated by H.R. Cecil Slauter 201 Lawrence Renney, first Marshal of Gulfport, also first Fire Chief. 1925. Picture taken in 1953 when Mr. Renney was 70 years old. Gulfport Police Department

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202 . . . . .. . . . < Our Story of Gulfport, Florida 1st Fire Dept. Beach Blvd. and Shore Blvd. ... . .. .. . l .. J ., -<-.

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Dally Living, en and Now

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2 0 4 O u r Story o f Gulfport, Florida CHAPTER 10 WHAT ABOUT HOUSING? One of the most exciting characteristics of Gulfport is the variety in structure of its house s and, of course the kinds of family life they protect. Predominantly one finds the little fishing cottag_e i n the older parts of town. Many o f these have been enlarged and otherwise improved through the years and by several ownerships. The very earliest homes w e r e built of local timber by the owners and with the help of their neighbors. Built well but simply, these hous e s are of wood res i stant to native wildlife and they have been strong enough to a ccept porches, second floors, new flooring, even tiling air -co ndi. tioning, and ceiling fans without collapse. Many of the old flowering shrubs and century plants continue to live in what was known as Hibiscus Garden" in the Tangerine ar e a. Rose Ada Hudson and her husband built at 5310 21st Avenue S. and she said that she has lived there ever since (from 1935). There was no other house within three blocks but now i t is surely conge sted! Eri c Kier c a and Roy Park s b uil t many houses after the war and Rose s husband did lots o f t heir plastering. Mo stly though, John Hudson collected s c allops till dark, cleaned them, and very early in the morning took them by trolley to the City where he sold them for 25 c ents a pint. Sam Thompson helped him and they work e d where Town Shores is now. They left his wife home one morning when she was almost at term with t heir first child and she felt bad because they thought she couldn' t work with them as usual! Both of those men worked also for the Chief of Police -cutting lawns and other chores for the usual wage of 25 cents an hour or less. Five dollars was enough rent for a fairly good house and for five hundred you could buy one! They sold the lot next door for $200 to pay the ir paving assessment. One of the primary c o n c erns those days was to locate a house away from the waterfront far enough to be out of flooding possibilities yet near enough to hav e easy access to the life sustaining occupation of fishing Houses on the grander scale have been built by northern visitors who returned to stay. They are apt to be the three bedroom, two-bath, two-car garage type with pool and a boat on a trailer in the driveway or in a nearby marina in Gulfport or at Pinellas Poin t One of the first to buy a lot and build on our waterfront were Dr. and Mrs. Marcy who fir s t lived on

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Daily Living, Then and Now 205 29th Avenue. Their friend, Dr. Sackett, had encouraged them to come here from Buffalo, and his wife interested them in property where Mrs. McLaren continues to live. She said her husband wanted to surprise her with the gift of the lot and a half, which he got for $3,500, but a friend told her! In 1950 they had Roy Parks build their house on the lot. The one west of theirs stood empty for two years until the Passmans came from Connecticut. That house had been furnished most attractively for this area, but when they sold to the Bashaws, they replaced it with their own selections. They paid $22,000 for it and others, realizing the value of a dead-end street, moved in. Colonel and Mrs. William E. Kerns bought the lot and house east of the Marcy's, built by Glissner in 1956, for $8,000 plus $49,000evidence of the boom! Several others moved in before 1957. Joseph Pestano bought the "Hawaiian House" which had been designed and built in 1954 by the Coxsons -he had been a School Superintendent in Hawaii. The Pestanos replaced all their furnishings and the Oriental garden which had been widely acclaimed : He paid about as much to alter the property as he had to buy it$21,000. Today each of these properties could be sold for several times their original price. In the early days, people feared the wildness of the Bayand today we have a healthy respect for it and pray for con tinuing absence of hurricanes! It is the wise waterfront dweller who heeds advice from "Hurricane Preparedness" experts. Following a recent heavy rain, a seawall in front of one of the properties just described cost $12,000 for repairs! Another part of our town was described by Jessie Brozka who remembers when she came to live on 27th Avenue in 1919. There was no pier then, but people bought fish as the men brought them in at the waterfront. Only three houses had been built near their location, and she and her husband were considered a bit crazy to settle "so far out in the country." Ray Parks built their house and one next door for $4,300 and $4,800 respectively. Gulfport includes people of many lifestyles -those who live in houses like those described above; those who have chosen apartment living either in small or large complexes; and those who are special because they preserve their ethnic background by clustering often in a geographic section near their church, the beach or other focus of their attention. We have asked representatives of these large groups to tell us why they like living here, what attracted them in the first place,

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206 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida and to describe activities they most enjoy and believe Gulf port can especially offer to them. Some Comments About Our Neighbors from Lithuania On February 16, 1985, it was an exciting privilege to parti cipate in the raising of the flag of Lithuania at our Library. Many gathered in their .beautiful native costumes to mark this honorable occasion, and the following is part of the address given by C. S. Cheleden: "On February 16, 1918, a representative body of Lithu anian patriots signed and issued the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence from Russia. This being the 67th anniver sary of that publication, we have assembled here today in Gulfport (and in each other municipality in this area) ... and with those who share our heritage throughout the world ... to commemorate this Declaration and to renew our faith in the future independence of our nation .... We thank Mayor Jay P. Clymer for granting us the opportunity to hold this public demonstration which we hope will bring our cause to the attention of our fellow Americans." It was later my pleasure to interview Mrs. Victoria T. Jacobson, their public relations person, in her home. Pri marily I asked her to tell us why so many Lithuanians have settled in this area and to share her description of their beautiful flag with us. In part, this is what she told me. The weather was one factor, but more important, Gulfport people lived close together and were neighborly as they had been in their homeland. Prices of houses were reasonable and they felt they were moving into a community of warm hearted people clean-living people who care for their properties, their families, their flowers and their little gardens. They maintain high standards of cleanliness even though they do not have much money-very few, if any, are ever on welfare for they squeeze each penny, know how to spend wisely, and they help one another. The flag is a symbol of independence from Russia: she sees the yellow as being the wheat and flax fields and the sunny disposition of her countrymen in spite of having the heavy foot of Russia upon them. Green is for the tall pines of everlasting hope, and red -for the blood shed and still being shed for the freedom of their homeland. Mrs. Jacobson described their university, opened in 1579,

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Daily Living, Then and Now 207 200 years before Moscow had one. Lithuania's gold is her amber. Many thousands of years ago, the pine trees gave off their resin which fell into the churning Baltic Sea and with the salt water formed what we know today as amber. (She told a delightful fairy tale she shared with a group of small children who visited their booth at a folk fair-and you can hear it if you'll listen to her tape in our Museum.) The Lithu anian language is the oldest living language, dating back to Sanskrit. Many Americans don't know these facts. She put their flag in our State Capitol -the first ethnic flag to fly there. She has asked for, and received, annual proclamations from a ll local municipalities. Now her ambition is to enlarge the apparent scope of the U.S. Holocaust Museum by having it renamed the U.S. Captive Nations Holocaust Museum, and she will go to Washington to plead her cause. She believes Lithuanians mind their own business and participate in com munity elections and other city events. They especially like our beach and its social happenings attract them for they were brought up by the Baltic Sea. They are a proud people, justifiably so! Mrs. Jacobson used to drive back and forth from Duxbury to Treasure Island for 35 years with the family who adopted her. Her "Daddy" was a chemical engineer, a graduate from M.I.T. who had sugar mills all over the country. His hideaway was near Blind Pass. Seminole Indians used to work for him and would say, "Me like heap hot water, me paint, work hard, no money, just heap hot water"he had lots of rum! There were no bridges from the mainland then and Mrs. Jacobson used to ride boats. She came to live in this vicinity in 1950. Mrs. Jacobson wants to say her thanks to the wonderfully helpful girls in our Library for being so kind about taking care of the Lithuanian flag and for helping them find books either in their language or ours. She speaks for the Knights of Lithuania, a worldwide organization whose membership in this area is about 100 (the chapter is only eight years old). There are about 500 members in the local American-Lithu anian Club, and there is a second such club but their philosophy is different. She was one of the first thirteen who organized SPIFFS (St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society), and she recalled helping with the first Parade of States when, with Ukrainians and other groups, they carried their flag with black streamers flying from the pole to show their anguish about their homeland's situation. She asks us to

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208 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida pray with them for their homeland. And then she played two polkas for me on her harmonicas! Victoria T. Jacobson, Frances Purdy Russians in Gulfport The City of Gulfport has the largest community of Russian Americans in Florida and is the locale of the only Russian cultural center in the southeastern United States. The first Russian emigres came to Pinellas County more than a century ago. The eminent artist and sculptor Fedor Kamensky settled in Clearwater in 1871. At the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Kamensky directed the artistic ornamenta tion of many of the exhibit pavilions of various nations. The architect, Ivan Filippov, also settled in Clearwater, in 1883, where he built the Capitol Theatre, the Scranton Hotel, the City Hall, and other structures. In 1888, the Russian emigre Peter Demens (Dementieff) completed construction of the railroad between Sanford and St. Petersburg. In deference to his wish, the city adjacent to Gulfport was named St. Petersburg in homage to Demens' native city of St. Petersburg in Imperial Russia. A number of Russian-Americans began to settle in Gulf port after the revolution in Russia and were joined by a great many more after World War II. They were attracted here by the balmy climate of Florida, the quiet shady Gulfport streets gracing small homes, the nearby well-kept beach, the orderly community, and the City of Gulfport's excellent administration of minimal fare mini-bus transportation for senior citizens. To fulfill their spiritual needs, the Russian Americans in Gulfport built a typically Russian-style, complete with cupolas, Russian Orthodox church -St. Andrews on 15th Avenue South. There is also a group of Russian Baptists in Gulfport, members of the Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church. In 1970, a resident of the Russian ethnic community, Professor A. Sokolsky of the University of South Florida, proposed the founding of a club to foster the cultural riches of his countrymen. The Russian American Club was organ ized with Professor Sokolsky as its first president. From its very inception, the club has been extremely active in present ing vocal and instrumental concerts, established the Russian singing ensemble "Volga" which makes frequent public appearances, holds informative lectures by local and visiting .

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Daily Living, Then and Now 209 intellectuals, and organizes festive balls. Inasmuch as it has not yet been in a position to build its own premises, the Russian American Club is gratefully using the Multi-Purpose Senior Center for its meetings, and rents the Gulfport Community Center for its larger programs. It should be noted that Professor Sokolsky expended a great deal of effort in getting St. Petersburg City officials to authenticate that the Russian emigre Peter Demens was a founder of St. Petersburg, and the Demens Landing Park was finally ceremoniously dedicated on October 20, 1977. The Russian American Club was one of the first thirteen ethnic groups to become members of SPIFFS, organized in 1975, and was immediately included in the plans of the St. Petersburg Committee for the celebration of 200th anniversary. The first International Folk Festival was held at the end of February, 1976, and since then is held annually for three days the latter part of February with 40+ nationali ties now represented. The Russian American Club has actively participated every year in this major event. As members of SPIFFS, the Russian American Club con tinues to further its educational pursuits by speaking before student groups, upon invitation, on subjects of history, literature, and other pertinent ethnic matters. This useful work is carried out by members of the club without remuneration purely as a means of sharing their rich heritage with neighboring communities. -Paul N. Paganuzzi, Prof Emeritus, U. of Vermont; Olga Milin "Town Shores"An Interview with Mr. Herman Geller It seemed appropriate to invite Herman Gellen to share his reasons for building the large Town Shores complex. Here is that interview: Mr. FrederickS. Allen is the interviewer: Mr. A: How exactly did Town Shores come into being, Mr. Geller? Mr. G: I had been living and building in the Miami area for years since about 1963. I had always had visions of building whole communities, not just individual buildings. Mr. A: Did you have any particular location in mind? Mr. G: Yes. It had to be on the waterfront, in a good location easily accessible, with condominiums reasonably priced. Mr. A: How did you choose Gulfport for your dream? Mr. G: In 1970, I think it was, Julius Green and I dis-

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210 Our S t o r y of Gulfport, Florida covered the area on Boca Ciega Bay which was owned by Maurice Hollins. He also owned Pasadena Golf Club. The sea walls around the property were already in place. This was a great advantage. Dredge and fill were not necessary. Mr. A: Was Mr. Hollins interested in selling you the property? Mr. G: Not at first. I think he had an idea that he would leave the land to his grandchildren. Mr. A: Did you encounter any difficulties in getting your project underway? Mr. G: We certainly did at flrst. The land we wanted was not in Gulfport but in the County where the density was limited So we asked to be annexed to the City of Gulfport. Mr. A: Did the request for annexation and approval of your long-range plan take much time to complete? Mr. G : Yes, indeed it did. It took about a year and a half to present our design layout and detailed plans, as well as our request to be annexed, to the Gulfport City Council. They were very cooperative and realized the value of what Town Shores could do for the City. I attended nearly every Council meeting during that time, explaining and answering questions. The Council jokingly said they were going to install a 'special chair' for me since I was a regular participant! Mr A: Were there specific problems you had to overcome? Mr. G: There certainly were. One was the problem of sewers. The City felt that the drain on their present sewer lines would overburden them. So the County, using general funds to start, allowed me to hook up to the Bear Creek Sewer System, which is completely separate from the rest of Gulfport. Mr. A: What was the first building you completed in Town Shores? Mr. G: It was Avalon House. We built a three-story build ing with a variety of different sized apartments at moderate prices. My dream and my long-range plan was to build four, six-story and high rises with waterfront and water view. Each building was an improvement over the previous one, creating a gracious style of living at correspondingly higher costs. Mr. A: Did Gulfport benefit from this large complex? Mr. G: Of course it did. By increased water and sewer re venues, by property taxes and, perhaps most important of all, by prestige. The owners of the new apartments added a new dimension to GuJ,fport. They took part in all facets of the City. They voted, they used the Library, they joined many

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Daily Living, Then and Now 211 clubs and organizations. Mr. A: How did you decide on the name 'Town Shores'? Mr. G: All my projects have the word 'Town' in them. This meant a lot to me. For example: Town Apartments North, Five Towns, and Town Shores. The name indicated that it was not just another group of buildings but a town on the shore of Boca Ciega Bay. Now it is a community of about 1,400 families, most of them retired. Mr. A: Were there any restrictions? Mr. G: Only a few such as no small children living there. This does not mean that grandchildren can't visit, but it is primarily an adult community. Mr A: You built a large recreation hall, four swimming pools, shuffleboard and tennis courts for the complex. What else did you provide? Mr. G: Our maintenance contracts, based on the size of each apartment, were the best ever offered. A monthly fee includes all the hot water needed, natural gas for heating and cooking, as well as the maintenance of the grounds and ex terior of the seventeen buildings. Also coin laundries. Mr. A: Anything else you can think of? Mr. G: I was able to assist in the building of a shopping center adjoining Town Shores, with a grocery store, beauty shop, barber shop, and a restaurant for our owners. Mr. A: Now that your dream of Town Shores is a reality, what's next? Mr. G: I am still going strong with other projects like Terrace Park of Five Towns with about 1,700 units and more going up. Also we are building the Silver Sands Beach and Raquet Club in St. Petersburg Beach. My son Bob is working hard on this magnificent project. Mr. A: Don't you feel a sense of accomplishment? Mr G: Yes, I do. It is a real satisfaction to have contri buted to a better standard of living for so many families, and making Gulfport and Town Shores a 'jewel' for thousands to enjoy. Mr. A: Thank you, Mr. Geller, for your time and shar i ng your dreams and accomplishments. Gulfport is certainly better for your interest and your pioneer spirit. And, What about Town Shores from the Owner's Point of View? How many times during the "growing up years" of your children have you heard yourself saying, "No vacation this

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212 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida year; too many repairs, all those medical expenses, too much garden work to be done," etc.? Did you say, "Some day I'm going to find time to do what I want to do after the kids are grown up and away"? Town Shores has the answer for many people to that "some day." A group of seventeen buildings housing people from all parts of USA and some other countries too. It brings together professionals, home makers, retirees, those still working and, above all, caring, active people wanting to be good neighbors. Each building is named for a town in England. A number of owners secured from those towns a copy of their coat of arms and had it made into a shield or plaque to adorn the entrance to their building. For the conve n ience of its resi dents, each building is equipped with elevators and center and end stairwells for easy access or exit in case of emer gency. The buildings are individually incorporated under Condominium Law and have Board s of Directors who act in behalf of the residents on matters pertaining to the general needs of the building and the entire complex. Various acti vities are made available through the planning by several clubs. Although Town Shores is an active community within its own area, it is also an integral and important part of Gulf port's programs It is interested in civic affairs, city management, its Library churches, and always has a high percentage of voters active in loca l and national elections. Many volun teer in tutoring children, delivering meals on wheels, visiting residents in nursing and retirement homes, serving on boards of community organizations, and so on. Town Shores pro vides a way of living that answers many dreams dreams pushed aside by the thought that our financial situation would never make such living possible. For some it is a quiet place to live in privacy within their own walls to others a place of security surrounded by neighbors who drop in and are there when needed, either for just a chat or for some other good reason. To some it means socializing with many friends, dancing, dining, playing cards, and engaging in friendly competition in bingo, shuffleboard, and other games. We can do exercise classes, learn to paint, do ceramics, and sew. To all of us it means friendships, contact with p eople of many different background s and experiences about which to talk. When the temperature is a cool 70-80 degrees and the beautiful sunset r eflects its glorious hues over the waters of the inlets or the Bay itself, Town Shores is truly one of the

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Daily Living, Then and Now 2 1 3 nicest places in the world to live. Another owner who spends the summers up north, thoroughly enjoys the relaxing effects of being here during the winters. Property care is done by others. There are nice people from all over the United States and Canada to talk with. The weather is usually super. Often one meets people from other lands, too, and so m e t imes one can compare ethnic roots. All kinds of indoor and outdoor recreation are available, with good instructors for those who need thei r help. Exciting bus trips are offered to many Florida attrac tions, and even beyond state lines yes, even Bay or longer water t rips are nearby. "When we have company, they always rave about it all -the pools, the beach, and they are especially amazed at the groups dancing or watching Sunday afternoons on the shore. It's easy to find great restaurants and entertainment in nearby Tampa and St. P etersburg international flavors again if you wish. So my husband and I are happy we have our spacious condo with its views and con veniences. We wouldn't change it fo r any other place we know." And several others aske d us to say they really feel Gulfport is like the hometown they grew up in -not too big so you can get to know many people. It is free from smokestacks and the bustle of cities up north where they had to live while ea rning their r ight to enjoy retirement here. They don't feel isolated into their age group because there are many children growing up in the area. Some who miss having their grand chil dren nearby adopt special "grandchildren." "If you go to the Library for the children s parties, you can even feel really good inside almost as though you were visiting your own kids. And they're in there playing with puppets and hav ing stage shows great fun wh ich you can watch and hear even if you're in a wheelchair." -Frances Purdy, Paul N. Paganuzzi, FrederickS. Allen Others * Another are a of Gulfport in which the housing differs from that in the balance of the City is the northwest area west of 58th Street and north of Gulfport Boulevard. Planners refer to this one-mile-square area as "Section 29." Actually there a r e two separate d evelopments in the area, se parated by 25 years, with quite different characte r istics, both worth some discussion.

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214 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Like practically all of the other land anywhere around, Section 29 was part of the Disston purchase of 1883, and was included in the grandiose plot of Disston City filed with the County in 1884. But nothing happened in Section 29 until the early 1920's. It remained wilderness, inhabited by many species of wild animals and reptiles, and multi-billions of mosquitos, roaches, other flying, crawling, and biting insects. A hunter's paradise, but with no known permanent human habitation. H. Walter Fuller had included parts of it in his proposed Pasadena subdivision of about 1914. Plot plans were filed, and some land clearing may have been done, but the failure of Fuller's enterprises in 1917 stopped everything and threw the land into such a complicated series of receiver ships, foreclosures, mortgage and tax defaults, that nothing could be done until 1924 when the legal problems were re solved and the land again became available for subdivision and lot sales. At about that same time, "Handsome" Jack Taylor arrived in St. Petersburg with little money of his own but with great plans. Taylor was a first class, flamboyant promoter who could talk anybody into doing anything he wanted, and he teamed up with Fuller, another man of the same type who had come out of the receiverships still owning some of the land in Section 29. The two men talked the owners (two St. Petersburg banks) of the remainder of the land in Section 29 and of much of the next two sections west into financ ing two great developments: Pasadena Estates in Section 29 and Pasadena-on-the-Gulf in the area west of Pasadena Avenue. Included in the financing were the plush Rolyat Hotel and the Pasadena Golf Course (originally known as the Bear Creek Golf Course). All of Section 29 Pasadena Estates was mapped out into sections, blocks, and lots planning which, with only minor changes, still stands today. In those portions of Pasadena Estates between 61st Street and 64th Street, and some south of .15th Avenue east of 61st Street, the land was cleared, streets and alleys cut through but not paved, and concrete sidewalks laid, some remnants of which can still be seen. Water mains were put in, supplied by wells, a pumping plant, and the "highest elevated water tank on Florida's west coast," all where the line of 62nd Street crosses Bear Creek. The City of St. Petersburg was talked into extending its City-owned gas mains into the area. Taylor built a two-story sales office on Central Avenue at 72nd Street (that building still stands, occupied now by a

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Daily Living, Then and Now 215 dress shop), hired numerous "Bloomer Boys" (nickname for lot salesmen at that time) and advertised and promoted the Pasadena developments all over the country. Some of that promotional material was more wishfu l thinking than factual, but that was useful for those days. He built an enormously impressive brownstone entrance gate for Pasadena Estates on 64th Street, just south of 5th Avenue S. Remnants of that still exist and still look im pressive! In one respect Taylor operated quite differently from most developers of the time: he actually built some houses! The idea was to have something to show prospective lot purchasers what the area would look like some day and, of course, to have something more than empty lots for his sales men to sell. These houses were all two-story, Spanish-style homes, and deed restrictions required that other houses in the development be of the same style. Garage apartments were permitted, but only for occupancy by members of the lo t owner's family or by his servants. (Those and other deed restrictions were later abolished by legal action.) Most blocks in this Pasadena Estates area have two or three of the Spanish -st yle houses, many built by Taylor, others built by the lot purchasers. All had gas heating, cooking, and water heating installed, a big thing in those days. Several contractors were active in building these homes in both of the Pasadena developments. One of interest was W. D. Berry who, with his family, lived in and operated his business from one of his own houses on lOth AvenueS. Berry was active in both Gulfport and St. Petersburg civic and political circles and served several terms on the Gulfport City Council. During the great Florida "bust" of 1926, Taylor's com panies went bankrupt, starting another seemingly endless series of foreclosures, forced sales, and legal prohibition against selling any more lots. Besides that, many of the lot purchasers lost their property because of unpaid taxes and mortgage payments, and later by failure to pay paving assessments. During the 1930's, many of these lots were made available for sale to satisfy the unpaid taxes, usually for between $200 and $300. Many of the owners of those Spanish-style homes took advantage of this opportunity to add one, or both, adjoining lots to their original lot with the house on it. The result is that today most of the 1925 homes include one or both adjoining lots, mostly well landscaped and maintained.

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216 Our S tory of Gulfport, Florida In the mid-1940 's, the legal obstacles were overcom e and lot sales resumed. Several contractors purchased groups of lots and built houses "on speculation." Others built for indi viduals who had purchased their own lots earlier. All of these more recent homes are one-story and, because of larger lot sizes and higher lot prices, they tend to be larger than homes found in most other areas of the City. One of these contractors was lvar C. Peterson, who came here from Avon Park where he had b een in the contracting business. In the late 1940's, Mr. Peterson built on contract four of the better of the modern homes. He and his wife still occupy one of them on lOth AvenueS. The open lots associated with most of the 1925 h omes, the larger lot sizes, and the presence of Stetson Law School occu pying four full blocks of the area, all contribute to giving this section of Gulfport a more open, less congested, look than is found elsewhere in the City. Th. e people in this area include the usual Florida high percentage of retirees, a large portion of the rest being younger professional types. Development of the eastern part of Section 29, between 58th and 61st Streets and between 7th and 15th Avenues S., came later and was performed entirely by one company Florida Builder s, pioneering in the then new concept of modular, manufactured housing to reduce housing costs. St. Petersburg Beach resident John Hosack, Plant City resident John Hayn sworth, and St. Pe tersb urg resident Ed Tessier formed the Florida Builders' Association, Inc in the mid-forties and shortly hired Gulfport residents Martin V. Ahl and Jack Pollard to work with them. Ahl became Senior Vice President, Tessier became Treasurer, and Pollard became Director of Purc hasing. They began building small prefabri cated houses on St. Petersburg Bea ch, but when the land in Section 29 became available for purchase in the m id1940's, Florida Builders purc hased all in the area mentioned -24 city blocks in all, much of it from Walter P Fuller, son of H. Walter Fuller and noted St. Petersburg historian Most of the land was still in the wild state, and had to be cleared, streets cut through and paved, and water mains install ed. Florida Builders set up a factory at 43rd Street and 7th Avenue S. where inside and outside wall sections were assembled in jigs or fixtures, designed for minimum waste of material and for maximum interchangeability of sections when assembled at the site. Doors, windows, and as much wiring and plumbing as possible were all installed at the fac-

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Daily Living, Then and Now 217 tory. Another pioneering concept was the use of plywood sheets in place of narrow boards. These sections, along with standardized roof trusses, were trucked to the site, assembled on previously poured concrete slabs, wiring and plumb i ng connected, and the whole painted. From the time a lot was cleared, a finished house ready for sale was standing on it in three weeks or less! The modular, interchangeable design of the wall sections made possible an almost infinite variety of floor plans from a very small number of different sections. The net result was that Florida Builders' homes sold for as much as $2,000 less than comparable homes which were custom-built. In a period of about four years, Florida Builders erected and sold close to 450 homes in its Gulfport Section 29 development. They had their own siding at their factory where trains would deliver carloads of fir from TampaUS Plywood lumber for studding, sheathing and all rough materials which were cut in their sawmill on that site. Hosack sold out to Haynsworth in 1952 and he sold ... and of such are businesses made! Another busi ness Florida Builders pioneered in our area with little or no-down payment. Very unusual in the housing business in those days was the unconditional two-year guarantee Florida Builders gave on all their homes. After completing the Gulfport development, Florida Builders went on to the larger Meadowlawn development on North 16th Street in St. Petersburg, and from there to still larger operations in north Florida. -Willard B. Simonds SOURCES: 1. For general information on Section 29 and the Pasadena Estates area: Some Pasadena promotional lit erature in the Society's posses sion; Walter P. Fuller' s book, S t Petersburg and Its People; offi cial Plat Map of Section 29; Abstract of Deed for this author's property; and personal knowledge ga ined through 25 years of li v ing in the area. 2. For the Florida Builders deve lopment: Lengthy telephone conver sations with Messrs. Robert J. Hosack and Martin V. Ahl.

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218 CHAPTER 11 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE SAND FLATS It all started back in November, 1922, when my mother came by boat (Merchants and Miner s) from New York to Jacksonville. She was with her aunts and a small boy cousin. They took the train to St. Petersburg. Her uncle told his sisters it was very beautiful around Williams Park. Dad came with his parents in 1923 from Massachusetts in a new Model T Ford. It must have been quite a camping trip, what with dirt roads and all! They stayed in a tent city acro ss from Lake Maggiore in south St. Petersburg Really wanting to have their own home, they purchased land at 28th Avenue and 57th Street S. and built a small house and garage right away. Pioneering there meant driving over dirt. streets, cutting down about twelve pine trees, and killing dozens of snakes. As three children were born, more rooms were added by Dad, the carpenter, but it was slow Mother was more than a housewife -cook, laundr ess, c hild carer, teacher she held a big position in bringing up her family. Life was quite simple in those days. Grandpa Huckins grew bananas, potatoes, and grapefruit. For Easter we had six colored baby chicks which later meant eggs for us. Dad got hold of some Muscovy ducks once, and we saw one fly, but apparently he forgot how to pull up his wings and he fell with a somersault right on our clothesline! We had a kero sene cook stove. In winter Dad put up a wood stove and we gathered pine cones to bum in it. For hot water for baths and laundry he made a fire and put a galvanized tub over it. Water had to be carried to the tub and then into the house or wash house for the washing machine and two rinse water tubs. It was great fun to see Nathan Wh ite's grandfather on 28th Avenue have a black man plow the earth and later grow Statices flowers (Lemonium specie s ) Weekends were exciting and busy! Mother baked, us kids worked in the yard, cleaned the car, took big baths, grocery shopped, and went down Central Avenue to roam around the Five and Dime store and select five cents' worth of candy. We couldn't stay too long because meat was in the car. Sunday we went to church and Mother had a nice dinner with Webb's ice cream. Dishes .got done up fast and we went to the Park Theatre. Some Sunday evenings Mother would make fudge or

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Daily Living, Then and Now 219 shared a Milky Way (Milky Way, Snickers and Three Muske teers in one bar). We would read the papers or listen to the radio-Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and musical programs. From the Sunday meat we made Monday sandwiches for we always carried our bag lunch to school. Mother and Dad took us up north to visit relatives in 1929, 1932, and 1937-camping of course on the way. Dad got hold of a homemade trailer in 1940 so then we had another trip. For Thanksgiving Dad would get a turkey at Cooper's on Tangerine Avenue and we also got pickles there. For Christ mas we would go out in the woods to select a branch of a cedar tree and Dad would saw it off for our Christmas tree. We have four cedar trees in the yard that didn't make Christ mas! Grandmother and Aunt sent us a piece of their fruit cake wrapped in fancy paper. For New Year's Eve, Mother and Dad would go down the street and have a little get together with a German and Scottish ladies. During 6th grade moving up, we went and had hot dogs and rolls at the edge of the golf course. Gwen Tuppen's father managed the course. Outside games were softball, hide and seek, kick the can, and marbles. Inside we played Chinese checkers, Old Maid cards, and Bunko 21. Of course, we had the wonderful woods in back before the sand flats. We knew a magnolia tree and many blue and red birds and often saw rows of quail flying onto 28th Avenue. We also saw a small alligator near the big oak tree. I would lie in bed and listen to the musi c from the Casino and the whip-poor-will in the woods, and Arthur Ben's hunting dogs on the sand flats. One Sunday, Dad and Grandpa visited a friend at Bay Pines Hospital and a Veteran heard on his earset that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. After they arrived home, we all knew. I guess everyone knows where they were that December 7, 1941! -Norma I. Huckins Huckins Family: Frank L. Huckins, Clara A. Huckins, Norman C. Huckins, Gl adys I. Etherington Huckins, Norma I. Huckins, Earl C. Huckins, Marilyn J. Huckins Taylor.

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220 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida CHAPTER 12 MULLET FISHING When the sun refuses to shine and clothes haven't dried in weeks, when the ic y rain of a November squall hits the face like bucksho t and even the bla cksnake won't stick his forked tongue out of his pit -then the t ime is right for mullet to search out the still water protected by flying mangrov e roots, for that is where mullet spawn. All nature now conspires to protect these stars of the sea by sending the worst weather of the year to pound the bays with lashing rain 'and churn the air with buffeting winds. This is the time when only the hardiest of men stand tall in their oiled-silk slickers and pole their skiffs into the tempest to frustrate nature's plan for the mullet. Two men, in separate skiffs, each with a lantern, a poling oar, and 400 yards of net, glide out on a moonless night in search of flashes of phosphorous. When the glowing water is found, the two skiffs start from a common point and quietly move in opposite directions, paying out net as they encircle a shoal of mullet. When the circle is comple t e the two skiffs move to the center of the enclosure, creatin g a great commo tion with oar against gunwale and kni fe against kettle to frighten the fish into wildly ignoring those faint blue-gray lines that let the ir heads through but stop them at the pec torals. In this position the strings of the net enter the gills, preventing them from closing, so that the fish is unable to separate the atoms of oxygen from the atoms of hydrogen and consequently drowns. Once the strike is made, the c ircle is opened by the two skiffs moving in a reverse direction, taking in the nets as rapidly as may be before the sharks with their tripl e rows of razor-pointed teeth rip out square yards of net and gulp down scores of fish As each net is taken in over the stern, horny hands extract the fish from the meshes, the nets being dropped in the stern, the fish being thrown to the center of the skiff, but eyes ever alert for an electric eel, a man-of-war, or other paralyzing creature of the sea. The hom on the hands, which results from years of pulling on wet hemp and being stuck by fins and cut by gills, offers no protection against the shock of eels or the poison of sea nettles. When the haul is completed, the skiffs are poled to the fish house, the place where ice has bee n stored; there the fish are packed in crushed ice to await transportation to market, and

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Daily Living, Then and Now 221 the men pole out to the bay again in the hope of making another haul before the season is over. So pass the nights and many winter days of mullet fishermen. * The mullet man's wife walks down to the net-spread with her husband and joshes with the other wives while their men pole from the cove to the bay. With forced laughter over un-funny jokes, the wives return through deep sand and sand spurs to their homes. There is a reluctance to enter the now empty house which her husband and his brothers built of heartwood; its destruction by termites or post beetles is one problem she does not have to worry about. Fire is another matter. As the evening shadows lengthen, she knows yesterday's wash-pot water is now cool enough to turn out under the clothesline to form a hard crust over the sand. The hog her man slaughtered before setting off for mullet has to be but chered, the hams and bacon sides salted for him to hang in the smokehouse, the loins prepared for the oven, the guts emptied, scraped, washed, and boiled for sausage castings, and the offal spread round the rose and jasmine bushes. The kerosene lamps must be lighted now so the children can learn some grammar, memorize the spelling of words, and do their sums while she coaches them without missing a stroke of the flat iron on yesterday's washing. Every sheet, every starched pillow case, every undergarment, every starched shirt must be ironed with such skill as will proclaim to the world that she has pride in her work, pride in her family, pride in herself. On Saturday nights there is dough to kneed and set for Sun day's light bread in case the preacher comes. (On other days there are clabber biscuits, hot from the oven three times a day.) There are always necessary chores to be done, necessary in more ways than one: she must not let her mind dwell on the hazards of her man's occupation-the chances of his being stung by a ray, bitten by a barracuda, even drowned like that handsome young fisherman Leander who drowned in a November storm in the Gulf of Abydos, a tragedy that was repeated five thousand years later when our neighbor, another handsome young fisherman, another Leander, was drowned in another November storm in the Gulf of Mexico. These dangers she will not consciously admit to herself, but she cannot put them completely out of her mind as long as

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222 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida her man is on the water. Must get him to bum. out the privy when the mullet are gone Tragedy strikes the mullet men too often. There was that sad funeral for the jolly young prankster who bought wood alcohol from a passing bootlegger who said it was com liquor. How many beds and basks are going to miss him? He was good looking. Strong, too. No more of that. Her man wouldn't drink wood alcohol, would he? Nor would he stop at New Cadiz to call on that woman they say moved in after she got too diseased to cont inue plying her profession in Ybor City. Kill her, if he does! Thankful for one job that won't have to be done tonight: bathing the children. Too cold. A lick and a promise will have to do this 'time. Co l d is not all bad: there'll be no more house flie s, sandflies, mosquitos, and gnats until spring. Soon he'll be gathering oysters and cutting cabbage palms for us. If only she could take him some hot coffee brewed from fres hly ground beans Maybe bake a pie of dried apples and rais i ns this cold night; maybe he'll return tomorrow with a good hau l ; maybe enough for us to afford screens like they have in the windows of that dude fish camp. Couple of 5000-lb. hauls ought to do it. But he' ll want a truck. Too hot most of the year to bake pies and cakes in a woodburning oven. Must get him to lay in more stove wood and k i ndling before long. Anyway, the best desserts hang in the trees and vines i n the yard oranges, loquats, bananas peaches, guavas, mangoes, cherries, grapes, melons. In the morning, before the sun is up, the day's supply of vegetables will have to be brought in from the kitchen gar den, washed and prepared for cooking: squash and carrots okra and tomatoes, egg plant and potatoes, com and beans, spinach and beets, cabbage and onions. Wonder if he could be persuaded to plant some sugar cane this spring? There will be fish to dress and fry, a chicken to catch and make into purleu (must save the down for pillows), and four vegetable dishes to fix. The children must be properly fed, though their father might not be home for a week. There's breakfast to make and lunch boxes to fill with sandwiches and fruit for the school children If this cold weather holds, it will be a good time to make soap. Eggs must be gathered from the chicken hut evening and morning, washed and candled. There's milk to be churned into butter. Then there's that bolt of percale from which sheets must be cut and hemmed, pillow cases run up,

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Daily L i v i ng Then and Now 223 and maybe some nightgowns made. An d she will embroider monograms on table linens in her spare time. Richard E. Bozeman CHAPTER 1 3 SICKNESS FOR THEM OR US Mostly, repairs and other cures were effected at home. Mothers were handy about fixing the usual childhood hurts; men, when mee ting up with snakes, knew how to c u t the area f o r blood -and poison -letting and to tourniquet the limb a bove the b ite to prevent s pread of the poison. Men who wres t led with alligators learn e d early in their c hildhood to throw the beast against himself as he thrashed his vi cti m from side to side in order to twist his body so he would have to let go. If that didn't work, as once r eported, a nearby physician amputated the alligator-bitten arm right on the spot and then took the victim to hosp ital for recovery. Usually colds, flu, and gastric d isorde r s were t r e a ted with home remedies sometimes with herbs t heir Indian f r iends had taught them to u se. During the "cold season," child ren wore a sefedita bags o n strings around their necks to keep people who might have germs away from them. That woul d probably exile one from eve ryone becaus e of its odor! The local hospital, The Cedars referred to as "only a first a i d station" by some, reportedly took care of many patie nts with hear t attacks and other medical e mergenc ies; but people with surgical problems had to b e taken to a hospital either in nearby St. Peter sburg or Tampa. The St. Petersburg Sanitarium flourished from t906 to 1910 when the City boasted of 2,000 residents and had hotel s pace for 675 guests. A s mall group of men and wome n headed by Dr. J.D. Pea body purchased a lot on Second Street near First Avenue N. for hospital purposes. Mr. A. P. Avert offered fina nci al assist ance, and a build i ng to accommoda t e 15 beds wa s e rected, named, and incorporated. Donation s of about $2,000 were bolstered by another $1,000 from Mr. E. H. Tomlin son to equip an operating room. Drs. Peabody, Thomas P. Welch, F W Wilcox J. D Taylor, J A. C hilds, and H. A. Murphy formed the m edical staff, and Mr. Avery was Treasure r and Business Manager.

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224 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida It served well but at a financial loss, and in 1909, a group of public spirited citizens led by J. W. Harris started a move ment to establish a so-called public hospital A half block at 7th Street and 6th AvenueS. was purchased, and a year later the other half block was procured. The hospital was opened in August, 1910, and was known as the Good Samaritan. The first part of it was later moved to 4th Avenue and 12th Street S. to be used for black people; it served them well until the Mercy Hospital was opened in 1923. Quickly the hospita l was outgrown by its City, and with 350 admissions a year obviously needed to be enlarged. The Women's Auxiliary started a campaign for support, and in three years the Augusta Memorial was opened with 22 beds just west of the present north wing. The Augusta was named for Mr. Tomlinson's mother. The City issued a bond for $10,000 of which $8,000 went toward the building and the balance for retiring the land in debtedness. Dr. Frank Wilcox was the first Chief of Staff and ret ained that position until his death in 1918. Each doctor in the City served on staff. Later the name was changed to City Hosp i tal, and again larger facilities were demanded. This time the bond issue was for $145,000, but that amount was cut to $75,000 because of local opposition. Another addition opened in 1923 with 60 more beds and the name was changed to Mound Park Hosp ital bec ause of the Indian shell mounds discovered on the property. Six of those mounds were torn down and the shells used later for paving City streets. In 1937, another addition was completed making capacity of 130 beds (now the "B" Bu il ding and the only part of the original s tructure in use). Another 251 beds were added in 1952, and the hospital was declared one of the finest in the Southeast. Another floor was added on the four-s tory addition, making a total of 416 beds in "B" and "C" buildings. Seven years later, the 6th and 7th flo.ors were added. Then "A" ;Building was torn down and the new "A" was built, opened in 196Q with two floors available and two others shelled in. Roser Hall, formerly a residence for nurses, was tom down and converted into space for 77 beds, 3rd and 4th floors of "A" were completed for another 78 beds, making the new total 725. With the population moving away from the central City, suburban hospital development eased the burden on Mound Park.

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Daily Liv i ng Then and Now 225 Not done yet! By 1968 it was agreed the hospital should be leased to a corporation Many interna l changes occurred, and Bayfront M edical Center becam e its new name. Pinellas now became one of two counties in the state which had neither a city nor a county hospital. Our Bay front Medical Center cared for the indigent, receiving far too little reimbursement for services and consequently lost ground financially. But by the mid-1970's, Bayfron t again regained its lead ersh ip qualities. It is fully equipped with the most modern appliances, and across the street are found the Professional Building, All Children's Hospital, Suncoast Medical Building Oncology Center for the County, and vast parking spaces. St. Anthony's Ho spital started out as Faith Ho spital in 1923. Nine Catholi c sisters came h ere in November 1931 from St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach with $50 spending money between them to begin a mission here. St. Petersburg had scarcely seen their like! The City was emerging from its pioneer stage, with incorporation and platting of streets happening only in 1888, which also marked the first s aying of Roman Catholi c Mass in Pin ellas County. The Florida "Boom" in real estate had collapsed, leaving over 40,000 people sunk in the depths of the Depression. Banks were shuttered and people were without work. Even though hospital facilities were considered adequate, many had not yet learn e d the habit of going to a hospital for se r ious illness or injury -and surely not for birthing! Nathan White says he wa s told ( fo r once he can't rememb er!) that Dr. L. B. White was a popular obstetrician, with offices on C e ntral Avenue, and he charged $7.50 to deliver his mother -after several hours of watchful waiting! Few were able to pay even if they had wanted to. Undaunted, the sisters set up shop in the cottage-sized former Faith Hospital, on the corner of 11th Street and 7th Avenue N., and they renamed i t St. Anthony's. It became the first Catholic hospital o n the West Coast of Florida purchased from Dr. Leroy Wylie, its founder, for $40,000. The good sisters had to perform many menial tasks as well as their profe ssional duties to overcome the skepticism of many. They went into debt to renovate, but five years later were ready to expand! In 1920, newspaper releases indicated high regard for Dr. Wylie who, with a ri c h professional background in New York a t Bellevue and New York hospitals also in the Army, forged ahead with the dream of a well-equipped hospital not only

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226 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida for surgery but for all diseases prevalent in this area. One of the methods the stalwart sisters used to win over the doctors was to feed them with invitations to dinner. Seeing the other skills of these young women demonstrated in their group living, the doctors began to share their confidence that there could be a fine private hospital. Somehow the money was raised in the amount of $125,000 for the first improvements Some innovations included five x-ray machines, ultra-violet and diathermy equipment, and a considerable supply of radium. Newspapers in 1933 declared this to be one of three leading hospitals in the South. Nursing was seen as not a mechanical art but a service impregnated with the soft sympathy on which the sick and infirm need to depend. Many staff members went into their country's service in World War II; soldiers quartered at the Vinoy Hotel waiting to go overseas came to give blood, and nurses participated in KC parties for the troops while maintaining their almost over whelming hospital duties. By 1948 the 1937 facility was too small, so ground was broken for an $800,000 five-story addition; they bought the old Mayflower Apartment building across the street, and by its 25th anniversary, St. Anthony's Hospital had a 275-bed capacity and .staff of 129 physicians. St. Joseph's Pavilion was dedicated in 1958, adding another 57 beds. Ground was broken in 1965 for an $8million addition and physical growth and quality of patient care and equipment for it, continuously have kept this hos pital operating with the high standards with which it was begun. The staff and its City anticipate another 50 years of service to many, from all over our country as well as from St. Petersburg, Gulfport, and other surrounding cities. Many residents of Gulfport work there, recover there, were born certainly many at this time are being born there! If you talk with us, you will discover many do volunteer work there regularly and reap deep satisfactions from comple menting the professionals in their services. Then, too, residents of Gulfport have been and/or are patients at Bay Pines Veterans' Hospital, and many have worked or do work Like the previously described hos pitals, this facility started out small and is now huge. It opened as a Home for Retired Veterans in 1931 and in two years; with the first building nearing completion, the Regional Office was moved there from Jacksonville. From that small beginning has grown the tremendous complex of

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D aily Li ving, Then and Now 227 dozens of buildings, 340 medical beds, 30 rehabilitation, 150 surgical, 150 psy chia tric, 200 domiciliary, and 240 nursing home beds. This V.A. center has approximately 2,100 full time employees with an annual payroll of over $46-million and a total expenditure of over $84-million for health care b enefits. As one of the 172 medical centers of the Depart ment of Medicine and Surgery of t he Veterans' Administra tion, it will continue to provide what it has for o ver 50 years dedicat e d service to the Veteran, a positive influ ence in the field of health care, and a meaningful contribution to the life of this community." France s Purdy *Please see file o n Hospitals in our Museum and our story about Cedars in this book. WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEIR TEETH ACHED? Several people told us about the Bea chcomber Dentist, Dr J M. Baggett, who lived in Dunedin in the 1880's and earned his ni c kname by making h o u se calls by sailboat. He sailed up and down the central Gulf coasts, stopping at farm houses as far south as Sarasota. With roads as they were, he made much better time on the water, and word of his ap proach was quickly s pread from one neighbor to another. He u su ally spent the night with a family, taking care of extractions for one dollar each, and for two dollars he made a gold foil filling. If bits of t he latter fell on the floor, he quickly collected them for the future ; for e xample, he made his wife's wedding ring from such gold scraps. Years later, that wedding band wa s cut in half for the wives of his two grand sons! Not only wa s Dr. Baggett popular as a dentist, he was also a newspaper man. He was editor of the West Hillsb oro ugh Times i n 1884, while Dr. J. L. Edgar a former St. Louis physici an, managed the paper and M. Joel McMull e n took c harge of the mechanical department in the rear of Dr. Edgars drugstore That paper lasted only four months and they sold out and the paper was moved to Clearwater In 1892 it was sold again for $1200 and the press moved to St. Peter s burg for the St. P etersburg Times. The dentist's appointment book shows that he wa s paid a total of $5.50 fo r se rvices to three pati ents in a "Stop At

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228 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Bluff." Was it our Barnett' s Bluff or Belleair? It is also interesting to note that Dr. Baggett held the first certificate of dentistry from the Florida State Board of Dental Examiners in 1887. Dr. Baggett's grandson and great-grandsons sail the same waters he did a hundred years later, finding adventure as did our "Beachcomber" Dentist. CHAPTER 14 SOME COMMENTS ABOUT CEMETER I ES Frances Purdy One day, Cecil Slaughter remembered that James Barnett, first white settler's child born h ere, died July 28, 1950, and that he is buried in Glen Oaks Cemetery with his parents, James and Rebecca, who die d in 1880 and 1907 respectiv e ly. That stimulated interest in the location, though it is now outside our City limits. It is lo cated at 2010 Auburn Street S. which emerges from 22nd Avenue S. on the north side. Once it was a property of two and a half acres donated by Henry L. Slaughter, and part of it has been used as a burial ground, the rest for the Glen Oaks Community Church which more recently was named St. Jude s United Holine ss Church. A letter from Frank Kimball (referred t o later in this article) states that "Tim [Kimball] arranged for a home belonging to a lady from Washington, D.C. to be moved to the corner of the Glen Oaks Cemetery to be used as a Chapel. ... 2012 Auburn St." When that building was outgrown, Tim raised most of the money for the new church in 1909behind the original c hapel. These sites were investigated by Helen Ross, Carl Norberg, Lum and Mary Atkinson, and the. ir "find" acclaimed in local new spapers of February 4, 1985. A follo w-up was the second letter from Frank H Kimball of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. Quoting in part from that letter, dated March 21, 1985, we read "believe graves found are close to the left of the middle of the church. If your members would go about 200 yards to the left of the middle of the church, they will find the earliest grave -of Emma Kimball. She arrived on the Point September 1874, and died the following month.'' He reports from their family history and other sources that "an interesting group of pioneers of Gulfport were Joseph and Beneventure Puig, Joseph Torres, and

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Daily Living, Then and Now 229 Timothy Kimball who came from New Orleans in 1874-78." Joseph Puig was married to one of the Kimball sisters. Timothy lived to a ripe old age in his home on Maximo Road and shortly before death gave John Blocker many Bethell books telling the Pinellas story. To the St. Petersburg His torical Society he gave the masthead of The Sea Breeze (referred to in our "Printed Words"). In 1874, Joseph Puig, excited by the Disston activities, bought 120 acres and platted it into a subdivision named New Cadiz. In 1882, he started a grocery store and post office, but it all folded when the railroad stopped in St. Petersburg. Timothy lived with the Puigs until 1878 when he bought 80 acres at 37th Street and 24th Avenue S., and Torres bought 200 acres at Disston Avenue and Boca Ciega Bay, p l atting it as the Torres Sub division December 11, 1882 -but it too soon faded. Frank Kimball lists the following graves: Emma Kimball, 2-13-271014-74; Emily Knight Kimball, 3-4 -184-5 74; Joseph Puig, 4-22 -30-3-10-97; Alice Puig, 1-14-42-6-2-30; Martin Campus, 11-11-5? 8-7-21; Timothy Kimball, 12-6 -56-6-12-33; and he states that Richard Strada, who came on the ship with Emily 9-74, i s buried next to her. The cemetery book of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church was reviewed, partially read, taped and typed (avail able in Museum). Although many addresses were listed as Gulfport, most are not now within our limits. This cemetery is in disrepair, located on Lakeview Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets S. Mrs. E. E. Billedian is listed as owner of lots seven and nine and a notation indicated Baby Wintersgill was interred in 1947 in No. 7, but there are no signs of a grave. Page 12 states No. 1 is an unmarked grave, possibly that of Miranda who died in 1906, since No.2 is marked for Josephine M. B. Miranda who died 1903. In that section there are references to members of the Chase family, of the Grays and Roberts. No doubt some of them were our early settlers. (Allen Hall, Cemetery Chairman, 867-7015 or 864-2268.) Anxious to learn more about this topic, calls were made on local funeral directors, but they had no early records. Bob Easter was most helpful in suggesting a call to Woodward Elliott, Jackson Vault Co. (326-7694) and he offered to in vestigate specific requests from the Jackson files. It is of interest that Bill, a nephew of Norma and Marilyn (Huckins) Taylor works with him. Further curiosity led to Greenwood Cemetery, 9th Street

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230 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida and 14th Avenue S. in St. Petersburg. A call to Woodlawn Memorial Park meant that Cora Rice, for Clay Wilson, owner, told me it had formerly been known as Florida Cemetery when Mr. Billings opened it in 1935. She said the Palms Memorial, Inc. (822-4011) has records, and there, Peggy Dyer said Frank Ryll (867-5950) takes care of records and, indeed, of the cemetery now. Conversation with Mr. Ryll, May 20, 1985, was most interesting and we agreed we could share information he wants for what we need! He thought he had retired about seven years ago, but J. B. Starkey changed his mind when he asked him to take care of this cemetery where his parents are buried. "J.B." said the job would be simple"just write a check twice a month"but that isn't how it has come to be! He supervises total care of the place and, though no lots are available for sale, descendants of many old families of the area are being buried there. He said Mr. William Bussey was the first funeral director in town, in 1895. S. D. Harris, office at 6th and Central, bought him out in 1909. (His grandsons, Jack and Sam, are attorneys.) The Old American State Bank, holder of his finances, failed when other banks did, and things were rough until Florida National got them straightened out. P. V. Cunningham, hardware merchant, had the most fabulous place of that kind -where Union Trust parking space is now He was interested in clean ing up Greenwood, and did; and he established a Trust Fund to maintain the cemetery. J. M. Endicott and Mrs. Masterson built The Palms Memorial and, in 1933, Maynard Duruea bought l.t, and five years later Frank Ryll, his nephew, joined him. Now all their business is handled by C. James Mathews, owned by a Cleveland, Ohio, company. Woodlawn Cemetery is from 3rd to 5th Avenues S., be tween 16th and 17th Alley. Evergreen is under Interstate 75, 5th Avenue S., east of 16th; and had to be cleared of 350 graves to make way for road construction. He and Monroe McRae moved many graves to Lincoln, which actually is the only cemetery located in Gulfport, south of the railroad tracks on 58th Street S. Mr. Ryall said that Royal Palm Cemetery was opened about 1925 and Woodlawn Memory Garden in 1921. He is very pleased with the way Easter and Hendley Suncoast Funeral Homes are servicing our population. (Phone numbers are used with permission and indicated for the use of readers interested in specific requests.) -Frances Purdy

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Daily Living, Then and Now CHAPTER 15 SOME FUN AND OTHER THINGS PEOPLE TOLD US ABOUT 231 Helen Ross collected a lot of what we would call amusing trifles now, but then these things really happened! Marjorie Dalton Johnson told Helen about a little boy who had no bathing suit, so he put large safety pins in his older brother's suit and went swimming every day wearing it. Two artists at the beach offered to pay him if his parents agreed to let them paint his picture. Embarrassed but thrilled, his mother burned the old suit and rushed out to buy him a nice new one. The artists were totally devastated because they were doing a cover picture for The Atlantic Monthly and wanted character, not just another little boy dressed in a proper bathing suit! Marjorie also told us about the young Oriental man dressed in native silks who was the official greeter at the fabulous Rolyat Hotel. He was just loved by the guests. His little dog was, too, for he dressed the dog in dark glasses with hat and pipe. The dog would perform tricks while they were having their pictures taken. She has one such picture. Sara Ann Paterson said many prominent celebrities stayed at the Rolyat Hotel Mrs. Clark of the Clark candy bar company, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig (who bought property in Pasadena Estates, she thought), and others known to be paying with gold in business deals. Women were sometimes alone at the hotel and selected young men known to have good manners, presentable suits and dancing abilities to accompany them to the dances and they enjoyed great refreshments. One such lucky young man was Richard E. Bozeman. When a fireworks store on Beach Blvd. blew up, there was an unscheduled celebration at the beach, said Nathan L. White, Sr:, who also said it was good advice not to stick your hand into a gopher hole lest you get attached to a snake! Speaking of surprises, Walter Brooks told about how a chronic complainer was walking down the street when the Fire Department went by, and someone (accidentally?) turned the water on. He had a fast bath and they heard less fussing from him after that! In Pasadena Estates there were brick streets but no houses and the only way to get the weeds cleaned out from between the bricks was to burn them. Then the animals came dashing out of the woods because of the smoke and many had lots of activity for a while! The Daniel's Castle was built by a

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232 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida "soldier of fortune" on 49th Street, but the Thomes didn't know much about it, nor have we found any who do. Do YOU? The song "Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer" was written about a Gulfport boy, John Kronkite, so Catherine Davis said, and she also recalled that the trees in Chase Park were planted in memory of the boys killed in the war. Nat Futch said lots of shirts and underwear were made from bleached flour sacks and Sallie Mann and Evelyn Sibole said their "unmentionables" were two legs with elastic on the bottoms and one elastic on top to hold the legs up -no middle! Joe Roberts headed home from fishing one day early due to motor trouble. He spotted a cache of bootleg liquor six bottles in a burlap sack and there were ten sacks. He looked around all clear touched them with his pole; the clink was right! He took the ten bags, hid one for future use, and shared the other nine with his friends who landed in jail to sleep it off! They later were surprised to hear that some one was watching but said nothing. Conrad Boette told about how he and others caught bullfrogs at 28th Avenue and 50th Street and sold them to restaurants. Nathan said that sea turtles would get beached and the town would turn out to watch the butchering of them five kinds of meat, some of which were sweet and tender. A policeman from St. Petersburg was known as "Cowboy Murphy" and a lady from Gulfport who could ride and herd cattle as well as any man, was chasing cows back and forth over the boundary lines after the fence law went into effect. The policeman was paid one dollar for each cow he caught, but she would have none of it -that was one of Cecil Stauter's yarns, and he has many more! Sydney Brooks remembers a lot about how things were when she and her son, Walter, talked with Helen in July, 1983. Though lots of water has always bounded this area, getting clean water into the homes in the early days was a problem. Mrs. Brooks saved the drippings from their ice box to have water fit to wash her baby's diapers. Clothes were always stained by the "ground water" as they are today, but today we have plenty of clean water. (How long shall we say that. if we don't conserve?) They recalled the usual diet of fish and wild game, dried beans, cornbread, and cole slaw. They would gather the plentiful scallops, sell a quart for a quarter, and buy a pound of steak with the proceeds. Oleum was always on hand to treat burns, infections or cuts; and many wore asefetida bags tied around their necks in winter

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Daily Living, Then and Now 233 to ward off colds. (That odor w o u l d no doubt keep infec t ious people and o thers a t a d istance!) They reme m bered when a fat woman attempted to make the Guinne ss Bo o k o f Record s by staying in the water under the pier for several days in the early thirties People gave her food and flu ids but she gained only local recognition and many insect bites. Mrs. Brooks used to get up at four in the mo r ning to bake cupcakes which she sold for a doll ar a dozen. Walter's college tuition wa s paid partially with that money. When s h e hung clothes out in her yard to dry, t h e mosquitoes were dreadful her leg s would be heavily spotted with blood from having swatted them. The man a cross t h e stree t from her had r i d i ng horses and they alway s h id t h e h ug est flies in the County! Ch ildren played in the hot sun rather than run the risk found in the shady haunts of the "biters" and everyone retreated indoor s when the sun went down because of the p esky in sects In earlie r days when windows were unpaned, cow dung was burned so the smudge would repel the pests. The y s a id many houses around Gulfport are built of pine and cypress which termites cannot digest. They remembered the chanting of b lack men who would sing as they worked at anything that had a rhythm to i t such as the laying of bri cks for r oads. Children obeyed the nine o'clock curfew, or Holland would catch t hem as h e did in the watermelon patch more than once! Several told the story about how H olland, also the Fire Chief, rang the bell at headquarters to call the fir emen but forgot to write down the location of the fir e The men came, and as they wondered wher e to go, Holla n d came back yelling at them to come with him. It was his own house that was burning! Nathan L. White, Sr. said no one ever locked doors in those d ays -they'd go away on vacation for two weeks and leave bikes on porches and d oors wide open (who knew wher e the key s were anyhow after years of leaving doors un locked?). Neighbors would go door to door hunting any person m issing from home. Once they had to find a wif e whose body was eventually found between 26th and 27th Avenu es, on 58th Street, and the murderer was shortly apprehended a friend of the family, no less! An old newspaper carries t his story by Mrs. Mary A. Roberts, 19 Boulevard, Struthers, Ohio and it's called "Gulf port's Frien dly Old Streetcar." The articles states, Probably the friendliest streetcar in the world c onnects St. Peter s burg wi t h Gulfport, or Veteran City as it was then called during

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234 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida the early days of the turn of the century when I moved there as a girl. The conductor and motorman ... were most accom modating, realizing their line was the only connection with the big city. If one were late in getting ready for the trip, a monumental one in those days, he would send ahead someone to tell the line's operators that he was on his way and they'd just wait as long as they had to. I have vivid memories of waiting with other passengers for someone who had to finish dressing or other chore before catching the car into town. We never seemed to mind-it was part of our relaxed way of life. . The line was established at the insistence of Alonzo A. Hoyt, a pioneer who gave up much of his land for the right-of-way He used to smile at me and say he never received as much as a free ride. He did receive the thanks of Gulfport residents and the winter visitors who delighted in riding the line through. We realized how important the streetcar was when on occasions storms and high waters washed out the tracks and we were forced to venture to St. Peters burg on our own. I remember one time when my parents had urgent business in town and walked all the way. They stayed in St. Pete until the service was resumed. The days it plied on one track ... seem like yesterday .... The tracks looked like railroad ties that are laid above the ground and then the tracks on top of it. Where the passengers boarded looked like two wooden pallets laid on the ground, one on each side of the track .... "I remember the first alligator farm My father was one who helped catch alligators. When I was there in 1927, they took me to see Bob who was quite old at that time and had knocked father flat on his face with his heavy tail he was about sixteen feet long. My father did a lot of hunting alligators, bobcats, armadillo, racoons. . One of the big gest problems was snakes ... all over the place ... came into buildings, in fact, my mother said she left her bag around and when she came back there was a snake sitting in it . they were like worms up north ... all over!" When talking with Nathan another time, he told about how his grandfather, Nathan B. McKinney, built the house at 3008 54th StreetS. for a wedding present for his mother, Ethel C. White, who had just married Leander A. White. It cost maybe $2500 to build and still stands in good condition, he thinks. It was affectionately called the "White House" where all the children would gather because his mother said she wanted it that way for then she knew where

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Daily Living, Then and Now 235 her kids were. That house was one of three in the area be tween 29th Avenue and 31st Avenue. Nathan's grandfather lived at 2723 56th Street and had a banana grove and raised gladioli and statas, the latter he shipped all over the country in pasteboard boxes. Nathan recalls how much pleasure was shared when his Grandpa sat out front by the hour talking with people who came by to buy his 1ady finger bananas or so.me flowers-or just to talk! In June, 1983, Jerome Girard remembered about the ice box his father made. They used to dig a hole in the ground and put blocks of ice in, then place food around it as best they could. He invented an ice box of wood and in between layers of wood put sawdust. The lid had a window weight on it so that when one pulled the weight down, the lid was lifted. In August, 1982, Virginia Easter Welch told about passing out many copies of Kim's Guide to Florida when she went north, trying to interest people she knew in moving here. Now she thinks our City is large enough and encourages people to just visit. Virginia ran a beauty shop many years in her own building until her first child was born. She said everybody was glad that when they built Town Shores, it killed millions of mosquitoes! She said Mrs. Lucky had the girls clean out the pine needles stored in what she later made into the first library. They came after school, and when finished she gave them lemonade and cookies on the porch. Her Granddaddy was a builder of many houses here. He came from St. Augustine and before that from Spain, and here he met and married Miss Slaughter. They ran the first grocery store, hauled supplies from Tampa, and when they couldn't get supplies, they'd plant sweet potatoes and sell the leaves for salad greens. With plenty of fish and small animals, they ate well. Her cousins gladly told how they gathered small shells and made pictures with them. They showed me a rice shell purse which they promised to give the Museum one day. They all three loved their teacher, Mrs. Mary Lou Gray, who played with them, taught them, and was pretty. Their Dad was Superintendent of the gang that built the railroad from St. Petersburg, and he was the first conductor of the trolley. Sallie Mann was born the first day the trolley ran. They told about Granny Wells who lived here quite a while. She came from Pasco County and hauled wood with her horse and buggy. She smoked corncob pipes and made and drank her own whiskey which she made in a tea kettle, holding a plate over the steam to distill the good stuff. She looked just like

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236 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Mama Yokum. We have a newspaper clipping dated 8/10/58 showing a Thorne picture of "Lost Romance of the Rice Shells" and a write-up by his wife stating that collecting these tiny shells was a favorite pastime of northern visitors. Strung together, they make a lovely necklace and, to visitors, they epitom ized the romance of sunny Florida. Her husband for many years was the official spring training photographer for the Braves and Yankees baseball teams and they loved their life here in the 1920's. On Monday nights everyone in the com munity would gather at the Casino for supper and dancing; in the summer he had a studio in New Jersey where the pace was much faster. She wrote, too, that the little rice shells just seemed to disappear and she therefore cherished her neck lace even more. "Uncle Robert Cushing" lived at 2301 57th Stree t S. and had chickens for sale He invented "battery coops" and built one on top of another and off the ground with troughs running to each cage with food and water. The eggs rolled down the troughs! With deep affection Mary tried to reconstruct the tape which had excessive background noise making it difficult to hear enough to type her words -the words of Harriet Benn White. She was born in England in 1906 and came to Gulf port in 1921 with her Uncle Arthur Hudson. Later, her mother, sister and brother arrived. Arthur Hudson was a con tractor, quite an entrepreneur back then. He had a large tent erected at the foot of 54th Street and Shore Blvd. where the old pier used to be and there he put in a store. Harriet worked there and sold soft drinks, crackers, sandwiches, and coffee to people getting off the boats from Pass-A-Grille. She used to gather rice shells, string them, and sell the necklaces to the tourists. Later, Arthur opened another shop at Delette and Beach Blvd. i n the building which presently is known as Rehearsal Hall, housing the Community Players' equipment. On the large porch they set up tables and chairs and served sandwiches, coffee, and ice cream. Next door to their shop No. 2 was an empty lot and Arthur sent to Boston for a carnival ride. It was composed of six boat swings that swung around in a circle when given a push to start them. The ride and the little shop were very popular with the young people and provided lots of fun for many. The following is the Obit. for Harriet Benn White: "White, Harriet Benn, 78, of 1102 55th Street S., Gulfport, died

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Daily Living, Then and Now 237 Thursday (April 11, 1985). Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, she came here in 1919 from Massachusetts and was a member of Disston Avenue Church of Christ and Gulfport Historical Society. Survivors iri.clude three sons, Robert and Ollie, both of Gulfport, and Clyde, Lilburn, Ga ; two daughters, Harriet Ann Lanton, Fort White, and Bonnie Hartman, Tampa; four brothers, Arthur Benn, Dunnellon, Roy Thompson, Seminole, Jack Thompson, Gulfport, and George Thompson, Floral City; two sisters, Emma Pollard, Gulfport, and Dorothy Johnson, Dunnellon; 15 grand children and 17 great-grandchildren. Robert D. Easter Funeral Home, Gulfport." -Mary P. Atkinson SOME GABBER GOODIES (These Issues from Nathan White) May 28, 1970 -City of Gulfport, FloridaEveryone's Kind of Town: and it features pictures of Council and City management, and many special people and buildings. One of the most interesting ads is for Town Shores condos priced at $11,995! There is a nice story about Herman Geller, "fore most builder of condominiums on the West Coast of Florida" and of his building background in Miami. Mayor "Bud" Markham had just broken ground for the new Marie E. Bryan Memorial Library ($100,000), and Meals-On-Wheels were being prepared by the Irelands in their Casino Snack Bar and delivered by volunteers directed by Mrs. Hanfield and Mrs. Hans Fire Chief L. T. McCarthy and Assistant Chief Nathan White are p ictured with their new Plectron Alerting and Monitor Receivers. June 25, 1970 -Cool Police: Our Police Department got their first air-conditioned car -comfort plus additional safety since moisture on windows during heavy rainfalls would now be eliminated. Ruth's Restaurant advertised dinners from 85 cents to $2.45, and the Kelly Brothers had a "Fish and Chips" dinner for the 4th of July fireworks, turn ing over $161 to Mayor Markham-total receipts for a busy evening of food, fun, and music. April 1, 1971-Gulfport Casino 1905-1971: The picture is of the second Casino, destroyed in the hurricane of 1921. Johnny Braun and his Orchestra played for dancing admis-

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238 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida sion was a dollar a couple! Little League had opened another season at Hoyt Field. GAFY was going full tilt, sponsoring teen dances and other activities for the growing youth population of Gulfport, and Council decided to appoint a full-time Recreation Director. The Casino item is a fine abbreviated history of the three structures on that site, complete with pictures. The Friends of the Library held its first meeting, and installation of officers was announced for April 21 at the Pasadena Country Club ($4.00). The Woman's Club was busy sponsoring scholarships for students at Boca Ciega High School, in arts and crafts, and supporting their ecology pro gram by having tables of "Things Made from Trash" at the students' carnival. The Garden and Bird Club heard Gil Whitton, County Agent, and celebrated their birthday with a covered dish supper. An 8-ounce T-bone steak with tossed salad and French fries at Kelly's was announced for $1.45! May 13, 1971 -The Gulfport Festivals became incorporated and was urging residents to support the 4th of July celebration. Town Shores prices were starting at $14,495 now! Our Winn Dixie store opened its new front addition after 16 years of service here. It employed 35 people, half of whom were local residents. The Senior Citizens Club re cessed regular meetings for the summer, but would have picnics twice a month at the large cabana on the beach. June 10, 1971 Gulfport Festivals, Inc. going full speed ahead with plans for the 4th of July, including beauty pageant, races, parades, and food! Arnold S. White announced the fourth annual summer camp for Little League. Users of the new Library were protesting the need to walk to the front door after parking in the rear of the build ing. They were advised to enjoy the nicely landscaped walk and the benches provided on the front lawn by the Lions' Club. The Coterie Club held their annual banquet at Captain Zak's, St. Petersburg Beach, and the Lions' Auxiliary in stalled their officers at the Lions' Center. June 17, 1971 -Bite of the Housing Code: with pictures of the demolition of properties long complained about and condemned. Council had been taking aggressive action to secure local voter registration -picture shows Wilda Cook talking against it -now this is taken for granted, thanks to the persistence of our former Councils and a better attitude in the Office of Elections! Gulfport Reassurance program celebrated its second successful year, with 24 volunteers and police cooperating when needed -to help our senior adults

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Dai l y L i v in g, Then and Now 239 feel more secure. June 21, 1971 -Front picture is of Herman Geller with five beauty contestants. Tele-Prompter Cable TV continues their full-page ad and announced appointment of local manager to improve sales. The cross-walk on Gulfport Blvd. at Winn Dixie was marked and traffi c speed was to be en forced at 15 miles. per hour"often 40"what else is new, we ask? A red tide alert was imposed because of infestation in Tampa Bay, posing no threat t o swimmers but people were advised not to eat shellfish. Hurricane season opened w ith suitable warnings for those living i n this area The former Library was being turned into an Adul t Center and residents were asked to give furniture and other gifts to make it attrac tive for its new use. The Recreation Department was runni ng full speed ahead w ith many activ i ties scheduled for all ages. October 1971 "Maybe it wouldn' t be a bad idea to put the designers of women's bathing suits i n charge of cutt ing governmental budgets." If good then, what about now?? ABOUT RECREATION (Taken from Council Minutes by Agnes Conron) Feb 7, 1922Permission granted to Mrs. Griffin for the Michigan So ciety to play checkers and dominoes in City Hall. Two years later, Council discussed the possibility of building a place for play i ng checkers and chess. March 3, 1925-Ordinance passed regulat i ng worldly plea s ures in Gulfport on Sun days, and two years later the Park Board was authorized to install horseshoe courts and t wo shuffleboard courts when the results of the former seemed to justify such installation Feb. 1, 1927 Special election held to vote on some ordinances and the results may interest you. Sunday morning picture show -83 voted "yes", 72 "no" and Sunday night dances using Town Hall -112 voted "yes" and 43 "no." Oct. 18, 1927 Council decided to take $35 from the General Fund for a Halloween Party for the school children; and by December, lots 7 and 8, Block 1 of Boca Ciega Park subdivision was designated as location for two horseshoe courts. Feb. 7, 1928 -For safety's sake children under 16 were not permi tted on the above-mentioned courts. 1929-Matt Brooks was given a cash award he won racing

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240 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida his motorboat, the Miss Gulfport. 1931 L. D. Renny invited Council to an entertainment and dance at the Casino, but there was no Sunday dancing permitted. The next two years have entries permitting Street Department men to help Mr. Anthony with the baseball field at Hoyt Park "as long as it didn't interfere with their work." A complaint was registered by Ebin Drum against a local box ing ring, with the result that the Gulfport Athletic Club agreed to remove the fighting arena within ten days. MOONSHINING, GAMBLING, AND SOME CURES TOO! Of course, the above activities entered into the daily lives of our predecessors! Several interviewees told us about how popular they were -and gambling was legal for many years. The Lowe family, for instance, made moonshine and wine and sold it for 50 cents a pint. Canadian whiskey found its way onto our beach, picked up by drivers of cars with false bottoms under the back seat. There were no law officers in the area to check such traffic, but one had to use great care when crossing the border between Canada and the United States because Customs there had a section of the road fixed with lighted mirrors which could find anything less than the most skillfully disguised bottles. Fishing boats did not carry rum in from the Islands, but Jamaican rum was brought by car from Miami regularly. Those drivers were mean men who wouldn't hesitate to use strong-arm tactics to protect their investment. The Coast Guard was vigilant but more con cerned about saving fishermen caught in storms than in catching "runners." Two ladies remembered "Granny Wells" who lived about a mile out of town and came in with horse and buggy to deliver "wood." She smoked a corncob pipe and made and drank her own whiskey, popular in town too. They said she made the hooch in her tea kettle, holding a plate over the steam to distill the good stuff. She looked like Mammy Yokum! Where did they gamble? We have learned little about specific locations, but there surely were back rooms in stores, tables set under shady trees that once decorated our streets more than they do. Perhaps chips flew in our Casino and hotels! Pass-A-Grille may have heard yells of "good luck" on holidays when their hotels had visitors from St. Petersburg

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Daily Liv i ng, Then and Now 241 who had taken the trolley through Gulfport, a steamer across the Bay, and were on their beach to enjoy families and friends away from home for a while. The loss of the splendid McAdoo Bridge over the Bay during the 1926 hurricane was felt by all such travelers. They also said kids would swipe oranges and other fniits and vegetables, stuff them in their shirts, and then sit around a campfire in the evening talking about their expeditions as all boys do. They'd go home to bed to get up early as usual to help their fathers with the major occupation-fishing. That's how they learned! Cecil Slauter told us -that turpentine was used for curing stings and minor cuts, and fishermen always carried it for emergencies. Asafetida, a fetid-smelling sap from the cam phor tree, was worn in a bag around the neck to prevent colds -by isolating the wearer from those infected, no doubt! Grownups used bitters 95% alcohol-for many problems, including blood poisoning. Sugar on flannel cloth would be set on fire in a can and an injured arm or leg could be held over it. The treatment turned the skin real brown but stopped poisoning from setting in. One re called cutting his foot really bad while fishing and he had cobwebs put on it to stop the bleeding. His grandmother smoked it for several days with the "can technique" and it got well. Croup cure was onions -a tea with sugar steeped on the back of the wood stove several days and children drank it. Castor bean leaves were used as poultices on boils or when a fish hook broke off in the hand and got infected. Another favorite "cure" was octogon soap scraped off, mixed with sugar, and kneaded into the infected area to draw out the pus. An asthma cure was gibson weed rolled into cigarettes. Dr. Rausch had his home just east of where Goodwill now stands-on 22nd AvenueS.-and he mostly worked at Suncoast Manor . His helper was Dr. McGibony. These gentlemen made every effort to treat people when they could get to the patient; muddy roads and streams had often to be traversed, you know. Babies were born at home in those days, with a neighbor's help or perhaps a midwife. Rarely did anyone go to hospital -the nearest one was over in St. Petersburg, on the east side of it at that! And that was another hazardous trip! (See section on hospitals.) -Mary P. Atkinson

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242 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Tombstone of James Barnett, died 1886, aged 53 years, buried Glen Oak Cemetery. Tombstone of Rebecca J Barnett, born Dec. 30, 1834, died June 21, 1907, buried Glen Oak Ceme tery 1926 Captain Read, party and catch. Man at right is identified on back of phot ograph as a manager at Woolworths 10 -cent store.

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Daily Living, Then and Now 243 Cap tain Knowles' Satsuma. Captain Read' s Casinova. Gulfport 's Casino end-of-trolley car line.

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244 _.!_ ; > ..... ,__. ...... ----Our Story of Gulfport, Florida J 1:1'1 ,. J . .-..., Sunshine Fruit Stand and Phebe Arms, Essex & Beach Blvd Gulfport Beach ., !.., . .,;: Boca Ciega Inn, Gulfport

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Daily Living, Then and Now 245 Stella Tamm, 2nd from right, front row, with American Legion Auxiliaries, 1954. Town Shores of Gulfport -architect' s rendering of waterfront condo minium community of 13-40 apartments.

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246 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida

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Some Interesting Bull gs

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248 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida 16 THE BAYVIEW TERRACE RESTAURANT Mrs. George Haas (Edith Barrett) told us about buying their restaurant from Bill Nettlingin 194 7 for perhaps $4,000 or so. One of the restaurant's specialties was a fish sandwich which was so popular people came from miles around to buy them. They'd sit o n the beach and eat the sandwiches and enjoy the sun and \ilreeze under one of their umbrellas at the tables their tiny space afforded. They bought fish from Aylesworth's Market nearby and Mrs. Haas smiled as she told of how the men would come for coffee each morning, bringing their dog, who also liked coffee -with sugar? Captain WiUiams was a frequent visitor -lots of fishermen dropped in and they made many friends. The weather was bad sometimes, so they built a smaU dining room to seat 24, and when they had a crowd, they could use a long table near the outside wall. They stayed open from 9:30 till after supper, but their main trade was for lunch. Food had to be bought because there was too little room for baking, though she did bake pies sometimes. They went to Swift and Company across from Webb's in St. Peters burg for meats, and to Tampa Nuggett down on 3rd Street at about 5th Avenue, and to Swan's for desserts. Once they served Thanksgiving dinner to practically all of Gulfport! Stores to their east included the Fish and Game Club, Caldwell's Real Estate, the Gulfport Tribune, a little res taurant, Walt's Gulfport on the Rocks, and a bar at the corner where Nellie's is now. Markham's was toward the west with Bell's Restaurant on the comer and a fruit stand around on Beach Boulevard run by Phoebe Arms. Edith said they bought their orange juice from her and recalled how the trolley conductors used to tease her about selling them canned juice! (Phoebe squeezed it herself every morning ) The old gentleman (Rubin) who took pictures on the beach was another favorite customer. The Friday night dances at the Casino brought them many customers who came for soft drinks and snacks during inter mission, while others went further Along the street for some thing stronger. They drove a "Suburban" car bought in 1948 which they used to carry supplies. Lots of vacant space was available in those days. Stores got started along the boulevard and a miniature golf course went to the present alley and back to the street. Hal Saalfrink had

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Some Interesting Buildings 249 it -he was always a sailing en t husiast and his widow is still active in Coterie Club and the Presbyterian Church. They lived in a wooden house on the corner near where the fourapartment building and on the next street west, Jack and Emma Pollard brought up their boys. Edith thinks the present Beach Bazaar was built to become a Post Office. Bart owned lots of properties (where W inn Dixie and the bank are now) and he leased the opposite corner for years to Greer for a gas station. Edith bought her house i n 1964 when the Dr. Marcys, Walter Churchills, the Coxsons and Radcliffs were in. She told Joe Pestana about the availability of the "Hawaiian House" and was glad when he bough t it and destroyed the bamboo interior decor since she felt it was a fire hazard. Her area Baywood Point Drive is surely one of the most beautiful, bordering the Bay and the L ittle Bayou as it does. CHAPTER 17 BOCA CIEGA INN In the beginning it was called the Hotel Dobler, built in 1922 on the corner of 31st Avenue S. and 54th Street S. It was meant to be an excl usive fishing lodge, but it never really succeeded well. It was a large frame building covered with stucco. The lower floor consisted of a large entrance hall, main lobby, sun porch, dining room, kitchen and pantries. There were 42 rental rooms upstairs. It contained an elevator shaft but no elevator was ever installed. John Dobler seemed unable to manage well or even attract enough guests He was pistol-whipped by local residents because he let his black em ployees stay in the stable attic after dark. A curfew was in effect in Gulfport at that time, and no black person was allowed to stay from "sundown to sunup." After that, Dobler never seemed to regain his strength enough to com plete his plans for the hotel his spirit was gone. Ten years later, Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Camp bought the hotel and changed its name to Boca Ciega Inn. The cost was $32,500 for the building and four lots! They also paid $2,500 for furnishings for the 42 rental rooms and for the dining and kitchen equipment. The full basement was made into game rooms and a business office was added. In addition to the main building, there were four apartments and two

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250 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida cottages facing 31st Avenue which were rented by the season or the month. People renting these spaces were eligible to enjoy the activities of the regular inn guests and most of them took their meals at the inn. Boca Ciega Inn was operated on the American plan, with three complete meal s a day. Usually there would be 200 people for Sunday dinner, and soon 95% of the guests were booking for the coming year. Those who returned season after season said it was just like one big happy family. Mr. and Mrs. Camp worked tire lessly as hosts, striving to please and make their guests comfortable in every way. They were competent and care ful manag ers, due perhaps in pa r t to experiences gained from running their hotel, The Ocean House, in York Beach, Maine. That was another seasonal business (summ er) for many years. The Camps were admired and loved by all they contacted, and the Inn became successful because two friendly, caring people were in charge of it. Mr. Camp would go to market every morning, and if any of the guests wanted to get up early to accompany him, they were we lcome to ride with him into St. Petersburg and return by trolley. The s treetcars came down the cente r of Beach Boulevard after turning south from 22nd Avenue. Tracks ran between two rows of ancient oak trees and provided a shady ride to the Casino. The fare was five cents. Mrs. Camp was in charge of the kitchen (among other things) and planned menus for each day (no two were ever alike). The meals were hearty and delicious, with plenty of fresh Florida fish, fruits, and vegetables. That food was one big reason for the continuing success -it assuredly was no place to be if on a diet! Mrs. Camp usually employed black chefs who would travel with them from Maine each year. One prepared the meats, another the breads, and baking was done each day. Eventually, one of those faithful chefs left for New Orleans where he took a position in the "Quarter." But he came back to Gulfport each year to thank Mrs. Camp for giving him such a fine start in his career. Another mainstay on their staff was a remarkable black man named Major." He was bellman, chauffeur waiter, houseman, and all -around majordomo. H e started working for the Camps when he was 16 years old, and remained with them almost forty years in Maine and here. The grounds around the inn were always beauti fully land scaped, with flowers, plants, and spacious lawns down to the Bay. A true artesian well on the waterfront slope was always

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Some Interesting Buildings 251 a busy center. It bubbled up clear and cool like a spring and people from all over Gulfport were welcome to fill their jugs and bottles with the pure water. Many called it their "foun tain of youth." The attractive gazebo was a most pleasant place to sit and watch the water scene, or chat, or think, or just sit! Entertainment was varied and lively. Daytime activities included shuffleboard matches, swimming, boating, and fishing. There were many lawn parties and picnic lunch groups on good weather days. Transportation was arranged for those wishing to attend church, the theatre, musicals or lectures in the downtown area. Thursday evening was party night when the ladies dressed in their best gowns and the men wore black ties. After dinner, bridge, bingo, or other card games were enjoyed, and Mrs. Camp always provided prizes for each table or game. An art teacher came weekly to give lessons for those who wanted to learn how to draw or paint, and classes were often held on the lawn facing the water. Saturday nights found the guests at the Casino where they joined in the dancing or just sat and watched. The floor there was said to be the best in the area and was always crowded. Often a group would get together and go to Tampa to eat in one of the beautiful old Latin Quarter restaurants to enjoy their spicy Spanish foods, the music, and the flamenco dancers. Christmas was always a gala time and the inn was decorated from top to bottom with a huge tree in the lobby and gifts for everyone. Carols were enjoyed and many guests exchanged gifts. Mr. and Mrs. Camp truly entertained their guests. They operated this popular Inn from 1921 until they closed in 1968, a sad day indeed for one and all. Then came the depressing time of watching that stately old building fall into decay and ruin. Vandals broke windows, tore out plumbing, removed doors and anything else that was moveable. The police could not seem to cope with their des tructive activities and the new owners, who had hoped to build an apartment complex, became so discouraged that before they could negotiate a sale, they had the structure demolished. It was a sorry sight to see, remembering how well it had been kept during the forty years the Camps had owned it. It seemed full of eerie sounds and sights -and walkers hurried past it in their evening strolls. In 197 4, "D-Day" for Boca Ciega Inn brought tears to the eyes of those who watched the bulldozer rip down the mag-

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252 Our Story of Gulf pod, Florida seasoned and sturdy building," there were only two bids and $150 gave it to G. S. Wynns, Clearwater, who agreed to destroy it but who wanted to sell the windows and frames to his customers. That same day, November 7, 1953, the new $17,000 City Hall was dedicated while 200 to 300 people watched with pride as the flag was raised over it. Cutting the ribbons were Mrs. J. B. Steinwinder, 84, and her nephew, Walter Roberts, 71, who had lived here 54 years (the latter then still active in his plumbing business). Mrs. Steinwinder, whose father was Spanish sculptor Richard Strade, came to Gulfport from New Orleans before the town had a name. She said it took two days to get to Tampa in those days to get piovisions, poking an ox team along. The cornerstone of the City Hall was set by Mayor Harold Fox, and the grey tint block, 8 x 16 x 16, inscribed with the date, contained newspapers and City documents. Construction was authorized by Council to be done by City crews, directed by Councilman-at Large Arthur J. Horan, Chairman of the Public Works Committee. Plans were drawn by Architect 0. C. R. Stageberg. The lowest bid wa s $39,000 but Council authorized only $12,000 for the first part of the structure -to house offices and a vault 10x14 feet 66'-4" x 36'-4". Later there would be an auditorium to seat 450, at an additional cost of $12,000. The Times, Nov. 4, 1953, showed a picture of the Council seated on the rostrum

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Some Interesting B uildings 253 nificent mahogany staircase, smash the once-glorious chande liers, and destroy another landmark of once gracious and leisu r ely livin g here on our Gulfport waterfront. Allean Davis CHAPTER 18 GULFPORT CITY HALLS (2) . : . ANTIQUE IS THE ED IFICE -Gulfport's 40-year-old Town Hall, aboue, is due to go on the auction block Nou. 7 as the city's new, modern City Hall is dedicated. The old building, erected in 1913 when oldtimers say less than 100 persons resided in the town, will be auc tioned to the highest bidder. (Times photo by Johnnie Evans) Yes, we have a picture of the first City Hall, built in 1913, and we reproduce it here. The winning bid was $1,259.75 and it included a town lock-up for good measure. The struc ture resembled lin es of early Orange Belt Railroad depot architecture, but it came into disr epute when modern build ing codes required mo r e than it could offer. Old-timers were no doubt saddened as they saw it being auctioned off, then taken outside City limits. Many a burning issue was fought out there. Legend says irate citizens waited outside to take care of an ea rly mayor, but no one r emembers his name or his offense. The building was painted yellow, stood in Chase Park near the present shuffleboard courts. The young fry would stand with noses pre ssed against the windows to watch the happenings inside. In spite of strenuous efforts of Auctioneer Fox and his plug that this was indeed a "well-

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254 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida with more than 100 citizens present at the first me eti ng in the new $17,000 building, totally paid for! And we also show our present building which, becau se of the growth of the City of Gulfport and its administrative staff, must soon be en larged to accommodate new personn e l and equipment -for Gulfport is n o longe r a s impl e f ishing village but a City of increasing populatio n heterogen ous, alive and well! Fran ces Purdy CHAPTER 19 GULFPORT MULTI-PURPOSE SENIO R CENTER The history of Gulfport Multi Purp ose Senior Center is not a story of concrete, mortar and cement but instead is a r e flec tion on change s of attitudes toward the elderly and perce p tions of the aging process that have occurred in our co mmu nity during the last decade. The elderly in our society have been gradually disenfran chised by the nat ural evolution of our socio-economic system. Family units are dis i ntegra t ing largely through pressures of social upward mobility. Neighboring markets have slowly disappeared and been replaced by distant sho p ping malls, transportation system s are mostly ina ccessi ble, and Madison A venue has ordained that to be young is good and old is to be avoided at all cost. Growing old gracefully has become a very difficult task! Fortunately, t here were a number of individual s in the City of Gulfport who, in the early se venties, became aware of the severe problems facing our senior citizen s and proceeded to do something about it. On April 5, 1974, City Council passed Resolution R 7 4-7 establishing a Senior Citizen Advisory Committee on Aging. Its purpose was to assist City administrators in recognizing and solving problems that faced the elderly of Gulfport by conductin g local needs assessment studies and surveys. In less than two years, the Committee was instrumental in the creation of the following programs spec ifically designed to assist the e lde rly in our community: (1) Outreach; (2) Information and Referral; (3) Telephone Reassurance; (4) Meals on Wheels; and (5) Doorto-doo r Mini-Bus. By 1980, a congregat e dining site was operating in the Presbyterian Churc h annex. Funding for the programs came from several so urces, including the City General Fund, Title III-B and III-C of the 1965 Older American Act, Com-

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Some Interesting Buildings 255 munity Development Block grant, and client contributions. The Advisory Committee had done its job very well. All these wonderful services were here; and they were there; and t hey w e r e everywhere; and that was a problem! It was in 1979 that one of the members of the Advisory Committee commented how nice it would be if all the program s could be offered in one building. The seed wa s planted. A dream had begun. Efforts began immediately to make the dream a reality. But the odds seemed terribly sli m A new Administration was moving into the White House promising severe cut backs in social progr ams. The Older American Act, Title V, Senior Center Constru ctions Funds had just been elimin ated, and the six-year Gulfport ca pital improvement plan made no provisions fo r such a facility The only possible funding sou r ce was the Community Development Block Grant Program in which Gulfport was an entitlement city. These funds had gene rally been utilized for housing rehabilitation and neighborhood improvements such a s sidewalk construction. In 1981, after careful deliberation, it was decided tha t future C. D fund s would be channeled toward constructio n of a Mu l t i-Purp ose Senior Center. In order to obtain sufficient funds for construction, the City entered into an agreement with County Community D evelopment officials to a dvance Gulfport's 1984 allocation to 1983. Everything appeared to b e falling into pla ce very nicely until it came to site selection. Chase Park, Wood I bis Park, and the Beach Boul evard Esplanade w ere the only available sites. P ersona l prefer ences of the City staff and many resi dents leaned toward Ch ase Park. Expert architectural analysis of t hat area conc luded however, that it would not provide adequate park ing t ha t t h e G .E.M.S. and Sco u t buildings would have to be moved at grea t risk and cost, and that it would r equire extensive site preparation. From the fiscal perspe ctive i t came d o wn to either the Beach Boulevard Esplanade or no buildin g at all. The de c ision to build on the B each B oulevard site was not universally accepted and o wner s h ip of the land was chal lenged in court which delayed the project by several months. But, after ground was broken April 12, 1983, construction of the 6200 sq. ft. facility progressed rapidly. It wa s completed only one week beyond the projected co mpletion date which in itsel f was a remarkable f eat. On October 11, 1983, the Gulfport Mul tiPurp ose Senior Center was officially d edi cated and opened to the public

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256 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida What had been a wishful comment and distant dream had become reality. A city that only ten years before was not even aware that a large segment of its elderly population was facing severe problems had responded by first recog nizing that those problems did indeed exist and then pro ceeded to do something to solve those problems. The Multi-Purpose Senior Center became an instant focal point for the elderly of the City by offering a wide variety of programs which were specifically designed to enhance their quality of life. Every day an average of 600 elderly residents are served by agencies and programs that operate from the Center. Neighborly Senior Services provides con gregate dining and Meals on Wheels; Family Service Center provides family consulting; Red Cross provides health screen ing; the City of Gulfport Social Service Department provides door-to-door transportation (G.E.M.S.), outreach, informa tion and referral, telephone reassurance, Social Security assistance housing rehabilitation, recrea tional and educa tional activities, Gulfcoast Legal Services provides legal assistance; Mental Health Services provides counseling ser vices; A.A.R.P. provides income tax assistance. The Gulf port Senior Citizen Club, the Newcomers Club, the Com munity Club, Friends of the Library, the Bridge Club, American War Mothers, the RussiaQ. American Club, the A.A. group, and the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce all use the Senior Center as a meeting place. The Multi-Purpose Senior Center is operated by the City Social Service Department. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 8:00A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Weekends are available on a reservation basis only. The existence of a Senior Center reflects a new and cer tainly a more positive attitude toward the elderly of our community. Today's senior citizens are a vital and produc tive part of our society. Anyone observing the activities at our Multi-Purpose Senior Center will come away convinced that growing older is not only inevitable but it can also be something to be enjoyed. -Ted Potyka, Director of City of Gulfport Social Services Department * Asked to comment on the name of this building in honor of his wife's memory, Mayor Emeritus Clymer said it was

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Some Interesting Buildings 257 because she had always shared her musical talents by playing the piano at many club meeting s and at nursing homes -often accompanied by their daughter, Patsy, with her melodia. He had been happy with the site selection because of proximity to our fine Library, named to honor the memory of Marie Bryan who served many years as Librarian and who, in fact, had been most instrumental in establish ing Library services in this community. B ecause of fund shortage, some needed space had to be cut from the original plans for the building and whenever possible Council will surely authorize extensions to provid e more small rooms for meetings. CHAPTER 20 PRIGUN APARTMENT 2938 Beach Boulevard Eloise Robeson talked with Miss L. Lewis some time in 1975 and found out that on June 15, 1912, Mr. Alex Cussen acquired this property which was then swampland from the Florida government. In 1912, he got a loan on it and built what became a grocery store with his family living upstairs. On June 9, 1921, M iss Leora D Lewis, in real estate in St. Petersburg at that time, bought it. In the 1930's, the build ing was remodeled and became the Florida Playthings, Inc. with Messrs. Frank and William Moulton as partners At first they made wooden toys and later added buttons and bag frames of shell to their inventory. In the 1940's, the building was again remodeled, this time into four apartments and as such is still in use today. As we go to press, this buildin g is being gutted and refur bished and later will be designated as a historic site with some others her e described. -Eloise Robeson CHAPTER 21 SCOUT HALL The former Community Hall, now known as Scout Hall at 5315 28th Avenue S., was first constructed as a Pentecostal church. Built out of the hard pine cut in the area and milled at our local saw mill, the building has one large, high cei ling room with a small stage or altar area. On either side of the stage are small rooms, one serving as a cloakroom, or now a

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258 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida locker room, while the other has been made into a kitchen. Used as a church from the time of its construction in the early 1920's in the 2600 block on 49th Street near the Gaskins family, the building was given to the City for public use in 1937. Jerome Gerard, the Public Works Director for the City of Gulfport, had the building moved to its present location. They had to put cross-bracing in the large open room to keep it squared. It was placed on the former location of the original City Hall, where it still is today. Restrooms were added to the rear of the building, and it was made ready for use by the citizens of Gulfport as a Community Hall. Just about every type of meeting and event was held in this building, from pot-luck dinners to beauty contests, to heated political debates, not to mention socials and war bond drives. This was the center of activity for the people for many years until the new Community Center was built in 1964. The City Council then turned the building over to the Boy and Girl Scouts of Gulfport as a meeting hall, thus be coming one of the very few communities to provide a building and its grounds for this use. T dth c R -<'JU z yerson CHAPTER 22 FROM ROLYATTO STETSON LAW SCHOOL -An Old Feudal CastleBoom days of the early twenties brought ten hotels to southern Pinellas County. Jack Taylor opened his sprawling, luxurious, Spanish-styled hotel on January 1, 1926, in Gulf port. It was lauded as one of the most unusual and pic turesque in the nation and one of the most beautiful in the southeast. It was surrounded by acreage lushly covered with palmetto, pines, and palms. Several large Spanish-styled homes were built nearby as the land increased in value. Mr. I. M. (Jack) Taylor hired architect Paul Reed of Miami who designed the buildings which were part of and within a wall of varying heights and textures featuring medieval Spanish architecture. Cavernous halls and majestic arches and bal conies surrounded courtyards and gardens of tropical greenery accented with fountains. Materials for construction wer e imported from all parts of the world. It was reported that century-old, handmade roof tiles (shaped over the artisans' knees) were brought from real castles in Spain. The

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Some Interesting B uildings 25 9 lou nge had unusual, detailed decorations and a large f ireplace a t one end was a reproduction of o n e designed by artist El Greco for his Spanish studio. The lobby resembled a monas ter y chapel with prayer recesse s and balcony and inne r arches. According to one article of 1926, flo o r tiles in the lobby and other parts of t h e Rolya t were dated "presumably from about 700 A.D during the Roman O ccupation of Spain." The main dining room had ma ssive hand hewn beam s with high arched w indows and full -lengt h alcoves resembling a great cathedral. Two towers represented a 30-foot-diameter gra nery, and the larger, octagonal tower was a reproduction of Seville's golden "Torre Del Oro" tow er. The well-known John Wanamaker & Compan y o f Phila delphia wa s given the task of providing this uniqu e structure with furn ishings which they acquired from all over the world. Two huge Talavera s vases (named for the Spanish city of t heir origin) stood as sentries at the Rolyat (Taylor spelled backwards) hote l e ntrance, with a third displayed in the lo bby. Only these three vases were owned privately with six others being the property of the Nationa l Museum Mr. C. D Willson wa s des i gnated as the new manager of the Rolya t and supervised all installati ons of furnishing s and equipment. The Rolyat's staff wa s assembled from the world's finest hotels. Spanish table girls were selected and the doorman was a gentl eman from the Philippines. The latter was often seen with his dog which was noted for sporting a Sherlock Holm es-sty le pipe The property on whic h this structure stands was purc hased in 1925 f o r $270,000 from Walter Fuller and his partner, Philadelphia b anker George A. Allen. According to Fuller's account, the land extended from 5th Avenue N down to Villa Grand e Ave nue. An additional $195,000 option in cluded unimprov e d Coreytown (now part of South Pa sa dena) and all of west Gulfport, including property where Pasadena Golf Course is now locate d. The story is told that when earnest money was needed Jack Taylor's wife, Evelyn, strolled to a coine r of the office, rolled down her b lue silk stocking, and removed a $10,000 dollar bill. In the process Fuller said, several similar bills fell to the floor and she quickly retrieved and redeposite d them. As the story goes, only $5,000 was needed, but no one had $5,000 c hange, so the Taylors wrote a check for $5,000. The $10,000 bill was held overnight until the check could be approved t he next day and then the $10,000 bill w as returned to Evelyn Taylor.

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260 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida According to a story of the day, the glamorous opening of the hotel included actors, opera stars, and well -known per sonalities such as Walter Hagen and Babe Ruth. Mrs. L. Ross of Gulfport remembers, "It was a Sunday when i t opened. I was there!" For a time the hotel, with i t s golf courses and riding stables, attracted the elite. Then came the bust of 1927! The hotel survived for a short time and then closed. Wanamaker & Company retrieved some furnishings and then the hotel stood empty. In 1929, the structure was bought by the Florida Military Academy of Jacksonville. In a recent interview, the Noel brothers, Niel and Eddie of Gulfport, recalled arriving at the train station and marching over to the luxurious hotel. The station was located where the present Pasadena Avenue meets the railroad tracks. The brother s said it was a migh t y com fortable change to have private baths and springs in their beds. Drill fields soon surrounded the hotel. The brothers re membered the building was self suffic i e n t with even its awn ice plant. Diesel-powered electric generators were in the north end of the buildings. Rooms were heated by steam radiators, and the Noel brothers mentioned that every room boasted a screen door. Memorabilia of the Florida Military Academy is currently displayed at the Stetson Law School Library. In a 1974 St. Petersburg Times article, Dick Bothwell wrote that Dr. William Casler remembered being a student at both the military academy and the law school. The column ist wrote further that Casler reminisced, "When Florida moon light goes to work on the red-tiled roofs and arched passage ways of the old building, the scene is romantic indeed -and was never more so than at cadet hops .. .. The guys a l ways had dates," said Casler "In those days, the girls loved uni forms We'd have a Thanksgiving hop, a Christmas formal, and a military ball just before graduation. An awful lot of cadets ended up marrying their sweethearts -I remember those 17 and 18-year-old seniors at FMA as being men." Dr. Casler served four years as a cadet, three as an FMA faculty member, and three as a law student. In 1952, the Stetson University of Deland purchased the Florida Military Academy complex. September 20, 1954, approximately a hundred students were greeted to the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. There had been intense competition as to the new

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Some Interesting Buildings 261 location for the Stetson Law School. In the interim, buildings had again been sitting idle and empty and were run down. A group of local businessmen contributed $100,000 for renovation, and Stetson University accepted the offer to to Gulfport. A Board of Overseers of the College of Law '*tls created and charged with setting policy of the college. Funqs were offered by such as the C. A. Dana family who donat $250,000 toward a library (they eventually contribut over $1million for a new administration building); $1-millio was contributed by Harvey Firestone III for classrooms, A court room, a swimming pool, and other facilities. The Jackson Crummer Building was given as a memorial f m Roy E. Crummer In 1975, a period of renovation and refurbishw.en gave a new aged look to some of the inner rooms. A young Clear water artist, Dino DiLiberti, worked to restore the ceiling beams, much as Michelangelo had done in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican DiLiberti used special pigments to recreate the old decorations in soft hues which created the aged look. The landmark has served other purposes through the years. Recollections mentioned that in 1954 the campus was used as a setting for a movie about a Southern military academy. Carol Baker, the movie actress, was an onlooker as her hus band, Jack Garfein, directed the movie "End As A Man" with Ben Gazarra, George Peppard, and Mark Richmond. Another unusual recollection: Nathan White, a native of Gulfport, remembered his mother as being in charge of manning the high tower at all times for the purpose of spotting aircraft during World War II. The buildings of the old Rolyat Hotel are bounded by 15th Avenue on the south (with property extending to Gulfport Boulevard), and 61st Street on the east (with property extending to Hull Street and 13th Avenue on the north). The towers majestically overlook much of Gulfport, and still lend an air of an old feudal castle of medieval Spain. (Additional information can be found in records housed in the Gulfport Historical Society building. Some data is courtesy of Stetson Law School clippings, interviews, and personal conversations.) -Genevieve L. Smith

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262 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida CHAPTER 23 THE CASINOHEART AND HUB OF GULFPORT The building of the Casino became the turning point in the growth of today's Gulfport. Between 1902 and 1903, Mr F. A. Davis, who had developed the trolley system in St. Petersburg dreamed of extending his line to include a trip of interest and make his line financially successful. He visualized a boat ride to Pass-A-Grille where there were lovely white beaches, excellent fishing, a great variety of shells, swimming, and even a fine hotel where his patrons could buy an extra ordinary meal. He tested the shore all around Boca Ciega Bay and found the best water depth at the point where the Casino now stands. He immediately started to secure funds and the land which is now called Beach Blvd. There was great excite ment over this trolley project which would bring new life to Gulfport -then called Veteran's City. Extensive filling had to be done to bring the water line to its present location, for at that time it was just below the building now known as The Cedars which is three blocks north of the Casino. Our first Casino was built in 1905, ea s t of the present site and beside a pier. The t rolley tracks were built along the wharf to the Casino itse l f where passengers boarded boats for Pass A Grille. Signs on the trolley cars indicated they were called "Dock and Spa" and because the power lines extended out to the Cas ino from the street, the Casino was called the electric dock. That was the beginn i ng /'(electric lighting in this area. This was the most southern point of trolley service. The south side of the Casino on the Bay had boat docks for the larger excursion boats to land and take on passengers, as well as mail and freight. The trolley trip wound through orange groves and wooded land, taking about an hour, and the boat ride another hour all for one dollar! It was an exciting trip and a huge boon to the tourist trade Mr. Davis the Casino built as a stopover, but it soon became the attraction with performing bands City get-togethers and, on Sundays it housed the first church services now the First United Methodist Church of Gulfport located on the corner of 53rd Street and 28th AvenueS. The first Casino withstood heavy winds, storms and bad weather until the hurricane of 1921, when it ended up on the beach, a broken pile of kindling wood. The second Casino

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Some Interesting Buildings 263 was built in 1923, a flimsy structure on stilts over marshy land, but it was as popular as its predecessor. Many peOple remember the Merry Makers' Orchestra which played for dances there between 1926 and 1961. Camille Thompson was the leader of that orchestra and still plays matinees in a four-piece musical group. She remembers how the Casino swayed to the one-step and when a square dance was in pro gress, everyone wondered if the floor would hold up under all those stomping feet. That floor was the finest for many a mile and people came from far and near, in spite of the sway. When the building no longer met building code regulations, it was condemned and torn down. In 1934, the Federal Economic Rehabilitation Administration teamed with the Civil Works Administration of Gulfport to build a new Casino, and the third one was dedicated in December 1935. Mr. George S. Hill was commissioned to do the murals, in spite of opposition since some of his work had been refused for hanging in the Circuit Court in Clearwater. The Casino has remained a chief source of income for many years. In 1950, .City Council approved immediate repairs for a leaky roof and to enlarge the dance floor to better accommodate the crowds. Other changes included addition of a bandshell and air conditioning. Far and wide, people know about the wonderful dance floor and have re collections of ladies in beautiful gowns with skirts billowing and swaying to the best of the music. In 1960, Peggy Dye took over the management of the restaurant, and Cecil Jewell assumed supervision with the title of Municipal Enterprise Manager. In 1969, a real contro versy arose when Johnny Braun was fired. His mUsic on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays had brought twinkling toes from everywhere, but attendance had dropped off and the City blamed him. His fans were furious and staged a boy cott until the City reinstated him. His fans were delighted. Chuck Warren's group played Friday and Sunday nights and the Mickey Dona Trio on Wednesdays -but they hadn't been the same. Usually a paid attendance of 400 was average until 197 4 when there was a fifty-cent increase-and it hurt. In 1977, the City changed the "No Alcoholic Beverage" policy and attendance again rose to approximately 300 a night. Esther Johnson picked up tickets on dance nights for over twenty-three years! Where else can one see people in many kinds of costumes doing waltzes, foxtrots, cha-chas, swing, and other dances -

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264 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida often at the same time? There is no other floor like it-nor are there so many kinds of people enjoying one another as right here in Gulfport on the beach! These buildings wit nessed many romances in their budding stage, shel t ered many from winds and rains and loneliness, and they have been the gathering places for political speeches and social doings. At this time the City rents #111 to various organizations such as the Lions C lub for Thursday bingo, for boxing, wrestling, and for card parties -but the chief use and most wide l y acclaimed use is for danci ng. "With neon lights, in colored tights, they come to do gym nastics ; In glad array they also play and trip the l ight fantastic And the beat goes on! -Doris Brown CHAPTER 24 THE CEDARS of 2938 Beach Boulevard Quite a girl in 1905! Exterminators recently crawled under the building no way could any termite chew through those massive beams, like petrified wood and the ceilings are high! Some quarters have been three or four-room suites for elegant families who came for the winters when this was a popular hotel. Woodwork has been painted a million timesfloors are not level anymore. Nancy Younger's parents owned it and she and Bill wanted to buy it but their parents wouldn't sell to them. Harry Katz bought it and later he sold it to them. She said, "We were working toward a school for Christianity." Nancy was a reg i stered nurse and her husband a veteran of the Korean War. They could take 34 guests in this building which they had remodeled into a retirement home, but they had only 18 guests and got discouraged and so l d. The new manager became Theresa Chichester Darrell, the daughter of missionaries. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ypma were interviewed in September 1974, following the above release, and as far as t hey knew, this had been a resort hotel, then a veterans' haven, and finally came und,er the influence of the Baptist Church, wh ich local group hired them. They offered room and board, $160-$200 a month, and gave maid service with weekly charge of linens Miss Florence Round, R.N., speaking about the building,

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Some Interesting Buildings 265 said the first part was built in 1911 or 1912, and the second part two years later. It had been the Bayview Hotel and had an excellent dining room known widely as "The Piping Hot." Stella Tamm recalled that she, her mother and others made Red Cross dressings there during the war and later that group formed the Woman's Club of Gulfport in 1941. When the hotel closed, Mr. and Mrs. Zwick ran the nursing home. Miss Round spent winters here i n town with relatives and Florence worked at the Cedars helping to upgrade it to become a hospital "the best in the area." In 1950 she bought it, continuing to implement regulations for hospitals and employing fine doctors and nurses and the best available domestic staff. She put in bathrooms, had the place i nsulated, and spent $6,000 on an elevator. Her niece, Grace Ayles worth, remembers that Miss Round had initiated special d i ets for the patients because she was able to convince her sister Annie Laurie, to work with her-the latter having had plenty of dietary training during her Salvationist years! Helen Evans worked for the hosp ital nine years and talked freely about her recollections, including the fact that Miss Round gave the medical staff splendid dinners prior to their monthly staff meetings. Among the physicians who cared for patients at this hospital were Doctors Baker, Spoto, Rausch Parrish, Mench, McDonough, and Grace. In July, 1984, Eloise Robeson found out that Crisella DeBeru had it for three years sometime after Miss Round sold it in 1964 because she could no longer comply with state regulations -hospitals had to be of masonry construction. In 1978, Bill and Jane Scheblin bought it and had it licensed as a congregate living home. Three years later they sold it to Dorothy Hellen, but it fell into disrepair and the Scheblins bought it back in 1983. Presently there are 32 rooms, 38 beds, and they have a waiting list. There are two full-time cooks, two waitresses, and several aides who help residents with their personal care. These owners have spent many thousands of dollars sprucing up both outside and inside of this fantastic old building. One senses a peaceful happiness among the guests and notices that many thoughts have been given to providing as pleasant an environment as is possible. Our Library Director and a volun teer are establishing an outreach program of suitable book reviews and traveling library. The public is welcome to share meals by appointment and always visitors for residents are greeted gladly by their relatives and friends and the staff.

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266 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Now, in May 1985, another change is happening new owners are changing the type of guests to be admitted and they are renovating the whole structure. Welcome, Mrs. Joanne Jones as the Manager, and we anticipate opening day for what should become quite an attraction on our Beach Blvd. once again. It is renamed the Suncoast Inn! Eloise Robeson CHAPTER 25 THE COMMUNITY CENTER The old Community Center of the early 1930's was located in the 5100 block of 26th Avenue S. where Pastor C. Miller held Pentecostal church services. Sometime in 1935 it was moved to 5315 28th Avenue S., and Council, Chamber of Commerce, the Lions and some social clubs met there until 195657 when the building was turned over to the Scouts. They continue to use it and the splendid open spaces around the building. It was then decided to build a larger community and recre ation center, and in 1966, the Community Center was built at 5730 Shore BoulevardS. on our beautiful Boca Ciega Bay. It has a large auditorium and gymnasium, a kitchen, three meeting rooms, and a small office. The social clubs of Gulf port and many from St. Petersburg hold monthly meetings there. It has become a popular scene for weddings, for many civic meetings, for bazaars, dances, yoga, sewing, and other classes. It has been used for wrestling matches for the youth, for boxing, and, of course, for basketball. In the summer the Center is turned over to the children and they enjoy all kinds of games, sports, and many types of classes such as cooking, sewing, and art In 1983, when GMSC opened, meetings of adults were en couraged to move to free the building for after school until 10 p.m. activities. The auditorium continues to be available for shows by the Community Players and for large card parties, bazaars, and state picnics -but increasingly, these events are to be scheduled in the Casino. The movement of these schedules clearly indicates Council's aim to make the best possible use of its buildings and to meet the needs of its residents to the best of our somewhat limited facilities, in cluding money. At the time of this writing, it is hoped a more.

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Some Interesting Bu i lding s 267 appro priate stage can be built and that additional office space can become available. -Mary Drake, Others CHAPTER 26 THE McLELLAN HOUSE In 1981 we purchased the property at 5619 Shore Blvd. S. which we most affectionately referred to as "The Gulfpo r t Dump"! It wasn't long before we learned we had a very important location of about thirty years' of Gulfport history A building permit dated 2/20/46, found in the attic, was just the beginning of what we would discover; more importantly, people kept coming to tell us about their memories of this place. Drs. Grace and Colin McLellan Naturopaths of 3120 Beach Blvd., were granted the permit to build a dwelling / physicians' office ... and so was born THE GULFPORT CLINIC. During these four years we have really lear ned to almost know these unusual people. I t would seem most of those who visit our beach wa n t to come acro ss the street to tell us about Dr. Grace and "Doc." They had opposite personalities, perfectly complementing one another. In total harmony they represented sensitivity, understanding, sympathy, affection and an appropriate respon se to hundreds of people of all ages in and around Gulfport. We have heard about how Dr. Grace enjoyed gardening, taking spec i al delight in certain varieties of flowers. She apparently had an artistic flair, dabbling with pain ting, and she enjoyed traveling. O nly superlative adjectives are applied to describe her wonderful, distinguished, dedicated, honorable, tender, cons iderate, and more. A box of Get Well cards (another attic "find") testifies to widely scattered affection for her. Dr. Grace died in January, 1979, having spent the last 35 of her 83 years in Gulfport. She was sur vived by her husband, two sisters and one brother. Stor ies about "Doc" reveal a broad variety of inte rests other than medical. He was an avid sailor and built his own Yellow Banana (we found the rudder and sails in the garage !). He was instrumental in organizing both the Kids and Kubs and the Boom erangs (story elsewhere in this book), and we hear he remained involved in both of these softball teams while his health permitted. It wa s he who ind u ced a number of musicians to gathe r to play at a pavilion at the beach. His contributions there were on his banjo. Musicians continue to

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268 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida play for both dancers and listeners many afternoons at our beach. When we purchased 5619, there were signs across the street which proclaimed, "Reserved for Musicians," another of Doc's deeds. We've heard of the consolation in times of illness and be reavement which Doc gave under the great eucalyptus tree in the front yard, and also of his sadness when he laid to rest his favorite dog, Putzy, where now there grows a Cuban laurel. In 1979 this house was sold and Doc moved into a cottage he owned next door. He died the next year. We hope the McLellans are looking down with pleasure at the enhancement of their former pride and joy for we have made many improvements here. The address plaque "5619" over the front entry is original as are the two planters on the front patio. Various light fixtures and cabinets throughout the building are also signs of the past, fondly remembered by those who were cared for here in many ways. These noteworthy Gulfport residents, Dr. Grace McLellan and Dr. Colin McLellan, gave much to our community and it is fitting that they should have a permanent tribute in this book. Kali Gillespie CHAPTER 27 THE GULFPORT HISTORICAL MUSEUM Our City has had four names, our Museum, five! First it was the Methodist Church, built in 1910, then Scout Hall, Red Cross Building, GEMS Building, and now, our Museum located at the corner of 28th Avenue S. and 53rd Street. In 1956 this well-worn building became inadequate for the Methodist congregation, as you have read elsewhere in this volume (under chapter beading "Churches"), and they offered it to the City who moved it across the street to the present location and designated it to be used by the Boy Scouts. In 1964, when the Scouts were given the use of the former Community Hall (formerly the Pentecostal Church), the Red Cross and Civil Air Patrol received its use and the Scouts became the westerly neighbor. About thirty-five or more women sewed Red Cross sup plies weekly for about ten years, which times are easily recalled by "Marj" Cavanaugh who was the faithful director of that enterprise until her husband's illness forced her to retire. Gulfport became one of the largest production centers in the state, releasing about 10,000 Red Cross items yearly

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Some Interesting Buildings 269 for distribution to our Veterans' Hospital at Bay Pines and to other hospitals and nursing homes in the area. At one time City Council planned to destroy the building, but "Marj," Elizabeth Aitchison and others vigorously protested and thus saved the property for the Red Cross' continuing use. Those women really went to work to improve the property begging gifts of curtains, linoleum, paint and such, and using them! Between the City and the Red Cross, safety of the building was improved and Tuesday mornings found happy women working together to help those who needed it. When Council initiated GEMS (minibus transportation for senior adults), the west corner office was given to Ted Poty ka and Helen Rozmus for their use in managing that super pro gram. Gradually, the use emphasis shifted from Red Cross to GEMS -and so the fourth name! Completion of the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center in October 1983 meant that the GEMS office moved into it with other Gulfport services for the elderly. Our pioneering President, Catherine Hickman, approached Council offering to lease the building in the name of the Gulfport Historical Society in order to develop a Museum. A dollar-a-year lease was co-signed and by Nostalgia Day, 1984, we could offi cially have the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony, with about 200 people enjoying their third such day, for remem bering together! To say that the building was suitable for much of our use when the lease was signed would be quite inaccurate! But volunteers rallied to help when inspired by Cathy's dynam ism and direction. Weekend cleaning and repairing events were scheduled and among those most responsible for trans forming the property are Bill Hurst and friends, George Payne (who gave much of what we have and sold it in flea markets), Walter Brooks, John Tonkin, George Prigun, Keith Hickman, and Lum Atkinson. Women who helped with out side improvements also did a lot inside-scrubbing too well worn floors, clearing cupboards and shelves, cleaning kitchen gear, and more. Remembered for their special help are Margaret Brooks, Coleen Camp, Mary Atkinson, Judy Ryer son, Yvonne Johnson, and Johanna Schneidt. Some unable to help with these chores brought food for the "workers" and provided the supportive cheering section. Continuous repairs, including painting, are necessities as much as insur ance in old buildings like this one. Members have been un stfuting in their gifts of time and "antiques" -the life of our

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270 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Museum really depends upon such continuing care. When it became practical, Agnes Conron was named Curator, and it was possible to have the Museum open Tues days from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment. We hope that by October, 1985, we shall have four open hours three days a week. Without adequate air conditioning, though, it is uncomfortable to use the building during the swnmer months. We are indeed fortunate to have Jan Cook helping us with her rich background in Museum work in St. Petersburg. And we are recruiting volunteers to serve as hostesses in the Fall. The Society meets alternate months for programs; the Board of Directors meets monthly. -Frances Purdy CHAPTER 28 THE GULFPORT PUBLIC LIBRARY Prior to 1935, Mrs. Julia Luckey, an early resident of Gulf port, recognized the need for a library. In a small room in back of the drugstore, then located at the corner of Beach Boulevard and 29th Avenue S., she started that library by donating books from her own collection and by soliciting money from friends who were interested in the project. When her house burned, she moved away and the little library passed out of existence. In 1935, Mayor Andrew Potter called a group of citizens and this group formed a Library Board, with Mrs. Marguerite as Chairman. That Board was not town-directed or elected, but made up of people willing to work for their dream a LIBRARY! By May, 1935, under direction from their appointed Librarian, Mrs. Margaret Clees, 1500 books were shelved and catalogued in a little one-room office building previously used by a disenchanted real estate broker. From a population of 1,000, 300 took out library cards. Mrs. Bart Bryan, Mrs. Andrew Potter, Mrs. Kathryn Thorne, and Miss Betty Montigny were among many who worked diligently. Captain Walter Williams raised money when possible by having moonlight cruises on his Don. Later, Mr. and Mrs. 0. B. O'Brien and Mrs. Mert Barrs (nee B. Montigny) served as Librarians. However, it wasn't long before more space was needed. Joseph Kane offered the City a five-room bungalow to be used as a library in trade for the one-room office buildingif the City would move the two structures. The City

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Some Interesting Buildings 271 approved, as long as the Board would provide $50.00. That money was raised and in 1941 the transfer was accomplished. The cottage, now located at the comer of DeLett and Beach Boulevard, became the Library for many years. The spacious front porch was the scene of many children's activities all summer Mrs. Violet Reddus served as Librarian for a short period, with Mrs. Marie Bryan succeeding her. She served fa i thfully in many capacities until her death in 1966. Like the old woman in the shoe, the Library needed more space The first move was to enclose the porch; that was sufficient for only a short time. An estimate of $3,000 was given to add to the existing building. All Gulfport pitched in to help dinners, dances, card parties, teas, tag days -and Gulfport did itt Some funds came from Council and the wing was added, and dedicated February 10, 1956, by Mayor A. L. Andetson. With the addition of managerial form of government, the City appointed an Advisory Board and took over the full financial responsibility for the Library. Again, years and growing population proved that facility to be inadequate. Walter Fuller owned the land where the present Library is and he turned it over to his friend, Bart Bryan, to be deeded to the City for the purpose of putting up a modern building. The City approved a budget of $135,000 for the building and a generous resident provided $6,100 for the furnishings. Ground was broken January 2, 1970, and the building was completed in 1976 dedicated to Marie Bryan in recogni t ion of her faithfulness to her dream. Folks from Gulfport to Maine came to hear the address by Mayor "Bud" Markham. At last we had a modern building, an ideal location beauti fully landscaped, staffed by a wonderful group of women: Director Norma Lamb, Doris Kevin, Karen Aust (Children's Librarian), Elaine Sampson Lois Cordasco, and aides Kay Boatwright and Alethea Lipscomb. We axe indeed proud of our Library, our Staff and Volunteers who made i t a very specia l place. In the foreseeable future we must restructure the entrance, provide space for offices equipment, and meetings. We need covered parking and an area for children's services growing continuously as our City's residency gets younger. We need more space for the monthly art exhi bits arranged by our "Friends." So, dear reader, help us attain our present dreams and support our financial drive when it materializes -and Thank You! -Ruby Walker

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272 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida CHAPTER 29 THE WHITBECK DAIRY "Jo" Pippin told us about the Whitbecks and their dairy which was on Disston Street (49th) at 25th and 26th Avenues, where now there are lots of new small houses! Mr. and Mrs. Whitbeck had bought the little house Ermatinger had moved from St. Petersburg when they came here from Pennsylvania. They came for her health she had tuber culosis. They had only one pitcher pump, no pasteurization, of course, but there was a dipping vat up Disston where Goody's Goodies used to be, because the law said cattle had to be put through some che m ical solution to get rid of ticks. They had lots of chickens, too, as most folks did, but later the City ruled them out along with pigs, from within City limits. When one of the Whitbeck children had diphtheria, Holland came to placard the house, but she stood him off and they went right on delivering milk (who knew then how diphtheria was spread?). They sold milk for five cents a a gallon, and Whitbeck told Nathan White's mother that "Ethel, long as you've got children and I've got cows giving milk, you'll have milk." She'd asked him to stop delivering because she just couldn' t pay for it. He came at five every morning, but one day he didn't because his good cow died and the pump ran dry! Mrs. Whitbeck was a fine lady. She visited shut-ins for the First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, even though she had a displaced hip and had to use a walke r. She drove a gray English car and gave lots of fruit away, especially their mangoes. The present Scout Hall used to be a Pentecostal Church, and Mrs. Whitbeck played the organ there for ser vices. Dr. Rausch and his son lived in a house north of the Whitbecks. The doctor worked mostly at Suncoast Manor with Dr. McGibony. He charged fifty cents a house visit, but once Whitbeck fired him and hurt his feelings, they were never friends again. Frances Purdy

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Some Intere sting B uild i ngs 273 I I I -I II II I I ---' ......... ---D 11. \ ... ..... ....._. ;i -""""-Hotel Dobler -later became the Boca Ciega Inn );;It i -Grocery store in about the 1914 era, on 30th and Beac h Blv d The building still stands and now o p erates as apartments. Fir s t Casin o . .. r---....-' . . The first Casino

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;i "' g: ::0 0 "' Q ... I '1::1 ;:s-o 8' s ..... "' ;::s ... 'I 0 ., ...... 00 : '} 'I' ,, ... ;, . ?i:1.;t;.., :'h?r1;'J:.i-J ... ': _,.,, >.-: ' )J::#. m .. '': i ':?i'" "(: ;,.. . '/; -::;!;) 0>;:: Q'1::i Q'n "'" -., 0 ;::s -.J 0 s:: .... r:n 0 ... '< 0 ...., 0 s:: -8' 0 ... .. -...., 0 "' n. S

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Some Interesting Bu ildings 275 The Flor i da Mili tary Academy-in t h e Hotel Rolyat building. Florida Nook-Miss Ma 7 's Tea Room served delicious fish dinners and was located on the waterfront in the early 1900's.

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276 ... - I I Our Story of Gulfport, Florida ft -the first City Hall was to.catea where present shuffle .IJo. ara court is laid out. Later this was slightly remodeled. xeJ!nw -Building two was moved to present site on 53rd Later a wing was aa11ed and used until present City Hall was built in 1953. Space has been added to this structure also $----...--:. ..... .. '\ . ...

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Some Interesting Bui ldings 277 Chandler house, around 1923. On Del/ette between the alley and 54th ...... .... . ... . :' ; ';. ?-2'. . .. t .. The old Gulfport Pharmacy and Drug Store. Bayview Terrace dinette in 1948. Owners were John and Edith (Haas) Barrett

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278 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida .. l' ; ... G ul{port Public Library 1971

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Some Interesting Build i ngs 279 Gulfport Community Center Boca Ciega High School Gulfport Beach and Pier, 1940's.

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"' "0 -'"' 0 -1%.. ... ... 0 Q., ..... -;:! <.? ..... 0 :>, .... r:n ... ;:! 0 0 CX) C'l Gulfport War Mothers, May 1962-Back row, left t o right: Kathryn Thorne, Frances Weiland Marcella Muschamp, Lillian Say, Cora Lawrence, Rose Sullivan Front row, left to right: Ruth Gramly Orpha Heystek, El sie Loftus, Mildred Barker, Fannie Bab cock, Marion Hitchins.

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PartV What Makes G rtUnique?

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282 Our Story of Gulfport, F lorida CHAPTER 30 A WASH DAY, '84 When a new manager took over our neighborhood laundro mat, it became a friendly meeting place for all ages and nationalities. Many foreigners have moved into our area lately, and the laundromat serves as a gregarious melting pot. Recently I went there to wash a load of towels and was pleased to see how neat, clean, and cheerful the place was. As I sorted out my towels on the long table, I saw an elderly man who looked very German eyeing my towels with apparent envy. His towels were dark brown and faded grays. In his halting English he asked me what made m y towels look s o bright. How could I tell him his browns and grays would never turn into pale pinks and soft greens? But I did show him a bottle of Clorox I was using and told him he could buy some in the grocery store next door. He left and returned with a full gallon jug of Clorox and, with one quick motion, he started to empty the entire bottle into the machine with his towels. I yelled at him, "No! Oh, no!" -and grabbed his hand just in time. I tried to explain that a whole gallon of Clorox would quickly ruin his towels, not brighten them. I know he thought I was very rude, but he was nice enough to abide by my decision. While our towels washed, I looked around the room. Up front I saw two old men having a heated argument over politics. The toothless man was shouting to the deaf man that "Ronald Reagan was nothing but a movie star; he's only trying to play President!" The man with the hearing aid had evidently lived in California at one time and was trying to out-shout the other man by citing Reagan's good record as Governor of California. I decided that debate would end in a tie, so I turned to watch their wives at work. In contrast to the two men, they seemed quiet and gentle. With their long full skirts and heavy shoes they looked very "olde world." They were comparing crochet patterns, and the steel hooks in their hands moved in and out, ove r and under the threads so fast I was completely fascinated. A thin, tired-looking young mother with two small children entered the laundromat. She had a huge amount of laundry to carry plus big boxes of soap and bleach. She carried a baby on a cradle-board and led a little gir l by the hand. She propped up the. baby in a chair, made a pad of towels on the floor for the little girl, and put her clothes to wash. Then she sat down on the floor beside the little girl

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 283 and divided a candy bar with her while she prepared to read the National Enquirer. The German man folded his towels carefully after he had washed them, and I noticed the brown towels looked browner and the gray ones grayer. Also, some were full of polka dots from the bleach he had spilled. But he gave me a smile and a friendly nod as he left. One of the women who had been crocheting lace, folded her laundry into a large wicker basket, put her hand on the arm of her toothless spouse, and said, "Kum, Papa." He turned and stalked out the door with his wife trailing along behind. I noticed she carried the heavy basket. The wife of the other argumentative man said, "I told you not to get into political arguments with that man! When will you ever learn? Come on, let's get out of here!" I could hear her grumbling away at him long after they were out of sight. But I laughed as I remembered he had removed his hearing aid as soon as his sparring partner had left, so he couldn't hear a word she said! The weary young mother finished her candy bar and took her large load of clothes to a battered old Ford car. She put the baby, still in his cradle board, on top of the still-damp wash, put the little girl in a child's car seat, and drove away. I felt depressed as I thought of all she would have to do when she got home. She looked so tired. As I folded my towels, I remembered how many traits of human nature -good and bad will finally "all come. out in the wash." So be it. Allean Davis CHAPTER 31 COHESIVENESS OF THREE FAMILIES FOR FIVE GENERATIONS George and Abigail Jarrell were the first members of the clan to visit Gulfport in the mid-1920's. They brought their grandson, R. W. "Bo" Caldwell, Jr., then nine, to visit in 1929. The Jarrells settled permanently in 1931 and opened a grocery store in the Holiday Inn building at 30th and Beach Blvd. Within a couple of years they moved north one block to the site of the current Gulfport Market. When the Jarrells opened their store, Gulfport had a population of about 850. Their daughter, Isabel Jarrell, helped run the store and taught kindergarten at Gulfport Elementary School.

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284 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida It wasn't until1935 that George Jarrell was able to talk his daughter, Gail, and her husband, R. W. "Bob" Caldwell, Sr., into moving down to Gulfport. Edwin A. Markham moved here in 1934. He opened Markham Realty in 1935 and was joined the next year by R. W. Caldwell who operated the insurance business. In 1937, Cald well went into business on his own; and Markham continued alone until 1935 when his son "Bud" took over. Bud re mained in his business until his death in 1978, abruptly ending a busy civic life. He served on City Council from 1962 to 1968 and as Mayor from 1969 to 1971. His wife, Esther, took over the Markham business until she sold out to Hick man Realty in 1985. R. W. Caldwell became the first President of the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce in 1939. He is largely responsible for the Gulfport shoreline as it is today from 54th to 58th Streets. He got a bid of $3,000 to dredge up the beach and the City agreed to pay half if the private sector would raise the rest. Caldwell did raise $1,500, but then the City refused to pay their half so he raised the balance and sand was dredged from east of 52nd Street because what was closer was not suitable. Caldwell started the Gulfport Tribune in 1940 and ran it for three or four years. He served on City Council from 1939 to 1943. Caldwell's son "Bo" (later "Bob") graduated from St. Petersburg High in 1938, attended Junior College for a year, then went to MIT and earned his degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1943. He designed airplanes on the West Coast but returned in 1951 to work with his father and open the building division of their firm. The next year, R.W. Sr. died suddenly, plunging the City into deep sadness, it is reported. He had just completed a term as President of the St. Petersburg Board of Realtors. Gulfport had grown to over 5,000 residents at that time. Lola Totten raised money to have a memorial fountain at the foot of 54th Street dedi cated to Mr. Caldwell for his untiring efforts in creating the beach as we know it today. They say he created the term, "You can really live in Gulfport." "Bob" Caldwell, Jr. became President of the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce in 1953, President of the Pinellas County Contractors and Builders Association and Vice President of the Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, Inc. He says one of his proudest accomplishments was overseeing the building of the Marie Bryan Library Building started in

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 285 1970. He was an original member of the first Pinellas Plan ning and Zoning Board. He has been involved in many development projects from Charlotte to Pasco Counties, but one that gave him extra satisfaction was the primary role he played in re-annexing Pasadena Golf Club Course and Pelican Bay back into Gulfport land that Gulfport had lo s t 50 years earlier. Bob and Adele Caldwell have three children, all of whom work in Gulfport. Daughter April Caldwell Hornsleth has run the real estate business with h er husband, Poul, since 1974. Daughter Desi Caldwell McCarthy ran Gulfport's agrariu m store for ten year s and recently joined the family business. Son R. W. Bill Caldwell III is a builder like his Dad and is currently project manager for Pa s adena Golf and Country Club for U.S. Steel. There are four grandchildren to make a fifth generation, but April's daughter, Jody, born in 1980 in a plan ned home birth, was the first member of the clan born within our City limits-the great-granddaughter of George and Abigail Jarrell. Quite a story, isn't it? It is included here as an example of how so me families have clung together and helped develop our City into what it has become today, because strong people saw possibilities and built upon what others like them had seen, believed in and built! Poul Hornsleth, Jr. CHAPTER 32 DANIELS CLOVER SPECIALTY COMPANY 49049th AvenueS. Do you know that we have, perhaps, the only clover farm in the world right here in Gulfport? Let me tell you some thing about it, for it is truly unique and few know of its fascinating history and activity. This clover enterprise started in the Canal Zone where Mr. Daniels was Chief Engineer for the telephone company. As sort of a hobby, he planted clovers along their lines and be came known as a master flori culturist. He has a framed letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture dated 5/29/30, signe d by E. A. Hollowell, Senior Agro nomist, verifying Mr. Daniels' four-leafed clover as Trifolium ripnes L white clover. In 1944, the Daniels family moved to 3901 Burlington Avenue where they combined their home and industry; and

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286 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida they moved to the present location in Gulfport in 1953. Reviewing their scrapbooks is utterly exciting for they include newspaper clippings from many lands and most of our major cities, plus magazine articles: National Geographic (many), Monsanto, Saturday Evening Post, American, Reader's Digest, and many more. Dale Carnegie wrote about the "Luck Conscious Americans," and Dave Garroway had Mr. Daniels on his "Today" show. There are many hilarious cartoons and comic strips and Thank Y ou's from VIPs honored with their gifts. I too, was pleased with three calendars made for Germany and Austria showing their two separate "years," complete with translations, for me! It is a rare privilege to be given any of their attention. One cannot expect them to use precious time from caring for the clovers to indul e in visiting with individuals, much as they might enjoy it. They gave me their precious time and a tour, explaining their processes, letting me browse through their memorabilia because they were glad to become part of our History of Gulfport. Recently, the Daniels family moved to Dunellon where Mr. Daniels spends lots of time fishing. The new owners of the Clover Specialty Company are Mr. and Mrs. Safco affectionately known as "Andy" and "Dandy." Mrs. Helen Whitney, employed at the company for nine years, helped them get started in this unusual industry. Let this writer wish you luck in this poem the Daniels selected for our use. Is is by an unknown poet, but is quoted quite often. Frances Purdy Four-Leaf Clover I know a place where the sun is gold And the cherry blossoms burst with snow, And down underneath is the loveliest nook Where the four-leaf clovers grow. One leaf is for hope and one is for faith, And one is for love, you know; And God put another in for luck ![you search, you'llfind where they grow. But you must have hope and you must have faith, You must be strong-and so, If you work, if you wait, you will find the place Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 287 CHAPTER 33 GULFPORT BEACH MUSICIANS Our "Searcher for Facts," Helen Ross, asked Ernie Pap palardo to list the musicians who had played at our beach be tween 1964 {when the group was started by Charles Tripoli) and 1984 -and that list is: Charles Tripoli, Peter Gammi, Sam Martello, AI Pandolfo, Tony Cottone, Frank Genco, Roy Towne, Frank DiMagio, Salvatore Martorana, Victor Bove, Jack Landike, George Grizzuto, Jean Fontana, John DiMaria, Bob Myers, Frank Alexander, Tony Venditti, Sherley M. Cook, Ernie Pappalardo, Roger Myers, Frank Granese, Tom Murphy, Lu Moto, George Rounds, Gus Davis, Jerry Fische, George Gizzuto, Iggy Provezano, Larry Lloyd, Don Mills, Dick Roberts, Gus Anderson, Floyd and Leota Schmelzle, and James Lipari. ''Around 1967" a newspaper clipping showed a picture entitled "Band Picks Up a Crowd" and the text told of the popular group, mostly senior citizens, who presented a musi cal program running the gamut from opera to polkas, with plenty of old-time tunes thrown in for good measure. They listed George Hollwedel, Sam Martello, Sherley Cook, Eric Best, and Wally Pelton as players with Filomena DiGiamattista in charge of the chorus and Vincent Carrogti as soloist. In the May 10, 1984 Gabber, "Charlie Our Boy Honored" topped pictures of Charlie Tripoli being greeted by Bo n Fellows of Channel 13 when his "gang" focused loving attention upon their leader of twenty years. Charlie had started this musical hallmark of our beach when he was only 76 years old, and he said he hadn't missed a day since. Sophie Remyer thought up the idea of giving him a plaque of appre ciation, and Tom Mucci collected the money to pay for it. More recently, our Gabber of 2/28/85 wrote of the musi cal background of the following, who play three times a week under the direction of AI Pandolfo. With him are Gus Ander son, Lloyd Moore, Larry Lloyd, Patricia Williams, Don "Red" Mills, Richard Moore, Peter Garini, Walter Pawluszyn, Floyd and Leota "Lee" Schmelzle, Sherley "Cookie" Cook, George Haug, Mario Fierro, Frank Fierro, Igor Razkazoff, Gene P iotrowski, and Bob Findley. The following week, an additional list was added by H. Ray Brunelle including Patsy Clymer, a popular soloist on her piano melodian, Bernadine P iotrowski, singer, and Dick Roberts, Tom

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288 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Murphy, and Dr. Merlin A. Rogers. It does seem quite appropriate to add this item to our features which are uniquely Gulfport characteristics! Frances Purdy CHAPTER 34 GULFPORT'S GOLF STORY AT PASADENA YACHT AND COUNTRY CLUB (Compiled from data provided by the Gulfport Public Library and by the Management of the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club, by John M. Davidson, Treasurer of the Friends of the Library and Handicap Director of the Club's Men's Association; and by Willard B. Simonds, Historical Society of Gulfport.) When annexation of Pasadena Yacht and Country Club Estates was realized, it returned to Gulfport an historical area relinquished to the County in the 1930's during the great Depression. This golf course comprises an important and im pressive link between the past and the present history of American golf. Mr. Jack l'aylor built the Rolyat Hotel in the 1920's and developed part of the surrounding property as the Bear Creek Golf Course, designed and laid out by the golf architect, Van Kleet. He brought here well-known golf professionals Walter Hagen and Joe Kirkwood who popularized the course with their great abilities and their cavorting antics. In 1924 and 1925, Hagen received annual salaries of $30,000 to act as President and Professional. Those were large sums but that was in boom times! Taylor was wealthy and Hagen was the most colorful and the best "Pro" of his time. The course fell on hard times during the Depression and was allowed to grow into weeded pastures. Mr. Dixie Holl ins offered to purchase the hotel and course but succeeded only in getting the latter which he reopened in 1930 as the Pasa dena Golf Club. He retained many for mer members, most of whom were permanent hotel residents. Lloyd Gullickson became the "Pro," Scott Tupper the Greens Superintendent, and Albert Turner the Locker Room Attendant who stayed 35 years. Gullickson, whose influence on Pasadena:s history makes him its greatest name, eliminated holes on the north side of Gulfport Blvd. along 64th Street and built new ones south of the Boulevard, thus starting changes in the layout that are ongoing.

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? PASADENA GOLF COURSE Original Bear Creek layout BASE: National Litho Co., St. Pete rsbutg Area Map, ADDITIONAL MATERIAL AND REWORK: W B Simond. April1985 --0 I 0 I 289

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290 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida To accomplish U.S. Steel's (present owner) plans for hous ing, new clubhouse and marina, there is a brand new 15th hole design e d by Arnold Palmer and recently dedicated by lovable Chi Chi Rodriguez, one of Pro Golf's most popular and capable performers. Upon completion of the new club house, this new hole will become the 18th, with all other holes renumbered. One of Lloyd's first promotions wa s the 1932 City of St. Petersburg Women's Championship, won by Frances Hat field, one of his proteg ees. His most brilliant promotion was between partners Babe Didrikson (later Zaharias), the ruling ladies' Pro champion, and Baseball's immortal, Babe Ruth, opposing Lloyd within that year's national amateur ladies' champion, Glenna Collett Vare. The two Babe s regaled the audience with booming drives and long woods, plus wise cracks and tomfoolery, but in the end the calm and steady play of Lloyd and Glenna prevailed. That match is part of golf history and raised more than $600 for the St. Petersburg Crippled Children's Hospital. In 1933, Bob Shane came to Pasadena to help Lloyd, and together they produced three amateur champions Ralph Redman in the 1935 Southern Men's, Horace Williams in the 1936 Florida State, and Helen McGarry in the 1937 Southern Women's. In 1937, Lloyd himself won the Florida State Senior s. World War II and war efforts in 1941 completel y curbed all course and club activities. The former was fenced in and a herd of beef cattle graz e d on the beautiful fairways, tees, and greens. At first, the clubhouse was used as a non-com officers' club, but later, as a U.S. Air Corps commissioned officers' club. At the close of hostili ties, down came the fen ces, away went the herd of cattle, and out came the golf balls and players! The course was leased to St. Petersburg but remained under the watchful eye of Lloyd Gullickson. Over at the Don CeSar Hotel on St. Petersburg Beach was a then-unknown young recreation director who b elieved golf was a great source of rehabilitation for his Veterans in that center. He was Arnold Palmer, who brought many vans and bus-loads of "Vets" to Pasadena for lots of golf therapy. The lease ran out in 1954, and for the next fifteen Mr. Hollins leased Pasadena to Premier Development Corporation and Boswell Construction Company. The presid ent of those two companies was Mr. Marion L. Boswell, better known as "Bo," a still active apd much-loved Pasadena golfer. He has

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 291 provided money for construction of a swimming pool (since replaced by rose gardens), for renovation of the clubhouse and bar, and for extensive changes on the course. The re markable growth of this course and club began with this period. Big League baseball and golf have been closely associated at Pasadena over the years. The Major League Baseball Players' Championship is held annually during Spring Train ing season. We hosted fourteen of twenty-five St. Petersburg Open events, a former fixture on the Men's Tour. Arnold Palmer won in 1958, and other winners include Paul Runyan, Johnney Revolta, Ben Hogan, Lawson Little, George Bayer, and Gary Player. Winners of the event at other area courses include Willie MacFarlane, Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret, Peter Cooper, Jack Burke Jr., and Cary Middlecoff. Talk about the legends of golf! We made them here! No history of Pasadena Yacht and Country Club would be complete without noting our most prestigious S. & H. Classic, one of the oldest "Pro" tour events and the oldest of the LPGA ladies' tour. Held on several area courses over the years and formerly known as the Orange Blossom Classic, our course has become its home. Sponsored by a dedicated group of area business and professional men (the Polywogs) and joyfully helped by volunteer marshalls and other workers, the S. & H. raised many thousands of dollars for local charities and attracts the greatest names in ladies' pro golf. The Classic is held in April when the course is most beautiful flowers and shrubs are in full bloom, greens are immaculate, and surely, at that time it is a show of golf at its finest. Boca Ciega High School graduate, Murle MacKensie Breer, was prominent in the Ladies' LPGA Tour for many years. Pasadena's Cynthia "Cindy" Hill, former amateur champion, now represents the club on tour, and she, too, is an out standing player. This U.S. Steel operation is managed by Elenore Cham pion, a dedicated executive who has worked with three owners of the club. William "Bucky" Thornbury is the Head Pro who has spent nineteen of his thirty-eight years here and who is considered to be one of the best teachers of the game. Linda Groover is Ladies' "Pro" whom they believe is a de voted professional in the teaching area. "Bud" Quandt is Head Greenskeeper, ranked as "tops" nationally. Last, but by no i:neans least, is Chef Charlie Saad who operates one of the most attractive restaurants [open] on the Suncoast; he is

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292 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida assisted by a bevy of attractive hostesses, waitresses, and bar maids. No map the size of ours could possibly show the true nature of the landscape south of Gulfport Blvd. in the 19251930 period. The Boulevard then crossed 64th Street at 13th Avenue, about two blocks north of the present crossing, and the whole area south of it was interlaced with tidal inlets, streams, and some small, shallow lakes. Within this watery landscape were several small islands. Jack Taylor, as part of his program to entertain the hotel guests, populated one of those islands with a troop of monkeys. Their antics did pro vide hours of entertainment for the hotel guests, the golfers, and the local residents alike. "Monkey Island" came to enjoy a brief fame as a popular tourist attraction. When the Florida Boom busted in 1926, Taylor went bankrupt and left town overnight, leaving no one to care for the monkeys (or for the many colorful birds he had in an aviary on Central Avenue). Walter Fuller rescued the birds, giving them to friends who would care for them. The monkeys were turned loose, and most migrated to the Jungle area where they lived on for years making general nuisances of themselves. In spite of all the filling and development in the interven ing fifty-five years, the location of Monkey Island is still ,. visible in the open space east of 64th Street and south of 13th Avenue. The clump of six or eight trees close to 64th Street marks that location. The watery nature of the landscape also made for a diffi cult golf course. Mr. Maurice Hollins, once president of the Pasadena Golf Club, in a letter to the Pasadena Men's Asso ciation, said, in part: "All of the holes were extremely long with many traps, creeks, and lakes built into the layout. There were 13 water holes out of the total of 18 .... As the original layout was too difficult for the average golfer, Lloyd [Gullickson] made recommendations for a new design for some of the holes. All of the holes going north and returning along 64th Street were abandoned and new ones constructed within the boundaries of the other property." -John M. Davidson, Willard B. Simonds

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? CHAPTER 35 HISTORY OF BOY SCOUTING AND GIRL SCOUTING IN GULFPORT "Where there is no vision, the people perish!" 293 Even before the great biblical prophets thundered their urgent messages pleading with the populace to follow in the paths of wisdom, a still more ancient philosopher tried to alert the citizens of the world's first great democracy: "People of Athens: Why do you labor and struggle to achieve greatness and plenty, all the while neglecting your children, to whom you must soon leave everything you have?" The City of Gulfport and its citizens, however, have been clear-sighted and have long recognized the value of health and character-building activities for its youngsters on whom the City itself must soon depend. Among the most far-reaching and constructive youth work over the years is the support which Gulfport has given its young people through the Scouting program, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Nearly all of us are familiar with the neat, khaki-uniformed boys, ages ten to eighteen, as they do their daily "good turns," including helping and teaching their well-scrubbed younger Cub Scout brothers in their handsome navy blue and gold uniforms. And who has not been charmed by a diminutive Brownie, often appearing tiny for her only seven or eight years, knocking at your door with a bright Girl Scout calendar, following in the footsteps of her big sister in her green dress, or green slacks, and white blouse, selling the famous and delicious Girl Scout cookies? Both Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops have existed in Gulfport for about 50 years, the first Boy Scout Troop (#15) being organized in 1933 by Mr. Jerome Girard. The first Girl Scout Troop in our City reportedly started probably in the late 1940s; detailed specific records, however, seem to exist only since about 1958. Their meeting place, Scout Hall of Gulfport, has been well known over the years. "Old Scout Hall" was originally the building which housed the First United Methodist Church of Gulfport, on the northeast corner of 28th Avenue S. and 53rd Street. When the new church building was erected, Mr. Archie Tabor arranged to have the old building moved across 53rd Street to the northwest corner (about 1956-57) and thus it became known as "Scout Hall." A stone marker com memorates Mr. Tabor near the flagpole of this building today.

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294 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida An enchanting glimpse into this far-distant past was sup plied by Mrs. Ida Smith ("Smitty"), a long-time pioneer Girl Scout Leader in St. Petersburg: "Smitty" tells that she used to regularly bring 35 or 40 Girl Scouts from all over St. Petersburg out to Gulfport on the trolley in order to join local girls in a Scout day-camp in the pleasant "country" surroundings of Scout Hall! Gulfport citizens who were here in the '50s or earlier will recall those street-car tracks running down 55th Street to the Casino. In 1966, when Gulfport completed its new Community Building at the end of 58th Street S. on the waterfront, the old Gulfport Community Hall (located between Old Scout Hall and the Gulfport Shuffleboard Court) became available. After some negotiation (led by Les McEwen), the City agreed to let the old community building become New Scout Hall; and the Old Scout Hall thus was made available for Red Cross courses, sewing activities, etc. (Still later, Old Scout Hall was used by the GEMS as a nerve center for dispatching transportation for senior citizens; and in 1983 it became the home of the newly-organized Gulfport Historical Society.) The New Scout Hall, officially known as "Scout Hall of Gulfport," has made a sturdy meeting place for active Scouts. In addition to the generous outdoor space which provides freedom for active games and free running and play, its rustic interior is spacious and inviting. Its beloved knotty cypress paneling (traditionally reputed to be impervious to termites) provides a welcome hint of the outdoors for every meeting. Gulfport Scout troops utilize Scout Hall nearly every weekday afternoon and evening. Their activities here are co ordinated by an informal government embodied in the Scout Hall Committee, which consists of one representative from each troop using the hall as well as other interested adults from the community. The officers of this committee provide necessary continuity as well as help and guidance for new leaders. Ongoing training is provided by Scout area councils. All Scouting adults, for both boys and girls, consistently have taken special training in order to provide as professional leadership as possible. The first Boy Scout troop in Gulfport was organized in 1933 by Mr. Jerome Girard (who, in 1985, at age 83, now lives in Kenneth City in northwest St. Petersburg). In 1933 Mr. Girard was working for the City of Gulfport as Town Foreman in charge of maintenance, when Major Wetmore, a Gulfport Councilman, asked him to become a Scout Master

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 295 and organize a troop. Recognizing a responsibility to their developing children, the City gave Mr. Girard time off from his work duties, as well as some financial support, for the new troop. When Mr. Girard asked for help in finding a meeting place, the Gulfport Fire Department made its own building avail able on Tuesday evenings. This meeting place was, of course, the old building, south of City Hall, not the more recentlybuilt Fire Department building. Later, the Gulfport Methodist Church permitted the Scouts to meet on a bench on their church grounds, and finally made their church building itself available as Scout Hall. When Troop 15 took its first camping trip in the summer of 1934, six of Mr. Girard's seven Scouts were present. The troop grew rapidly and in the next camping trip there were at least fourteen Scouts. By 1937, all Troop 15 Scouts were in uniform, wearing the wide-brimmed stiff khaki hats which early Scouters well remember. Money for uniforms and for troop activities was earned by collecting newspaper and tin cans for salvage. Friends gave or loaned the boys tents for weekend camp ing expeditions among the majestic oaks of the Seminole area-then a jungle wilderness; and in the summers the boys went for two weeks of outdoor life at newly-organized Camp Soule at Safety Harbor. Here there were cabins sleeping eighteen boys, dormitory-type predecessors of the present much smaller three-sided Adirondacks. The Scouts were weighed before and after Summer Camp, and each boy was expected to gain five pounds while there! These were Depression days, of course; and Mr. Girard recalls that on one occasion they ran out of food, so he reluctantly had to tell the boys they would all have to go home unless they could somehow locate some food. The boys quickly fanned out and returned within a few hours each with a load of provisions -Nathan White had caught twenty-two mullet; three or four boys each had secured the donation of a chicken; and watermelons and other goodies abounded enough to fill out the camp session! Thoughtful aspects of life were not neglected: religious services were observed weekly, and one boy even walked the six miles into Clearwater in order to attend a church of his own faith. Boys less fortunate than the Scouts were not bypassed.

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296 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Upon the urgent pleading of a parent, even a seriously handi capped boy just out of hospital attended camp one summer, sometimes coming to the Scout Master in the middle of the night for his emergency "shot" for asthma. Scouting has always made every humanly-possible effort to adapt require ments to the needs of individual young people. Mr. Girard has many stories to tell of those early Boy Scout camping days, including spectacular campfire stunts such as "Bringing Fire Down from Heaven" a feat accom plished by sliding a torch down from a very tall pine tree along a previously secretly-suspended string! Occasionally, then as now, activities and stunts tended to get out of hand, rushing enthusiastically but heedlessly ahead on their own momentum into uncharted areas. Mr. Girard describes one rainy day at camp when the boys took turns flipping the pancakes baking in a frying pan. One boy was accidentally touched by the hot pancake-turner and yelled that he was "branded." Not to be outdone, the other boys immediately decided to brand themselves on their chests, spelling out the troop official number, 15, by means of the hot pancake-turner. Carried along by the contagious excitement and youthful exuberance, Mr. Girard looked on benevolently, only to realize later, to his chagrin and dismay -when a parent protested vigorously -that some of these playful brands were indeed of the permanent variety and not merely the innocent charcoal and soot smudges that he had assumed them to be! And, along with horseplay and good fun, then as today, useful skills were learned and practiced. Mr. Girard describes an early Scout Jamboree at AI Lang Field in downtown St. Petersburg where Scouts from the entire surrounding area demonstrated the use of camp equipment such as lanterns and handpumps. Gulfport's Troop 15 proudly set a pattern which later members of the troop have attempted to main tain over the years. Troop 15 was rated outstanding in the main area of competition: (1) Erecting a tent 5-minute limit for putting up four sides and roof; (2) Chopping wood; (3) Making fires; (4) Boiling water; and (5) Tying knots. As Mr. Girard recalls, almost all of his Scouts went into military service during World War II; and he states with pride that because of the training in outdoor and survival skills he had received in Gulfport, every Scout from Troop 15 was promoted almost immediately upon entering the armed forces. Reportedly, Nathan White was promoted to Signal-

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Wh a t Makes Gulfpor t Unique? 297 man on his first day in service! No Gulfport Scout died in service, and many felt that it was at least in part their Scout basic training which helped them to survive. Throughout all Scouting activities, ideals of personal in t egrity and honor are inculcated by both precept and example. Mr. Girard s justified pride in his Scouts was obvious as he rec alled an incident in which a boy onc e was questioned by the authorities about his part in a Halloween prank in which heavy objects had been thrown in front of a street car in Gulfport. When the court invited Mr. Girard to question his troop member, the Scout readily admitted his guilt, explaining to the court, I just couldn't lie to him." For these young people, personal integrity thus became a way of life: A Scout's honor is to be trusted. In 1942, Mr. Girard went to work for Florida Pow e r Company; and since his work there involved repeated shifts of working hours, he had to give up leadership of the Scout troop. By then most of his boys had gone into military ser vice. The troop was not active again until Nathan White re started it in 1945, c hartering it as Troop 315. Scouting has always been a communi t y affair as we ll as a family activity; and an impressive number of individuals and organizations hav e been involved over the years in enriching the program of Scouting offered to Gulfport youngsters. One who assisted Mr. Girard in the early days was Mr. Charles M. Phillips, at that time Principal of Disston Junior High School. (Mr. Phillips was the father of Judge Charles Phillips the well-known Pinellas County Judge in recent year s ). Mr. Charles Phillips was interested in Boy Scouting, even helping to organize the troop. In 1946 he was instrumental in helping Nathan White get the first troop charter. As early as 1939, however, Mr. Phillips was helping Mr. Girard at weekly meetings, signing on for Leadership training and sharing with the Scouts his knowledge as a naturalist. At one time he grew seven kinds of citru s on a single tree! He worked for merit badges right along with the boys, and at Christmas spent a week camping in the woods with them. He also supplied disciplinary know-how, an essential for the ever growing group of extremely active young men. Far from resenting his strictness, the boys responded with respect and affection. When Mr. Phillips' mother died, twenty Scouts from Troop 15 attended her funeral in Clearwater, all in full Scout uniform. Many boys and young men have continued to enjoy and

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298 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida profit from Boy Scout activities over the years under the capable leadership of a succession of other friendly, com petent men with a knack for constructive human relation ships. To name a few: Nathan White (one of Mr. Girard's early Scouts), Edgar Miller (Woodsman extraordinaire with a knack for relating to growing boys), Dick Baumann ( charis matic and adventuresome leader of boys over the historic King trail from Tampa to Dade City), Les McEwen (with a passion for patrol organization), and Carl Brown (soft-spoken but effective leader). These, among others, served as Scout Masters. Many other Gulfport men participated in troop activities and/or furnished major committee support, among them H. B. Blewett, Sam McCollum, Tom Hucknall, Walter Brooks, Arthur Burton, Lou Barrows, Bob Reese. The list could go on and on .... Although the Girl Scouts were organized later than the Boy Scouts in Gulfport, several troops have been active each year since at least the early '50s, and possibly as early as the mid-1940s. Little specific information regarding Gulfport Girl Scouts before about 1955 can be located. Mary Atkinson and Dorothy Taylor were among the early leaders from 1958 on; both recall that earlier troops were organized and meet ing, but details of leadership, etc. have not yet been located. Mary Atkinson and Dorothy Taylor are still active in Scout ing in 1985, as is Emily Rautman (who started as a Brownie Leader in 1966 and is currently Troop Committee Chairman of Boy Scout Troop 315 after six years as Girl Scout Neigh borhood Chairman). Over the years there have usually been Brownie Girl Scout troops, Intermediate troops, Cadette troops, and sometimes a Senior Girl Scout troop meeting in Scout Hall of Gulfport. Sometimes as many as eight or nine troops were operating during the same year. Many Gulfport women have devoted much time and energy to leading these troops so that girls could have the advantages of the Scouting program. Many of those who worked early and long in Girl Scouting still live in Gulfport and are still active in various community affairs. Any list of these dedicated women leaders would have to include Bernice Dopico Perry, Roberta Miller, Jane Boughamer, Genevieve Smith, Reba Greene, Virginia Welch, Mollie Smeaton, Lillian Holloway, Phyllis Maudsley, Deanie Mowbray, Rhona Sasher, Ernestine O'Connell, Judy Reyerson and, in addition, there are unknown (and largely unsung) heroines who supplied

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 299 vital help but who worked mainly behind the scenes, such as Rosemary Gable and Arlene Samuel. Litte girls of Brownie age (seven and eight years) were taught essential camping skills such as fire-building, some times by their advanced brothers in Ed Miller's Boy Scout troop. On special exhibition days at Scout Hall, proud parents watched as girls competed to see which patrol ex celled in Scouting skills such as seeing which patrol of Inter mediate Scouts could put up its tents the quickest (without sagging) sometimes in the corner of the block where Gulf port's tennis courts now stand. Older Girl Scouts who per fected their survival skills went primitive camping in Seminole woods on weekends and later to the "established camps"-Camp Dorothy Thomas (east of Brandon), Scout Crest (east of Tarpon Springs), and still later, Wai Lanai (near Dunedin). The "tree houses" available at one camp (Withla coochee) were a popular favorite. Most of the Girl Scout Leaders were mothers who learned camping and other skills just one step ahead of their daughters! Some stayed with a troop only a year or two; others spent the entire period of their daughter's girlhood, from eight to eighteen years, helping with Scouting activities. More than one mother, if she was so fortunate as to have both a son and a daughter, took up time-juggling, boldly adding to her already busy schedule the demanding and strenuous jobs of being both a Cub Scout Den Mother and a Girl Scout Leader. And in the case of both Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, many Gulfport adults who have no children at all or whose children are grown and gone, have over the years been actively working to maintain and help with the Scouting programs. Thus, over a period of more than half a century, many Gulfport organizations and also many individuals have helped enrich the local Scouting program. In 1960, for example, the Gulfport Garden Club planted a Florida orchid tree to beautify the grounds of the building given to the Scouts by Gulfport Methodist Church. The outdoor fireplaces around which so many Scouts with their Leaders and parents have enjoyed warmth, food, and comradeship, were constructed with the help of the Gulfport Social Service Council, the Lions Club, and the Mert Barrs. The City of Gulfport itself has made many, many improvements to both the old and the new Scout Hall, helping the Scouts keep the facilities and

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300 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida building in good repair. The Naval Reserves took on a special project of assistance with sorely-needed structural and electrical repairs, and many private individuals have donated untold hours of labor (yes, "blood, sweat, and tears") in carpentry, scraping, painting, sewing, cleaning, etc. Others have donated useful equipment or supplies such as an electric stove and refrigerator. The Lions Club has long been official sponsor of both Cub Pack and Boy Scout Troop 315, supply ing both financial and various other assistance as needed. The American Legion, too, has assisted, at one time providing meeting space for an Explorer Troop for older teenage boys; they have also cheerfully supplied flags as needed for any troop. The Gulfport Gabber has been generous with pub licity and has been invaluable in spreading the word that all children are welcome to join the Scouts. The various women's auxiliaries, the Gulfport Coterie, the individual City officials and Council persons, and many stores and businesses have offered friendly hands. What would a Boy Scout Charter Night or a Girl Scout International Day Buffet be without the "Bug Juice" (orange juice) donated by Mac Donalds? (Don't forget the napkins, salt and pepper, etc.) Truly, Scouting has been a community project in Gulfport. In return, both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Gulfport have provided help in many service projects for the community, often putting on flag ceremonies for special occasions such as the annual Christmas Tree lighting for example, or assisting at one-time gala events such as the Open House Reception with which Gulfport Library cele brated its new building. For years Scouts have delivered Goodwill and Salvation Army bags door to door -and picked up the filled bags a week later. They have provided color guards and flag-raising ceremonies upon request, participated in innumerable parades and in special "Gulfport Days," and have gotten up very early in the morning ipdeed to set up chairs for ecumenical Easter Sunrise Services on Gulfport Beach. One of their important but less-visible service projects was painstakirigly gathering necessary measurements for the program promoting accessibility to buildings and sidewalks, etc., so that wheelchair and other handicapped people are no longer so restricted in their movements. They have also gathered toys for the Christmas toy shop, provided color and good spirits for many civic events, helped distribute "Get Out the Vote" literature, and even

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 301 provided free baby care while mothers of young children voted. Through distributing "water savers" and participa tion in other ecology programs, Scouts have extended their awareness of conservation needs and have helped inform and interest others in conservation and anti-pollution efforts. Service has always been a key part of the Scouting pro gram, and the Scouts stand ever ready to offer whatever assistance is within their capabilities. Perhaps best of all, Scouts constantly reach out to extend the benefits of their program to other young people. For more than ten years (at least from 1959 on), an Annual Scout Carnival has been staged, not only to provide amusement and fun for Scout families and any other youngsters of the community, but also to inform the public regarding Scouting and to welcome new members to join them. Through Scouting, Gulfport has helped each Scout develop a sense of citizenship both in his/her hometown and in a wider community. By means of a self-directed but demanding ladder of achievements, Scouts earn "merit badges" as recog n ition of what they have accomplished and as a means of advancing in rank. Far from being a competition where a child can win only at the expense of some other boy or girl, almost every Scout, even Cubs and Brownies, has achieved some advancement and recognition. The beginning Bob-Cat Cub wins the privilege of turning his membership pin right side up as soon as he does his first Scouting "good deed." Then he earns his. way as a Wolf, and a year later he can develop into a Bear, and later a Lion, meanwhile enriching his shirt with "arrow-points" and his belt with symbols of newly-acquired camping skills. Boys making the transition from Cubs into Scouts (from Pack to Troop) earn the forward-pointing Webelos arrow. As Den Chiefs, Scouts learn to lead. Several Gulfport Boy Scouts (especially under Ed Miller's leadership) completed the entire Scout advancement pro gram, earning the coveted national recognition of an Eagle Scout award. Outstanding Gulfport campers have been elected to the Order of the Arrow, a service program which helps maintain Scout camps. Through special programs with in their own church or synagogue, some Gulfport boys have earned a religious award. Some Gulfport Boy Scouts have been helped to expand their vision by attending National Boy Scout Jamborees (for example, at Valley Forge or in Idaho), joining with Scouts

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302 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida from all over the United States and, in fact, from all over the world. The concept of the "brotherhood of man" becomes a living reality for them at such times. Other Gulfport Boy Scouts have made the ten-day High Adventure camping hike at Philmont National Scout Ranch in the Rocky Mountains at Cimarron, New Mexico. In fact, two of Gulfport's Eagle Scouts Christopher Rautman and Marcus Rautman have served several summers on the staff of Philmont, teaching Scouts from all over the United States the skills which they began to acquire right here in Scout Hall of Gulfport. Most Gulfport Scouts have carried their skills into other camping events and on into their own working and family lives. The Scouts of Mr. Girard's 1933 troop, for example, all became "solid citizens," contributing to their community. In Mr. Girard's words: "Most of the boys ultimately had a trade. The Gaskin boy became a molder, "Shorty" (Alfred Welch) became a sea captain at Johns Pass, and George Overhuel went into roofing. J. J. Gilbert became a telephone man, and Joe Webb worked for Florida Power." Mr. Girard's own son, now 57, is a retired parole officer of the federal government. Not to be outdone by their brothers, some Gulfport Girl Scouts, too, have earned top Girl Scout national awanid and/ or the privilege of participating in regional and national "opportunities." The range of these special events staggers the imagination folk dancing at the Suwanee River, jelly making in Wisconsin, studying fish in the Great Lakes or Chesapeake Bay, helping handicapped children at camp, as well as more rugged camping experiences. At least one Gulf port Girl Scout has served several summers on the staff of Girl Scout National Center West (at Ten Sleep, Wyoming), as well as at Suncoast Council's Standing Indian Camp in the North Carolina mountains. In both camps she taught hiking, back-packing, and compass skills which she-like so many other Gulfport girls began to learn right here on 28th Avenue S. in a hike around the block containing Scout Hall of Gulfport when she was a Brownie only eight years old. Her name is Alison Rautman. In recent years, both the Cub Scouts and the Brownie Scouts are including still younger age groups. Now there are Daisy Girl Scouts as well as Tiger Cubs. However much or little they may have advanced formally, all children in Gulfport Scouting have found their lives en riched perhaps by a great sensitivity to the famous Gulf-

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 303 port sunsets as they silhouette the palms and pines against the sky, or by learning to identify seagull tracks in the beach sand, or perhaps by the joy of acquiring a useful new skill in knot-tying which enables them to hang up a clothesline that actually stays up; perhaps by the satisfaction and self-esteem which come from learning how to pack, all by themselves, the essentials for a picnic or a weekend camp, or how to accomplish some essential home routine; or just by enjoying the fun and laughter of a friendly, mutually helpful group of peers and interested grown-ups. These changes and insights and new ways of growth have remained with these young Gulfport people all their lives, as well as with the adults who, to their own surprise, usually found themselves growing too as they helped the youngsters learn -and it is this training in adaptability which will enable all of us to meet the future. Both as a progressive city and as a group of citizens, Gulfport may well take pride in this open-ended program which it has been offering to its young people all these past fifty-two years -a living demonstration of the Scouter's promise to "help other people at all times" and to try, as far as is humanly possible, to "Be Prepared." Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts A Looking-Backward Postscript A review of the minutes of Scout Hall Committee meetings (available for many of the past twenty-six years) reveals that the problems -and the children and adults -of those years and of today are remarkably similar! (Even in 1933, boys were the same as now, basically.) Over and over the same questions have come up as each new crop of human beings faces the same problems earlier ones confronted: lights in Scout Hall are left on after meet ings; doors are left unlocked; toilets get clogged by paper towels; windows inexplicably get broken; and someone still -after all these years has to sweep, clean, and repair the Hall. "Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same ... Each new group of Tenderfoot Scouts has to learn all over again how to light a match safely, how to walk without stumbling over uneven ground, and also that it is possible to survive a camping weekend without chewing gum, battery radios or comic books. (Or playing cards!)

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304 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida And each new group of Leaders learns, painfully, how very hard it is to be a really responsible fully cooperative, and thoroughly dependable adult, especially one who can "get along" with others. As the truism puts it: "The more things change, the more they remain the same. But it is also true that it is only those who profit from the lessons of history who can escape repeating over and over the many mistak es of the past. That is why histor ical societi es are so important! And it is also why it is good that we should look back over the Scouting program in Gulfport to evaluate what the effects have been, both on individuals and on life for all in the community. In view of Gulfport 's experience with Scouting over the past half-century, the eviden ce seems clear: It was a good investment. Gulfport has been a wise community to consider its children and young people as one of its most valuable resource s. Fortunately, we do not have to honor or advance any age group or generation at the expense of another. For all of us, children are OUR stake in the future. CHAPTER 36 -Emily W Rautman HISTORY OF GULFPORT SOFTBALL TEAM In the beginning, in 1973, there was a small group of elderly men including Dr. Colin McLellan, Bob Hawe s, Art Gilstedt a church-<>riented bunch who decided they could get together to play ball for relaxation, fellowship, and better health. In those days we would supplement our ten or twelve players with winter visitors. Summers were hectic with the heat and our ages (all over 60 except Wes), but we kept the group going. We played Movies Up" which just uses half the field On some rare occasions I had to choose players for each team 'cause no one else would assume that responsi bility. Until Bob Hayes moved to north Florida, he was the manager of the club. His decisions were law safe or out, both sides, etc. Times were when we had no bases, just stones, no home plate or foul lines except what we drew with the end of a bat. We had no covered dug-out, that's for sure! Dr. McLellan had a poster printed advertising our club and

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 305 we went around neighborhoods tacking copies up in stores and laundromats wherever we could find a bulletin board. For several years the St. Petersburg Times printed weekly schedules of ball teams and included ours, too. Our policy had been to allow anyone who came to the field (relatives, kids, wives, daughters, and all) to play. But due to improved abilities with speed and conditions, we agreed kids had to be 12 or over 'cause we didn't want injuries. In the middle years, the players submitted names for the club; the most popular one being "Boomerangs." When we heard about Bob Hawes' death, we named one team the "Hawsers" and later added the "Boomers" iJ.nd "Rangs." One of Doc's dreams was to secure uniforms and challenge outside teams. Though he didn't live to see it happen, just recently we have been playing others, largely due to the efforts of Jim Vogel, one of our captains. Until these last few years, Laura Thurman, good friend of the club, secured our equipment on her property; and we are grateful to her. The City of Gulfport has been, and continues to be, helpful and cooperative in maintenance of the field and providing the bases. We are appreciative of and indebted to the Council and the Recreation Department. So we Senior Seniors, as we mature through 1981, hope to leave this legacy for you Junior Seniors to carry on at least to the year of our Lord, 2000. Jack Welker, President May 18, 1981 And now, as the City of Gulfport celebrates its 75th anni versary, the "Boomerangs" are recognizing their 12th year of existence This winter season we have an active list of 62 players, including our northern visitors. For the last several seasons we had to expand to four teams, and have limited membership to men 50 years or older, with preference given to Gulfport residents. Periodic collections are taken to provide equipment, first aid kits, etc. A flea market was held several years ago with receipts going to defray expenses. Recognition was given by Mayor Clymer when he issued a Proclamation designating the Boomerangs as "The Sunshine Ambassadors of Gulfport" and identifying the week of Dec. 12, 1982, as "Boomerang Week." (Copy in Boomerang file in Historicai Museum with Lembree "Update," ten years)

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306 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida A Hall of Fame was established by electing two players a year to it based on their length of service, ability, and dedica tion to our club. Twice a year, at Christmas and in the spring, we have a banquet luncheon with entertainment and lots of fine fellowship with our wives and other friends. For the last two years, an annual game has been scheduled with the world-renowned Kids and Kubs of St. Petersburg and our Senior Softball players. Money collected at these ex hibition games is contributed to the Little League players. We plan to make this an annual event in Gulfport. We lend our support to the City in any way we can and as recently as March 1985, workers were provided to assist in the Seafood Festival. The Gulfport Softball Club members are always appreciative of the City's support, especially the Recreation Department which provides and maintains the facilities we use. We love our City and hope it will continue to be "The Best Little City"at least in Florida! CHAPTER 37 Jack Welker, Chairman, Advisory Committee 1985 SHAFFERS' KINDERGARTEN AND NURSERY 5659 Shore Blvd. July 1, 1950December 9, 1983 Joe and Valentine Shaffer and their four daughters-Joan, Pamela, Megan and Wendy-with their lifetime friend, Helen Mengerink, and Helen's daughter Sally and son Derek, moved to the corner property of Clinton Street and Shore Blvd. in the summer of 1950. Here they made their home and took care of children daily, weekly, monthly, on weekends, and overnight. It was a family-type affair -one great big family. When the Shaffers began, there were two separate sides of the building. On one, Mrs. Shaffer cared for babies (from hospital discharge to weeks or months old), but no more than two or three babies at a time. The other side contained the "school" to which, at age two, babies graduated into the two-to three-year-old group. As time went on, the business ("busyness") expanded. The little school became a day-care center for two-to five year-olds, with Joe the .teacher of the kindergarten class. Children who graduated into public and parochial schools missed the Shaffers so much that they often returned during

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 307 holidays and the summer months. Working parents made arrangements whereby their children could be transported to Shaffers from Gulfport Elementary School and Holy Name Schoo l for care when dismissed, until their parents could take them home after work. Children and education were "naturals" for the Shaffers. He had taught English and P hysical Education at Athens College in Athens, Greece, after graduating from Oberlin College in 1931. Valentine Had jiry Shaffer (Greek by birth) tutored foreign children in the English language in lnstanbul, Turkey, and Athens, Greece. They met and married in Athens, then spent ten years in Lima, Ohio, where Joan and Pamela were born. Seeking a more Mediterranean-like climate, they decided to make their permanent home in Florida, com ing first to Tarpon Springs, the Greek settlement in Florida, in 1945, where Megan was born. They moved .to St. Peters burg in 1948, where Wendy was born, and to : Gulfport in 1950. Probably no one eve r walked or rode a bike past that special comer without stopping to watch the happy children at play or to eavesdrop a bit on conve rsations between little high-pitched voices an d the lower gentle ones of their watch ful guardians. Long-time residents speak most affectionately of these people who enriched their lives and those of their children by caring services they gave many, many young Gulfportians. Joe died January 24, 1984, but that site will be remembered as the scene of healthful, loving care and early educatio n. Pam Lanning and Others JOE SHAFFER, A EULOGY Joe Shaffer this name is almost synonymous with the word "children" caring for children, nurturing child ren, teaching children, loving children. Synonymous, because Joe Shaffer's life was devoted to providing the very best child care program possible through his family's endeavor Shaffers' Kind ergarte n and Nurs ery. Because we, on the licensing staff, visit day care centers like the Shaffers' un announced, we have had an unique opportunity to see this gentleman and his family serenely face many challenges over the years and overcome them while the quality of child care continued on a high level.

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308 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida We have come to admire Joe's gentleness-his tenderness, his integrity, his cooperation, his ability to nurture and bring out the best in others-a true gentleman. Joe was totally, unabashedly, happily devoted to his life's work. Even though the children were in care only during the daytime hours, the Shaffers were in the center all the time because it was their home -a real family affair, with wife Valentine, lifetime friend Helen Mengerink, and the Shaffers' four daughters while they were growing up and up, until their own family responsibilities claimed them elsewhere. While some of us might labor to remodel a kitchen so that it looks like one in House Beautiful, with the Shaffers it was a case of putting in a three-compartment sink to meet health requirements; instead of the Oriental rugs which we might choose, with the Shaffers it was a case of finding a flooring surface strong enough for children to play on; instead of carefully matched bookcases, it was shelves to hold children's games and learning aides; in the yard, instead of growing flowers, the Shaffers grew children; instead of planting exotic tropical plants, up sprouted children's equipment climbing frames, parallel bars, swing sets, etc. Yes, it was all for the children. Even their weekends! When I bought my groceries at Publix on Saturdays, I frequently had long chats with Joe who was filling his cart with groceries from which Valentine would make those delicious lunches for the children. When our current licensing law was first implemented in 1961, Joe's commitment to good child care was recognized and he was appointed to be one of five members of the Advisory Committee to the License Board. He represented day nursery care for our entire County on this committee, and he is the only member to have served continually since then. His service has greatly benefited the work of the License Board. What has this deep love for the children of our County meant? What does it mean? I will give just one illustration, but this can be multiplied by hundreds of cases in a great variety of ways. On a plane flight last year, I sat with a bus i ness woman, a grandmother returning to her home in Tampa. Our conversa tion finally turned to our professions and when she learned of my work with the License Board, she just beamed and she had to tell me a .special story. It seems that years before, she had lived in Gulfport with her husband and two pre-school-

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 309 age sons. Her husband died suddenly and she found herself utterly desperate-terrifiedNO job skills! She was shyshe had no option except to get some job training and fast. There was a family nursery in Gulfport. Yes, it was Shaffers' She took her boys there. How glad she was to find that they would be with a man because they needed a "Daddy" figure. At first, as she went away from home every day, she felt guilty about not being home with them. But the boys l iked Shaffers' and they began to blossom. They began to eat better -they slept better -no more nightmares -they played more happily together -they laughed more -they told jokes. She enjoyed them more when she got home each night. Her guilt feelings just washed away As she relaxed more, she could concentrate better on her training and she found that she was able to cope. She developed a great new sense of self-confidence which she attributed to Joe Shaffers' devotion and love for her boys when they were little. Furthermore, she went on to say that her boys were a success as adults and she attributed much of this to their early ex periences at the Shaffers' center. She had just one regret: she had never asked Mrs. Shaffer how to make colored milk which her boys kept asking for after they moved to Tampa. She had even just on this past trip when she was visiting her sons heard one of them telling his little boy how much his first school had meant to him and how delicious that colored milk was that was served there. Just multiply that by hundreds of cases, and you can see what Joe Shaffer has meant to our community. The last meeting of the Pinellas County License Board was just Monday afternoon. Of course, Joe could not be there due to his illness. At that time, the Board authorized that a plaque be prepared in recognition of his outstanding service for the children of Pinellas County. When the plaque is com pleted, it will be presented to Mrs. Shaffer. Ruth E Jefferson, Directdr Pinellas County License Board for Children's Centers & Family Day Care Homes January 27, 1984 (Joe Shaffer eulogy, as published in the Gulfport Gabber -January 26, 1984-appears on next page.)

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310 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida January 26..!. 1984 794th GAtsSER GULFPORT GABBER YOUR FREE NEWSPAPER JOE SHAFFER -EDUCATOR Joe G Shaffer, operator of a kindergarten and n ursery in Gulf port until December 1983, died on January 24, 1984. He was 75. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1931, and taught Eng lish and Physical Education at the Athens College in Athens, G re ece until 1935. Mr. Shaffer taught high school P.E in Lima, Ohio, and was also Ath le tic Secretary for the Lima, Ohio YMCA. He came here in 1945, where h e taught at the Country Day Schoo l in St. Petersburg until 1950, and was co-owner of Shaf fer's Kindergarten and Nursery from 1950 until it closed last December. He was a member of License Board of Pinellas County and License Board for children under SIX. Mr. Shaffer is survived by his wife Valentine; four daughters, Joan V Hammill, St. Petersburg ; Pamela M. Lanning, Gulfpo rt ; Megan W. Lechlitner, Venice; Wendy J. Pearson, West Palm Beach and nine grandchildren. Memorial Services will be held on Friday, January 27, 1984, at the Gulfport Presbyterian Chu rch, 5313 27th Avenue South, Gulfport, at 7:30PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to "Trus tees of Athens College in Gr eece, 850 3rd Ave., 18th Floor, NYC, NY 10022 or All Children's Hos pital, St. Petersburg. MR. SHAFFER A TRUE GENTLEMAN These sentiments are for you Mr. Shaffer. l, like countless o ther people, had the honor of know ing you. I also had the pleasure of working with you. In the hurry and rush of our everyday lives, you took the time. You explained a new game to a child, pulled out a splinter tied a shoelace. In the afternoons you took a few minutes to talk to a parent. You told them how well their child was doing at various tasks in their young lives. You opened a door for a lady, tipped your hat to a friend, and always remembered the little things we all too often forget. Yes, Mr. Shaffer, you smiled on the world and the world smiled back. Your friend Leslie Krul

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? CHAPTER 38 LITTLE LEAGUE OF GULFPORT THEIR PL EDGE I trust in God. I love my country and will respect its laws. I will play fair and strive to win. But, win or lose, I will always do my best. 311 The purpose of L ittle League is the desire to provide a program of base ball and softball for boys and girls under circumstances of fine leader ship and in an atmosphe r e of wholesome community participation. Little Lea gue, since its very beginning in Gulfport, has been the focal point for many family activities in the late spring and early summer. In the winter of 1948, Thomas Bell, Sr., Artie Weiss, and Justine Fowler held a meeting at the old City Hall to form Gulfport's Little League. One team was formed composed of the following boys: Norman Haines, Bruce Jellison, Roger Stack, Don Buhl, Jimmy McGuire, Russell Caroll, Raymond Wilcox, Bobby Cowan, Roy Kaple, Jerry Hamill, Roger Sharpe, Blake Har tell, Raymond Renny, and boys whose first names are un available recorded only as R oseberry, Walker, Garnett, R eddy, and Jones. This team was chartered into the Inter national Program of Little League Baseball and was one of four teams in the Southwest Pinellas Little League. The other three teams were from Pasadena, Pinellas Park, and Pass-A Grille. Tom Bell's son-in-law, Norman Haines, was team manager. The City of Gulfport gave the League use of the southwest corner of Hoyt Field. The Lions Club became their first spon sor. With the help of the City, the Lions, Anderson Lumb er who gave most of the materials, Coca-Cola who gave the sco reboard s, the boys themselves ha mmered and sawed to mak e dugouts, back stops, bleachers, etc. until the field was completed. Justine Fowler was always there to purchase baseball gloves, shoes or whatever was needed, and was one of the Little League's staunchest supporters. In the spring of 1949, exhibition games were held at the field. Gulfport was usually severely trounced. Opening Day came, and Gulfport won its first game against Pass -A-Grille. The L ions Club and supporte. rs gave away $300-worth of prizes and free hot dog s and Cokes to all, children, players, and spectato r s alike.

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312 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida In 1951, Nathan White was appointed Manager by the Lions Club and a Madeira Beach team was added to the League. The rosters were limited to fifteen boys, aged 9 and 12, and that meant only four or five new boys could be taken on the team each year to replace those graduating. It was heart-breaking and disappointing to so many boys that it was decided the only solution was to form a four-team League, solely for Gulfport boys. With help from the Lions and City Council, a field was developed at Tangerine Avenue and 55th Street .s.; the League has been at that same location ever smce. The program since then has increased to include Tee Ball, Minor League, Major, Senior, and Big League teams in base ball and softball for ages 6 through 18 years. In addition, in 1963, with help from the Gulfport Lions Little League, many business firms, organizations, and indivi duals, construction of the complex now known as the Southern Regional Headquarters was started. The entire complex, located on 58th Street S. and 7th Avenue (Little League Blvd.), was built through donated funds, labor, and materials. This headquarters serves almost 400 chartered units in the 13 southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina; South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia) More than 800,000 children and youths are enrolled in these states. There are six baseball diamonds on the 14 acres, 13 dormi tories with housing for 250 people, and an all-purpose court, swimming pool, recreation and dining hall with seating for 350. There are also garages, a laundry, multiple storage areas, concession stands, conference room building, bathroomshower units, batting cages, pavilion, two resident-type build ings, two grandstand sections, and an administration building. Among the year -round activities of the Little League of Gulfport, in addition to the administration of the programs in the 13 states, are: 1. Conferences, seminars, workshops, and clinics to train Little League volunteers. 2. Baseball summer camps for six weeks each summer. 3. Major League Baseball Umpire School operated by a professional umpire-Joe Brinkman. 4. College/school baseball team visitation program each spring. 5. Regional tournament for Little League baseball and vari-

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 313 ous other tournaments by schedule. A local Little League currently plays regular season games on the property and some areas are used by other clubs and groups for special events. PLAY BALL!! CHAPTER 39 -Mary P. Atkinson, Norman Haines OUR BEACH PHOTOGRAPHER Morris Rubin-With permission, we quote the following from the Gabber of January 20, 1972: "The Gulfport Casino, a landmark since 1908, has shared the Gulfport Beach with Morris Rubin for nearly 40 years. Two years before the first Casino was built he was in the photographic business using positive tin-type materials. Photographic paper was unknown then. In 1914 he put aside his camera and became one of New York City's taxi drivers, driving a Model T Ford with custom-made body employing the newest designs, an enclosed passenger section. Born in Russia, he came to NYC when 16 and prospered until he retired in 1934 and moved to Gulfport. His stand had been the Waldorf in New York -fitting he should become asso ciated with our landmark! Building his own camera to use the direct positive papers of today, Rubin set up his "Picture in a Minute" hobby on the Pier where he would fish between customers. When 84, he moved his camera, chair and um brella onto the beach . with his uniform of the day being his swimming trunks. Weather permitting, he arrives at his site at 11 A.M. and leaves about four o'clock." The cost of this popular picture? Never changed from the original 1934 price of 25 cents until 1978 when it doubled! The next year Rubin retired. He died February 5, 1982. On April 28, 1983, Norma Lamb, Library Director, wrote Morris Rubin's daughter, Roz Roberts, saying the camera and other memorabilia she had sent to the Library would be on display there during the summer. Many admired it! Later it was agreed more could enjoy this treasure if it were placed permanently in the Gulfport Historical Society Museum where many, indeed, have been drawn to admire it most care fully especially on Nostalgia Days. Would you like to see it? Many of you readers probably could tell us about how

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314 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida you had your pictures taken by this charming and ingenious gentleman who hid under the black cloth and came out with your picture! Frances Purdy CHAPTER 40 OUR PARKS WOOD IBIS PARK Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Steele came to live at 2720 58th Street S. about twenty years ago. They chose that location because the vacant lot across the street was reportedly to be made into a park and they loved trees and open spaces. After a time, when nothing seemed to be happening, Mrs. Steele went to City Hall and got permission to plant trees and flowers there. She and her husband got busy planting, cultivating, and watering with hoses they carried across the street from their taps. They were happier and their neighbors thought it was great. So did "Lady Bird" John son, the First Lady, who wrote Mrs. Steele a note of appreciation from the White House on June 30,1967. A huge dead pine stood in the middle of the lot and wood ibis roosted in it to the extent that their white feathers made it resemble a tree decorated for Christmas; so the Steeles named "their" park Wood Ibis. Beginning especially in 1 97 3, the Civic Club of Gulfport became actively concerned about further beautification of selected areas in the City. They planted trees along Beach Blvd both north and south of 22nd Avenue, shrubs around the then "Red Cross Building," and they set out a hundred ypung trees along the beach front. Records of such plantings are recorded in clippings and pictures in the Civic Club Scrap books, now available in our Museum. Mary Steele's abiding interest in the Park which she and her husband started, came to the attention of officers of the Club, and eventually the City agreed to have members work in the area and finally to have it dedicated on March 22, 1975, with an appropriate hand-carved marker. Mary told us she always greeted each morning the fifty-foot eucalyptus tree she planted when it was six inches tall with "Good morning, Eugene"! Many residents and their pets enjoy this park of open space, shrubs and trees, and often the ibis return to nest in several of the trees. The Gabber published the following article about the

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 315 park 10/4/84, with the headline "Remembrance of a Nature Lover": Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Steele moved to 2720 58th Street South many years ago and almost at once secured permission from City Hall to plant and care for the open space across from their home. It was a unique pleasure for the writer to meet Mary Steele at a Bird and Garden Club meeting about a year after I moved to Gulfport in 1970 and to learn of her concern that the beautiful space should be officially designated as a "Park." The Civic Club was able to obtain acquiescence from the Mayor and Council and on March 22, 1975, Ibis Park was dedicated in appro p tiate ceremonies. The City assumed overall maintenance of the area, but many loving hands, primarily Mary's, tended the treelings, plants and flowers until her failing health prevented her from doing more than greeting the large roosting tree for Ibis, each day with "good morning, Eugene." They had dearly loved that focal asset. Now that she has died, may we hope others will assure permanence of this Park, the one appre ciable green spot amid blocks of houses, offices and stores. I am speaking for her many neighbors who loved Mary and will miss her -who are blessed from having known her -who are glad she no longer has to "live" while unable to tend her flowers and trees. Frances Purdy CLYMER PARK One of the earliest and most persistent concerns of Coun cilman (later Mayor) Clymer was improvement of the first segment of the subdivision named Veteran's Parkrunning between 22nd and 23rd Avenues along Beach Blvd. S. During the years when he and his family visited his parents in their home at 2514 Beach Blvd., Mr. Clymer saw the trolley road bed in the center of attractive plantings by the Garden and Bird Club and the handsome trees bordering the streets. Later it deteriorated from lack of owners' care, but it was not until 1975 that the City could obtain possession of the property and then proceed with more than custodial attention. The covered shelter was renovated, decorated with the weather vane that Mr. Clymer made, and the entire lot was tastefully landscaped with trees, flowers, shrubs, and paved walkways and bridges of the tiny residual creek. As part of the Bicentennial celebration in 1976, our beautiful Clymer Park was dedicated on July 4. It has been used continuously since then for the City's Christmas Party for the children, for Easter Sunrise Services, and for many private parties including weddings. After Naomi Clymer's death, the Boomerangs asked the City to prepare a suitable flowering bed and marker in the southwest corner in her memory. She served Gulfport with

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316 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida her music and other talents as adequately as her husband has with his. We ask blessings on both of them! CHASE PARK Bernette Aiken Beatty, on August 11, 1983, replied to an inquiry about her grandfather, Captain John F. Chase, stating that he had indeed been a co-founder of Veteran City with his friend F. A. Davis of Philadelphia. She said her mother, Maude Chase Aiken, had been given a lot in Gulfport, as had each of the Captain's other daughters and his sons during World War I. It may be assumed that these lots now consti tute what we know as Chase Park on which stood the former Methodist Church Red Cross Building GEMS Building, and now the Historical Society Museum, plus Scout Hall -the former Pentecostal Church City Hall; the tennis courts and the shuffleboard courts and clubhouse. Of course, we are talking about the block bounded by 28th and 27th Avenues between 52nd and 53rd Streets S. This area is mentioned many times in other sections of this book. It is a pleasant, quiet spot to sit and think, or just sit! If you're ambitious, you can play tennis, shuffle, or be a Scout. The Chase family played a large role in the development of St. Petersburg Maude with her private school which she started shortly after becoming City Attorney Grant Aiken's widow in 1911. That open-air school, located at 5th Avenue NE, offered classes from kindergarten through college pre patory and catered especially for children of winter visitors. Mrs. Beatty said she was shy and her mother thought it best for her to attend public school, so she did through third grade and again through high school. The Captain, wounded many times during the Civil War (he fought on the Union side), came in 1893 from Maine, having been a Cannonier left for dead on the battlefield at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor for meritorious conduct. Following recovery, he enjoyed lecturing about his war experiences. Also a bit of an inventor, he fashioned a knife and fork combination that he could use with his one .hand and he set up a water dis tillery in the back yard of his home, Camp Chase, next to the corner house at 6th Street and 1st Avenue N. Reports indi candies in a fringe-trimmed wagon. How successful he was is unrecorded, but one clipping states the water "was extremely hard and difficult to use for washing clothes or hair."

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 317 HOYT PARK This area lies between 56th and 57th Streets and 23rd to 25th Avenues S., and is usually referred to as Hoyt Field. Elsewhere you will read about this unique feature of our City, so here we say only that we are ever so thankful that earlier residents foresaw the benefits which could accrue by making this space available for ball games. Many played soft ball then, and do now; the Boomerangs use the field regularly. Boca Ciega High School baseball team uses it, and so does the Senior Division of Little League. Nathan remembers when his father played on the local team, the players were uniformed, and competed regularly with Pinellas Park and other neigh boring cities' teams .. He said that on Sundays autos would come from miles around, nose up as close as possible to the field, and when disputes over hits weren't settled during the game, they were continued on the streets! TOMLINSON PARK Between 54th and 55th Streets and from 18th to 19th Avenues S. one finds another ball field known as the Gulf port Lions Little League Field. It offers baseball for boys, softball for girls, and two tennis courts for anyone. There, too, one finds a children's play park so shouts of joy or defeat may be heard from people of all ages! Again, we are blessed with this green space and by the care the City gives it. Note: The Zoning Ordinance adopted May 21, 1985, identifies each park as P (Public) Zoning District, meaning Open Space with City-owned improvements in place. Frances Purdy CHAPTER 41 SENIOR SERVICES Ruth Jacobs talked with us one day about the beginnings of special concerns for senior adults in Gulfport. She was employed in St. Petersburg in the '70s as a professional nurse by the Board of Education, doing RSVP and assigned to this area. She secured some population data including income levels and agreed with Gordon Gibson, a social service worker at Bayfront Medical Center, that Gulfport would be a prime area for special services for the elderly. She met Bob Gordon, a do-gooder resident in Gulfport, who was happy to finally have some professional support for what he had been trying to do as an individual. She and Bob

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318 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida met with Mayor Clymer who suggested that they might con duct a survey to determine actual needs. Bob had become well known for his kindly services to any in need "squeez ing oranges for juice which he carried on his bike to those who had none" and other such acts. His widow remembers she never knew when he would be home for a meal -if at all. He delivered the simple questionnaire on his famous bike rides, later collecting them for tabulation with Ruth. The questionnaires clearly demonstrated GREAT needs for transportation, for shopping, medical attention, and there were many who needed proper food regularly. The Reassurance (Clientele Phoning) program had been functioning for some time, and still is. Clients who live alone call into the office at GMSC (formerly to the Adult Center) early each morning to say are okay. If not, the volunteer finds out why the call did riot come and takes appropriate action. What a reassurance. What a happy chance to start the day off, knowing somebody cares. Then came Meals on Wheels, delivered by van from RSVP. Actually, that was supposed to be sort of a barter system -one would patch up another's clothing in return for some other chore the second one could do that the other couldn't. Ruth said that Yvonne Johnson and Fred Allen, Council members, supported the Mayor in his interest in having Bob and Ruth proceed, and Ruth worked here for two years. Gems got started in 1975 and, by then, Ruth was delighted when Jim Whaley walked into her office one morning asking for work! His background as store manager for Montgomery Ward in New York City had prepared him for this kind of work, but mostly he was qualified because of his intense caring ability, demonstrated in his every act. It seemed advisable for the City to take over responsibility for Jim's salary rather than have POC continue supporting the director of these programs. The case history system first established is apparently still in use. The first GEMS service was simply twice weekly trips to Winn Dixie -but now we have three buses, one fully equipped with gear for transport ing the able-disabled, even in their wheelchairs. Yearly tickets are available for $30.00, or $1.00 per ride. Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance. This service takes many for shopping expeditions, to church, or for just visiting friends not otherwise reachable. It is a superb service, avail able to all who register for it.

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 319 A Committee on Problems of the Aging was formed early on to advise Council on programs desired and needed by senior adults. Members are appointed by the Mayor, with Council approval, and proudly serve as they watch this special care of many residents and visitors. Congregate dining was offered for some time in the Presbyterian Church Social Room and transferred to GMSC as soon as that splendid facility was made available late in 1983. Dental services have been offered by a mobile unit, and legal, IRS, Social Secur ity, CHORE, and other services are available through Jim Whaley's office in GMSC. Of this whole program we can be justifiably proud! CHAPTER 42 -Ruth Jacobs, Jim Whaley, and Others THE DOLL LADY OF GULFPORT In 1960 I was fortunate to buy a house next door to a very talented, energetic, and friendly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Von Hof, who were helpful with the many problems I had in trying to adjust to a smaller house, a different climate, and all the trials and tribulations that go with a drastic move by a middle-aged woman alone. Ruhamah Von Hof had a well established antique shop, next door to me on the corner, where she specialized in dolls. What a joy it was to be with her and hear her describe and identify each doll, telling where it came from and how she got it. I never tired of her lectures, with slides, or of watching her dress and present her dolls for show. Mr. Von Hof was a great help, for he could repair the little broken bodies, stitch wigs, make tiny shoes, and even make new eyes for the sight less dolls. When my parents passed away and I had to return to Springfield, Missouri, to help dismantle the old homeplace, I found a large colored picture in the attic. It was called, "The Doll Dance," and depicted a young girl playing the piano for eight or ten dolls of various sizes and shapes. All were dressed in beautiful frilly costumes, and I thought it a very attractive picture for my doll collectors back in Gulf port. So I brought it to them and they were delighted; they hung the picture in their doll museum. Almost at once they decided to make a "Diorama" of the picture and began to look for dolls the size of those in the picture.

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320 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Mr. Von Hof built a deep shadow box with gold leaf frame and found a miniature piano and stool almost like those in the picture. They even found a piece of Oriental rug almost the replica of the one depicted. They found ten small dolls just right to be dressed and arranged. Ruhamah spent hours making the dresses and suits for the "dancing class," as she called it. Mr. Von Hof made tiny slippers from colored kid gloves, fashioned wigs, and even made tiny fans for the little girl dolls to hold. They told everyone they had never had such a fascinating project and they worked many weeks, at night, on it. I used to see them through the windows as they bent over their worktable, completely absorbed in their work while an antique music box played "The Vienna Waltz." For ten years or so I en joyed seeing many customers come and go, happier because of contacting those two loving people. They are gone now, and the lovely "Diorama" hangs in a museum in New Hampshire. But sometimes at night, when the windows are open and I look across the yard, it seems I can see them still and I can almost hear the music from that music box. I really can! Ruhamah Von Hof had a vast knowledge of dolls and she was always willing to share her information with friends. Her book, Ruhamah 's Dolls, published by Great Outdoors Pub lishing Company in 1971, tells of the extensive research she did. The book contains many pictures which have been help ful both to amateur and professional doll collectors alike. She also authored Ruhamah 's Memories, published by the same publisher in 1973, in which she tells of happy child hood memories and how she became interested in her lifelong hobby. One of my most precious possessions is an auto graphed copy of her first book. -A llean Davis (Note: The Doll Lady's Ruhamah 's Dolls is in our Museum for you to enjoy.) CHAPTER 43 THE GULFPORT COMMUNITY PLAYERS In the spring of 1980, a small item appeared in a local newspaper: "Are there people in the area who are interested in starting a theatre group?" Yes, there obviously were, because five years later, the Gulfport Community Players have just completed their fifth successful season. The item

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 321 was placed in the paper by Catherine A. Hickman who was promptly elected president and who has continued to serve in that capacity since. A five-member Board was elected: Betty Weihman, vice president; Ruth Barbey, secretary; Laurel Kipyciensli, trea surer, and Edward Maloney, director. A play-reading committee was formed, a play selected, a director chosen, and rehearsals began. Rehearsals were anywhere that a group of ten or fifteen people could gather -the GEMS building, Scout Hall, a realty office, Fellowship Hall, a sidewalk, a church, etc. The first play produced was a melodrama called Dora, the Beautiful Dishwasher. The play was given at the Community Center where the productions are still held. During the past five years, the Theatre Board has grown from five to seven members; the group has a Charter and By Laws it has been incorporated as a non-profit organization; it has produced four plays a year; holds an annual member ship meeting; has extended productions from one to two weekends; has joined the newly formed ChamQer of Com merce, and thanks to the City of Gulfport, has the old Senior Citizens building as a Rehearsal Hall. The purposes of the Gulfport Community Players, accord ing to their By-Laws, shall be: "To organize, promote and sponsor a little theatre group to foster and stimulate the enjoyment of drama and culture through participation in group theatrical and musical activi ties and productions, and to promote and encourage community involvement in theatre and related theatrical activi ties." One-act plays have been performed for the Lions Club, the Newcomers Club, the Women's Club, the Library, and others. It is a community service club. -Ruth Barbey CHAPTER 44 THE GULFPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Gulfport Historical Society was organized June 8, 1981, when fourteen peopl e met in the office of Catherine A. Hickman. Those present were asked to give their ideas on the purposes of such an organization. The answers were many and varied:

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322 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida "To preserve Gulfport artifacts for our posterity." "To leave to future generations the legacy of their roots." "To interview long-time residents; to compile a history of Gulfport; to find and preserve historic buildings." "To share memories." "To instill knowledge and pride in their city by Gulfport residents." From these ideas the purposes of the Gulfport Historical Society were formulated. The primary objective, this book in your hand, is the culmination of the work of many dedicated people who have spent countless hours gathering and editing the material you find here. While Gulfport, through its predecessor towns, Disston City and Veteran City, is at least ten years older than St. Petersburg, there has never been a published history of Gulfport. The second objective was to find a home for the memora bilia (artifacts, pictures, records, etc.) so generously donated by our citizens. Our Museum became a reality in 1983 when the City leased us a building at 5301 28th Avenue S., and the members set about diligently repairing and painting this his toric building. Each year in the spring, in co-sponsorship with the City, we celebrate Nostalgia Day at which time old-timers and new comers get together at Chase Park to renew acquaintances and to share memories. We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep members in formed of the activities of the. Society. We hold membership meetings four or five times each year and try to have guest speakers who have something important to say to people interested in history. The first officers of this organization were: President Catherine A. Hickman, Vice President Genevieve Smith, Secretary Ruby Walker, Treasurer Willard B. Simonds; the Board members were: Mary Atkinson, Judy Ryerson, and Nathan White. The only change as of this writing to the officers is that of Treasurer when Willard Simonds was forced to resign due to ill health and Doris Brown was elected in his place. -Ruby Walker, Secretary

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 323 CHAPTER 45 THE GULFPORT SHUFFLEBOARD CLUB The Gulfport Shuffleboard Club was organized in 1929 with thirty charter members. Over the years, the membership has varied, but at the present time it is 125. The first courts were built near the waterfront -I'm not sure where. However, within a short time, our City leased to the club property located on the northeast comer of 54th Street S. at 28th Avenue. The first Clubhouse was built and courts laid out. We have throughout the years continued to lease the land for $1.00 a year, with club members being responsible for all improvements, upkeep of facilities, etc. Our new Clubhouse was built in 1975 under the super vision of Charlie Breyer, who donated not only his talent and money but many, many hours of labor. Several mem bers worked with him, and we are all justifiably proud of the building and additional changes that have been made over the years. We now have 22 courts covered -with a covered seating gallery on the north side. The building houses a fine social hall, well-equipped kitchen, and storage for equipment including racks for 50 cues. Three major tournaments are held each year-one State and two District. The average attendance at this time is about 500. Many of these players live in Gulfport, but visitors come from every state as well as several provinces in Canada. The only member of our club to be elected to the National Hall of Fame was Mrs. Josephine Gaustad. That gracious lady devoted time and many talents to our club. She started our Scrapbook as well as the special records we keep of our tournaments. Some of her paintings hang in our social hall. Roger Bowlby and Bernard Todd were elected to the State Hall of Fame. Over the years, trophies have been donated by Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, Easter Funeral Home, and by Mrs. Mary Whippin; a member These trophies are cherished by all who have won them during our tourna ments. At this time, Ed Swanagan is Tournament Director; he devotes many hours caring for the courts and lawn areas. Cards are enjoyed three nights a week and we have social gatherings each year. Alice Winchester does an excellent job organizing the suppers and providing food during tournament days. We have eight members serving on the Board of Direc tors and membership meetings are held in December and

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324 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida March each year. One of the most satisfying things about this club is the willingness of the members to help out, be it donations or service. The club -made up of people from the north, east, south, and west represents men and women from all walks of life and all adult ages. Truly, the Gulfport Shuffleboard Club is one more unique feature of our beloved City. CHAPTER 46 -Aubrey Perfater, President THE KONGLOMERATI FOUNDATION 5437 th AvenueS. Konglomerat i Press began publishing experimental and Florida-based writers in pamphlet and chapbook form in 1971, and first issued its literary magazine, Konglomerati, in 1972. For the first few years the press was a part-time activity, part of the arts co-op Konglomerati AM in St. Petersburg. As the founders, Barbara Russ and Richard Mathews, grew more knowledgeable about the handcrafts of book production, their interest and involvement in the publishing experiment grew. The press moved to Gulfport in 1975. In 1976, the first full-scale book of poetry appeared from the press-Destroy All Monsters, by F. A. Nettelbeck. The book was set entirely by hand in Kennerly Old Style and Guidy hand-tooled typefaces and printed on a C and P platen press. The book was praised for its craftsmanship and design quality in the Library Journal year-end review of the best of small press publications. Operating entirely with their own donated funds and labor, it was difficult for Russ and Mathews to manage such ambitious publications on a frequent basis. A full year elapsed before Time and Other Birds, by Mary Shumway, was published. Shumway's poems of Wisconsin life were accom panied by Orientc..l-American caligraphy by Margaret Rigg, and the caligraphic blocks were printed on handmade Korean mulberry papers. The book won a major award in the South east Fine Print Competition at the University of Kentucky, was written up in Publishers Weekly, and helped begin a national reputation for the press. A breakthrough came in 1977 when a substantial grant

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What Makes Gulf port Unique? 325 from the National Endowment for the Arts provided partial funding to do four new books of poetry. For the first time the press was financially able to purchase high quality paper, typefac es and other material s, and the resulting four volumes have been wi dely accla imed. The press has continued to produce unique prizew inne r s and l imited e dition book publishing has been one of its primary activities, although it has offered other avenues for literary and typographical experimentation. In 1978, the National Endowment for the Arts gave $5,000 a year for three consecutive ye ars to help dev elop the m agazine, Kong lomerati. With great care i n d esign and production, and a distinctive sampling of new writing, Konglomerati has beco m e a l etterpress showcase for contemporary literature." In 1979 t h e press moved into spacious new quarters, and a publi shing grant from the National Endowment for the Arts underwrote six new titles; and the Foundation became legally incorporated. The larger space allowed several new directions a corner was r eserved as a showroom for press publications, and our working turn-of-the-century letterpress shop was opened to the public two afternoons a week. Visitors are give n tours o f the shop and demonstrations of typ esetting, prin ting, and b inding. A modest but u seful library o f tech nical and nont echnical publications concerning fine book making and the non-commercial literary arts was establish ed, supplemented with a representat ive se lection of literary magazines and f ine -printed c ontemporary books Begin ning with 1983-84, Kongl omerati F oundatio n be came one of the first places in the country to be designated a "Literary Center" with annual funding from the National En dowment for the Arts, Florida Arts Council, and B Dalton Bookseller. Konglomerati is now Florida's only Literary Center, making Gulfport "the literary center of the state." The Foundation presents annual lecture series, "Voices of t h e Prin ted Page," an d offer s a range o f six-week classes i nc luding courses in creative writing, typography, bookbind ing, letterpress printing, and other topics related to literature. The latest direction offered comes through the addition of an Apple computer. We expect to rent keyboard time to writers for their use in preparing letter-perfect manuscripts. Konglomerati contin ues to seek ways to assist writers and artists in t h e community and we welcome your suggestions and support. -Richard Mathews, Executive Director

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326 CHAPTER 47 Our Stor y of Gulfport, F lorida YES, ANNIE LAURIE DOES LIVE IN GULFPORT! And, indeed, she did write a history -of her own colorful life!! With pleasure we have read it and believe you would be interested in how a twelve-year-old girl grew up to realize her dream of what she wanted to become in her adult life. She wrote her memoirs in 1980 for her family -about her fifty years of service in the Salvation Army and how she came to live in Gulfport in 1940. Her grandparents were Welsh, born in the same town as Lloyd George. Her mother, Anne George, met an English man named Edmond Round at a cottage prayer meeting when she was fifteen, and they loved one another ever after. Annie Round attended George Eliot School, starting when she was three, and she learned much about that great English author who had approved the school and whose name it bore The Anglican church, across the street from Annie's school, influenced her greatly, too, because of the friendliness of the vicar who often visited the children at the school. They were also guests at the vicarage, which was the Asbrey Estate where George Eliot was born. When Annie and her brother, Eddie, disobeyed parental expectations and attended Salva tion Army services for three months instead of the Methodist Sunday School, a mutually satisfactory conference with her mother gave Annie the opportunity to say she wanted to be come a Salvationist and "tell people about Jesus." After many years of training by the Army, many locations later, and after 1914, with her husband, Andrew Campbell Laurie, Annie served in Nova Scotia and once rowed across the Bay to accept a donation from Alexander Graham Bell whose estate was near Bedeck. The two established missions in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and became known for their caring skills including their musical talents. Annie sang and Andrew played the horn as her accompanist; Andrew wrote most of. the music they performed, for he was com poser and arranger as well as instrumentalist The two were sent into Pennsylvania and to Brooklyn and the Bowery setting up soup kitchens, shelters, and giving concerts for many years. Annie recalls that in January, 1930, their shelter was serving 2,200 men well-balanced meals each evening and prunes, oatmeal, sugar, milk and coffee each morning Satur day nights it was sauerkraut-for the same number! Her

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What Makes Gulfport Unique? 327 story tells of visiting clothing and shoe manufacturers to ask for (and receive) necessities for their "guests" and of break ing up prune boxes to make many things bookcases for instance. Many important people visited them, including Eleanor Roosevelt. A prominent gentleman saw a picture of the President hanging in Andy's office, and upon inquiry from an artist, he learned it had been painted by a "guest." The latter was brought in, promptly adopted by the former who had him moved uptown where he proceeded to his rightful station in life again. Special holidays were always remembered to the best of their abilities. Sunday night fudge was gratefully devoured by those who had almost forgotten such homey delights. These are only a few of the fantastic feats accomplished by this devoted little woman of superhuman strength carrying on alone after her Andy's death January 4, 1943. Andy and Annie Laurie had built a waterfront home here on our Shore Blvd. hoping to spend many years where they had visited briefly -but that was not to be. Annie's sister, Florence Round, bought The Cedars and upgraded it into a hospital and so needed a dietician. Annie had been serving as Matron of a rest home in Belmar, New Jersey, but. that had gotten to be a bit much for her so she came to Gulfport to work at The Cedars as a dietician. From that position she re tired at age 65, and went to stay in the retired officers' residence in Asbury Park for six years. Then she came to live in the Lutheran Apartments to be near her daughter, Grace, and her son-in-law, "Sonny" Aylesworth. Naturally, Annie was attracted to the Sunday afternoon musicals at the beach and soon she became their most popular song leader her fifty years of singing with crowds paid off for she was an instant favorite. She moved into the Seabird Apartments where she lives today with her treasures and memories, still keenly aware of today's doings. She enjoys visits from neighbors and other friends, and now and then feels up to dinner with her family. We met Annie Laurie on her 93rd birthday on May 10 and felt especially blessed for it. Locally, the Salvation Army has honored her in every possible way. Do you know of anyone else with a life story such as Annie's? If you want to read lots, lots more, borrow the copy of her memoirs she presented to the Gulfport Historical Museum. It makes for interesting reading. -Frances Purdy

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328 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida .. '--of Community Hall, now Scout Hall, located in Chase Park, was once a church near Disston Street (49th Street). In the late 1930's the town secured the building {or trading a lot for it. The church was moved to its /?resent location. Through the years it has been decorated and "fixed up and was the happy meeting place for many organizations for 35 years Now the Scouts enjoy the spacious hall and are adding their own improvements. A friendly handshake is exchanged before the rous ing Gulfport-PassA Grille game which started Little League play at Hoyt Field recently. Catcher Norman Haines, Jr., does the honors for Gulfport while Pitcher Jimmy Doubek represents the Sailors The two older "boys" are Norm Haines and Ed Hanskat, managers of the two teams.

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Wh at Makes Gulfport Unique? l I GULFPORT CLINIC ... :-.. GULFPORT SHUFFLEBOARD CLUB 329 \ 1 liE

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Chronologica l Calendar 16th Century CHRONOLOGICAL CALENDAR From Then to Now -331 1500's Ponce de Leon explored Florida i n 1513 to search for go l d and discovered Timucuan Indians (Mound Builders). Ponfilo de Narvae z in 1528 set foot on lower end of Pinel l as near jungle area. Spanish ruled Florida for three centuries. 18th Century 1700's Pirates marauded t his area in 18th and 19th centuries 19th Century 1821 After three centuries of Spanish rule the United States took over F l orida. The governme n t carried on long-running chases on pirates 1823 Dr. Phillip! first white settler In northe ast section of the county. Brought first grapefruit to area. Life saved by medi cally treati ng pirates. They gave him safe harbor in return 1841 Ft. Harrison was established by Army at sight of Clearwater. 1842 Armed Occupation Act (Homestead Act) became effective and gave first material impetus to settlement of peninsula by white men. 1843 Antonio Maximo Hernandez, first known settler on the lower end of peninsula, established a fish ranch at Maximo Point after securing a land grant from U.S. government 1848 Hurricane and tidal wave wiped out Max i mo's fishery. Eg mont lighthouse on Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay constructed. 1853 The first structure for school purposes was built by Captain Jim McMullen near his home on Coachman Road. The first real schoolhouse was undoubtedly the Taylor School built by John S. Taylor. 1855 Hill s borough County caused road to be opened from Clear water Harbor settlement to head of Bay. Tampa cattlemen with cattle in St. Petersburg, had an extension opened which became Old Tampa Road. 1856 A pine timber house was built in the lower peninsula on a small fenced tract at about Lakeview and 20th Streets by James R. Hay. He had truck farms for Tampa markets. First road made passed John Taylor place.

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332 1857 1859 1860 1861 1862 1865 1867 1868 1869 18.70 1876 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida Abel Miranda settled at Big Bayou. John C. Bethel settled at Little Bayou. Shortly after he started a fishery. Clearwater Post Office established. First to become a community. Mr. Hay sold his home to William Coons for $25 and a gold watch. Approximately 50 families in terrain known as Pinellas County. The trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund grabbed most of peninsula mainland late in 1860 -just before Civil War which prevented homesteaders from getting land. The Confederate War Department assigned the 4th Florida Infantry to duty along the Gulf coast. The regiment com mander was Colonel Edward Hopkins, with volunteers in cluding those from Hillsborough. Abel Miranda's homestead shelled and invaded by Federals during Civil War. His house was looted, storehouse supplies stolen, and house and orange trees burned. Wild animals roamed woods bear, wild cats, panthers, deer, wild turkeys. End of Civil War brought settlers Land was 50 cents an acre. James Barnett family landed boat on dunes near foot of York Street, according to Cecil Slauter. They were first settlers. James Barnett located at corner of 49th and 26th Streets S. He died in 1887 from wounds suffered in Civil War. Mrs. Barnett was mother of three children by a former marriage to Samuel Slauter Old Tampa Bay Road traveled by Pinellas people to Tampa for schools, churches, voting, entertainment, speech-making after Civil War. First black family came into Pinellas. Present system of public instruction began with school law drafted by Superintendent of Public Instruction, C. Thurs ton Chase. Salt was made by boiling sea water. Seafood plentiful fish, crabs,. clams, oysters, etc. Spaniard Joseph R. Tones bought Captain Barnett's im provements at what was later known as Disston City. Capt. Barnett located about half a mile north. John Bethell was first Postmaster at a Post Office established in settlement of Pinellas Village in lower Pinellas. This was near Disston City or present Gulfport. Approximately 25 people had settled in southeast peninsula. Henry Slaughter, at 18, bought 4-0

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Chronological Calendar 333 1877 1 88 1 1883 1 884 1885 1886 1887 acres between Lake view an d Tangerin e, east of 31st Street which eventually was donated as a ce m etery, now Gle n Oak. Two stores in lower Pinellas established to purchase flour, salt, coffee, chewing tobacco. Settlers raised vegetables, water melon, pumpkin s, and sweet potatoes. Hamilton Disston acquired 4-million acres of Florida land for approximately 25 cents an acre. William Bonafacio Miranda built house on what is now Lakeview Avenue, about a mile from the Barne tts. Mr. Bau meister built at about 51st Stree t and 31st AvenueS. In an 1883 deed, D isston acquired practically all that is now Gulf. port, plus 26,112 acres of what is now St. Pe tersburg 110,000 acres in Pinella s County. Town plat of Disston City recorded, platted into 5and 10acre plats, 100-foo t-wide streets and avenues, and a boul e vard along the waterfront. Advertisements in England re su l ted in English families settling here Watsons, William Wood, the Rev. Watt and his three sons, R. L. Locke, and Hu gh Richardson. The Waldorf Hotel opened Christma s Eve with quite a gala. At the 36th annual Medical Society Convention, Dr. Van Bibber described Pinellas peninsula as one of the healthiest areas in the nation. J. B. Torres platted townsite on a high bluff on Boca Ciega Bay in Section 33, now included in Gulfport. New Post Office establishe d in Disston City, Jan. 5, but couldn't be used until 1889-so town was named Bonafacio. Zephaniah Phillips settled temporarily in Diss ton, then moved to Long Key platted and sold original site of Pass A Grille. By the close of the year, there w ere a number of houses, a large hotel, two or three stores, a dock and a warehouse located here. Prop College" established in Di sston City, with Mr. Nor wood as teac h e r The Mistletoe steamship was put on run between D isston City and Tampa. There were three mer can tile establishments-J. R. Torres was Pos tmaster and sold groceries and general merchandise; H. E. Baumeister sold dry goods and hardware, and R. L. Locke sold groceries. Will McPherson brought in smal l job press for the first newspaper on the point-The Sea Breeze. I Construction work on railroad started early in year. Tarpon Springs incorporated. Joe Steinwinder settled near 51st Street south of 29th Avenue. A struggle began to separate P inellas from H illsborough. Jacob Disston, brother of Hamil ton. headquartered at D isston City in anticipation of co m -

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334 Our Story of Gulfport F lori da pletion of a proposed railroad at that point. The railroad ended in St. Petersburg! 1888 First train arrived in St. Petersburg in June. T A Whitt e d left Disston City for St. Peter s burg. 1889 Herman Baumeister sold his residence and general merchan dise store to Arthur Norwood and moved to New York. 1890 Other town of "Diston" Post Office abandoned so Disston City came into being from Bonifacio. Joshua White located at foot of 52nd Street. A severe cold wave destroyed many newly planted fruit groves. 1891 G. W. Bennet t brought his family to poin t i n Disston and moved Into Maximo. Clearwater inc orporated. 1892 Feb. 29th neighboring town of St. Petersburg incorpor ated. 1894 Big freeze forced north Florida citrus growers to migrate to southern Pi nellas peninsula. 1897 Electricity plant brought from Tarpon Springs to St. Pet ers burg and power turned on August 5. Disston City electri fied as byproduct of trolle y line. Jacob D isston head quartered at hotel here and ad v anced $100,000 for electric light plant. Mrs. Wei hman was a teache r at Gulfport School. 1898 Infant telephone industry started. 1899 Dunedin incorporated. 20th Century 1900 St. Petersburg High School came into existence by action of School Board. Road s were mostly t rails throug h the wood s. Everett Miller l o c ated near 51st Street and 3 1st Avenue S. 1902 Bell Telephone brought lines from Tampa to S t. Petersburg. 1903 Hillsborough County com missioners promised to hard surface Lakeview Avenue f rom 9th Street toward Disston City. 1904 Electric streetcar line opened by F. A. Davis. 1905 Largo incorporated The St. Petersburg and Gulf Electric Railway extend e d to Disston City, sustained by loan s from Jacob Diss ton of Philadelph ia. Trolley company operate d a boa t from our Cas ino to Pass-A-Gril l e Ho li day s saw rush

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Chronological Calendar 335 business! Captain John F. Chase's dream of Veteran's City came true with dedication in April. Another great occasion! 1906 Disston City name changed to Veterans City. 1907 According to Mr. S l aughter, a sawmill was built near pre sent 58th Street and 15th AvenueS. 1908 Students here rode trolley to St. Petersburg High School. 1910 Bad hurricane. Census shows Pinellas peninsula had 13,193 living here. Gulfport incorporated October 12, and Winters gill elected first Mayor Gulfport was largest town i n Florida, territorially speaking. New school was 4-room / block building with eight grades. Good Samaritan Hospital opened in St. Petersburg July 28th. 1911 Hillsborough commissioners Ignored Pinellas' suggestion of new schoo l buildings. Pinellas split and became an indepen dent county November 14, and became Florida's 48th county with 13,193 inhabitants. Pass-A-Grille incorporated. Town officers voted to purchase 12 lots for town purposes; and to issue bonds for $4,000. Pinellas was second smallest Florida county with 264 square miles 1912 25 schools in county had 3,263 pupils and first county school board established with Dixie M. Hollins as Superin tendent of Schools. First United Methodist Church opened its doors October 24. Council voted $10,000 bond issue for improvements $1,500 for townhouse and jail; $4,000 for road improvements; $1,500 for ditching and culverts; $500 for bridges; $500 for sidewalks, and $500 for street eros smgs. 1913 Pinellas Park incorporated. Gulfport officials voted against building a jail. Mayor Wintersgill made fiery speech against rum traffic and Council imposed prohibition. City Hall was built. 1914 Gas for cooking brought into lower peninsula. By Decem ber, Boca Ciega Inn was built originally called Hotel Dobler. 1917 World War I "Victory Gardens" made at school by students. Mr. McKinney was on road committee of ten Pinellas Co. townsmen to plan county system of roads. Roads were completed to connect towns. 1920 Superintendent of Schools Dixie Hollins' report included pictures of Pinellas e l ementary schools and an annual get together with academic and literacy games and calisthenics making up the "great day" of the school year. Fish dinner was available for one dollar. There were five Walter Brooks'

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336 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida families here could tell by postmark which one mail was intended for. Royal Palm Cemetery started. 1921 Devastating hurricane on October 25 worst in history! 1922 Mr. Walter Fuller was involved in property sales with an op tion of $195,000 which included unimproved land that comprised Coreytown, Pasadena Golf Course, and all land west of Gulfport. 1925 Gulfport bought its first fire truck for $12,000. A group of men, including Jack Taylor, took option on all land west of 58th Street. The Rolyat Hotel built one of most beauti ful Spanish structures (now Stetson Law School) in south east. First roads paved, water system and incinerator in stalled. Old Post Office moved behind new one built t his year. 1926 New Spanish style elementary school with center atrium built. Junior High started and opened June 27 name later changed to Disston Junior High. 1927 Contracts for teachers for 1927-28 were limited to 7lfz months for elementary and 8 months for secondary teachers. 1928 Planning Board recommended to Council that certai n streets, boulevards, and avenues be named to conform to St. Petersburg's. Lots were auctioned off in tent on west side of Beach Blvd. between 30 and 31st Avenue at $50-$100 each Until now Post Office had been in Brooks' house with two daily deliveries. Family watched for trolley and got the mail. 1929 Shuffleboard Club established in this year. 1930 U.S. Bureau stated 851 people living in Gulfport. Teachers received half pay because of economic conditions. Water brought in. 1934 New Casino opened. Open-air movies presented by mer chants every Tuesday evening. 1937 September 14 oil stoves purchased for school cafeteria for new lunch program. 1939 400th anniversary of the arrival of Hernando DeSoto's land ing on west coast. He wrote the first letter with a Florida dateline and sent it to the Governor of Santiago on July 9, 1539.

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Chronological Calendar 337 1940 U.S. Census reported 1,581 people in Gulfport. Young fire m e n drafted so teenagers get chance to be trained. 1941 Tower of Stetson Law School (current name) used for plane spotting. 1949 May 7-trolley car made last run. 1950 U.S. Census reported 3,702 people living in Gulfport. -. 1953 Boca Ciega High School built on 58th S t reet at a cost of $1,520,209. 1954 Gulfport citizens asked to approve a new charter that in cluded the Council-Manager form of government. Popula tion reached 8,000. 19 56 36 civic clubs registered in City. 1960 U.S. Census reported 9,730 people living in Gulfport. 196 J Elementary school PTA held fairs and spaghetti dinners to raise money for fans for the school rooms. 1962 Driver education begun in schools. Big freeze took most all Australian pine trees in area. 1964 During winter snow fell! At Gulfport Elementary the Prin cipal, Miss Theresa Graves, sent 6th graders to all rooms to be sure all children had chance to see snow in Florida. 1971 End of Ellis Camp legend of the Boca Ciega Inn on the shore! 1977 Gulfport Civic Club donated 12 safety seats for children's swings at elementary school. 1980 Gulfport elementary school had 553 students. 1982 Gulfport Historical Society organized June 8, with 13 charter members. First Nostalgia Day celebrated at Chase Park with 150 in attendance. 1983 Disston Junior High School torn down during July-August. -Genevieve Smith

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(,:.UL.FPl>RT C 4-\S.II\IO .. -' . ... -.... .. .. . -' ..... .. . -

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Postlude 339 POSTLUDE From this enterprise those of us primarily involved in it have learned a lot about our City and about many of its residents. We are deeply grateful for the quality of cooperation we have experienced when we asked people to help us -by remem bering, by contributing money, memorabilia, and time. We know how quickly descriptions of places can be changed by bulldozers and other restructuring, with changes in owner ship, and by death. What we offer here can be enlarged upon by further reading and listening in our Museum. Our ambi tion was to collect for you information true at this time, in sofar as we know, about our City and its residents and to renew YOUR faith in the integrity of behavior which we believe has built this good place in which to live. Cicero said, "Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things." Others call it the passport to pleasant pasts. Many have said it is the best garden where one can forget the weeds and remember the blooms. James Barrie said, "God gives us memory so we may have roses in December." We hope we have lived up to the Society,s objectives!

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840 Our Story of Gulfport, Florida L-R: Doris Brown, Catherine Bert Williams, Judy Ryerson, Richard Smith, "Ge.n" Smith, and Helen Ross -1983. Frances Purdy, Editor George Belting, Betty Belt ing Johanna Schneidt, and Ruth Barbey. L-R: Dick Smith, Geneuieue Smith, Mary Atkinson, and Colleen Camp L -R: George Prigun, "Gen Smith, Judy Ryerson, Margaret Weihman Sydney Brooks, and Melanie Collier

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Taped Interviews 341 TAPED INTERVIEWS ABOUT GULFPORT HISTORY IN MUSEUM Aiello, Dorothy White1 by HR Anderso n, Harold ( 5 ) oy HR Arms, Phebe, by FP Aylesworth, Sonny, by AC Berls, Olive by HR Boette, Conrad.l. with Gleaton, Wess i e by HK Boyd, William B ., by HR Bozeman, Richard E. ( 4 ), by HR Brann, George, by F P Brooks, Sydney and Walter (3) by HR Brown, Dexter E., by HR Brozozowski, Walt er (3), by HR Caldwell "Bob" by FP ' Coffee, Clara N and Hal C. (3) byHR Conron, Agnes Council Minutes, a reading. Davis, Catherine H. with Palmer, Stanley (3), by HR Dunn, Hampton, Yesterday's St. Petersburg, readings by HR Evans, Ma rion, by FP Frehut, Ernest G., by HR Freyberger, Alfred, by HR Futch Nat (3) by HR Girard, J. D '13) with Walter A. Lange, by HR Gleaton, Wessie Gibson; and with Jesse & Hilda Gleaton (3), by HR Golli n er, Herman W., by AC & HR Good, Howard E., by HR Grismer, Karl I., History of St. Petersburg, readings by HR Haines, Norman W. & Edythe S. byMA&HR Hodgson Norma, by HR Hurley, Frank T., Surf. Sand and Post Card Sunsets, reading s byHR Jacobson, Victoria T. by FP Johnson, Marjorie Dalton (3), by HR Lange, Walter A. (3), by HR Lange, Walter A. with J D Girard & M arjorie Dalton Johnson, by HR Mann, Sa ll ie E. & Eve lyn Sibo le byHR Mann, Sallie E. & Evelyn Sibole & Virginia Welch, by FP M orris, Edna Webb, by AC & HR LEGEND: Murray, Adelaide & Dorothy Wh ite by HR Murphy, Althea, by FP Nesbitt, Bishop Ednin_, United Holiness Church & ulen O ak Cemetery, by HR & MA Nostalgia Days 1982, 1983, & 1984 (8) many speakers Osgood, Neil C & Ernest G. Frehill by HR Palmer, Stanley (3) and with Catherin e Davis, by H R Pappalardo, Ernest, by HR Perry, Joseph M., by HR Pestano, Joseph T. ( 3), by HR Peterson, Sara Ann, by HR Pilcher, H G. Buck", by AC & lfR Roberts, Joe (3), by HR St. Bartholomew's Cemetery re cords, read by HR & CAN Sibole, Evelyn & Sallie Mann, by HR Simonds, Willard B. & Leon and Eddie, talk at Society meet ing about F la. Military Acad. Slaughter, Willis I. & Ceci l Slauter, by CAN & H R Slauter, Cecil & Flo Fussell and Bette Smith & John Ches trom (4), by HR Slauter, Cecil & Alice M. Hoi land (2), by HR Starkey Jay B., by HR Taylor, Marilyn and Friends, by F P T amm, Stella & Agnes Conron (2), by HR Thomes, R ose & Charles, by HR Tripoli, Charles, by H R W alker, Judge Seth (2), by HR Watson, Lorraine G1eaton, by C H White, Harriet Benn (3), by HR White, Nathan L (3), by HR White, Nathan L. (2), by MA & HR White1 Nathan L. & Edythe S. Hames, by MA & HR White, Nathan L & Friends at Nostalgia Days and Society meeting s. Williams, Bert & Walter, by FP Williams, Dr. Ray (Liz Richards' Show J Archeolog ica l Society data, reading by HR MA Mary P. Atkinson; AC Agnes Conron; CH Catherine H ickman; CAN Ca r l A. Norberg ; FP Frances Purdy; HR He len Ross Most of the above has been typed and are with other materials use d {or documentation in Our Story of Gulfport, Florida.


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