The combination of vintage images and compelling narrative will delight historians, residents, and visitors for years to come. Lisa Coleman, co-author of Images of America: Tampa, fulfills her desire to write and preserve the past with this engaging photo history.
by Lisa Coleman
Clearwater, situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is a progressive city that is rife with history and known for its breathtaking landscape. The city that has become one of the state’s prime destinations was once inhabited by Timucuan, Calusa, and Apalachee tribes. Early settlers called the area that had plentiful fresh springs along its shore Clear Water Harbor from the Native American word “Pocotopaug,” and early developers and speculators drew tourists and residents touting Clearwater as a resort community with a comfortable climate. Opportunity and adventure brought many pioneering families, citrus farmers, railroad barons, and land developers to the area.
Today, Clearwater is a locality that continues to move forward while preserving its distinct past. Images of America: Clearwater is a unique collection of vintage photographs and facts that brings to life the history of this thriving city. Photographs culled from a variety of sources, including the Clearwater Historical Society and Hillsborough County Public Library’s archives, showcase the people, places, and events that have contributed to the history of this special Florida community. Readers can take a visual journey to the unincorporated town of yesteryear to see how James Stevens, “the father of Clearwater;” Rev. C.S. Reynolds; and Henry Plant’s grand hotel, the Belleview Biltmore, turned Clearwater into a prosperous city.
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In Tampa, authors Robert Norman and Lisa Coleman have compiled over two hundred fascinating vintage images, many culled from the well-known Burgert Brothers collection archived at the Hillsborough County Library, to highlight the men and women, the places and events that shaped Tampa’s singular past. This delightful story, captured in both word and image, will invite longtime residents to remember and newcomers to learn about the unique heritage of the city called Tampa.
by Robert Norman and Lisa Coleman
Prior to its incorporation in 1855, Tampa Town―as it was then known―was a desolate place to live, and disease and isolation kept many from settling in the area. But as the century progressed, a new and exciting mode of transportation began to open up America’s remaining frontiers, including the untamed Gulf Coast of Florida. When the railroad came to Tampa, thousands of adventure-seekers, tourists, and new residents came with it, all ready to soak up the balmy breezes and tropical pleasures of the city of Tampa.
Tampa began to resemble a modern industrialized city by the turn of the century, due mainly to the grand vision and plans of one man. Henry B. Plant encouraged Tampa’s growth by bringing the railroad to town and constructing the elaborate Tampa Bay Hotel, and he, along with other entrepreneurs, brought an economic boom to the region with new industries, such as cigars and citrus, and the promotion of tourism.
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