Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Workshop personnel
 Table of Contents
 Oh giant oak
 From history, legend, and...
 The natural aspects of the...
 Fresh woods and pastures new
 The people and how they live
 Living from the land
 Industrial assets and opportun...
 Problems and opportunities

Group Title: Pinellas resources : report of workshop in resources education
Title: Pinellas resources
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053476/00001
 Material Information
Title: Pinellas resources report of workshop in resources education. September, 1945
Physical Description: 8 117 p. : illus. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pinellas County (Fla.) -- Board of Public Instruction
Publisher: Printed by the Tomlinson Technical Institute Printing Class of 1946
Place of Publication: St. Petersburg
Publication Date: 1946?]
Subject: Pinellas County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053476
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01837167

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Workshop personnel
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    Oh giant oak
        Page v
    From history, legend, and folklore
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The natural aspects of the region
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Fresh woods and pastures new
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The people and how they live
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Living from the land
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Industrial assets and opportunities
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Problems and opportunities
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
Full Text



Report of

Workshop In Resources Education

Sponsored by

Pinellas County Board of Public Instruction
E. PAsco MonnRI
G. V. FUGUrTT, Superintendent
Clearwater, Florida

September, 1945



Dn. CLARA MI. OLSON, Director

ASHLEY R. Russ, Coordinator

MARY 1. BAINUM, Editor

I IAL C. COFFEE, Publisher


ANNA APPLEBY, Piiellas County Supervisory Staff
DR. M. W. CAROTHERS, Coordinator of the Florida Resources-Use Education
EDITH M. DAVIS, Pinellas County Supervisory Staff

DR. W. T. EDWARDS, Acting Director, Division of Instruction, State Department
of Education
DR. A. J. GEIGER, Senior High School Principal

Lois GEIGER, Pinellas County Supervisory Staff

JOHN H. LOGAN, Pinellas County Agricultural Agent

DR. EARL D. MATTHEWS, Soil Scientist, U. S. Conservation Service

C. MARGUERITE IMORSE, Pinellas County Supervisory Staff

KATHLEEN G. PLUMB, Pinellas County Supervisory Staff

MRS. GENEVIEVE SOLLER, Nurse Consultant, Florida State Board of Health

MRS. MARTHA STETSON, Superintendent of Nurses, Pinellas County Health


ANNIE LAURIE ANDERSON, Principal and First Grade Teacher
MRs. FRANCES G. BAILEY, Sixth Grade Teacher
MRs. Lucy T. BISHOP, Social Studies and Science Teacher
HAMLIN L. BROWN, JR., Vocational Agricultural Teacher
CHRISTINE CARMACK. Social Studies Teacher
MRS. ROSINA I. DAVIS, Third Grade Teacher
MRS. VIRGINIA A. DAVIS, Social Studies Teacher
MRS. RUTH DOWNER, Social Studies Teacher
MRS. ANNICE D. ELKINS, Fifth Grade Teacher
MONA ESTABROOK, Science Teacher
FLORENCE GILLIIAM, Mathematics Teacher
MRS. MARY Lou GRAY, Principal
AUSTA HARRINGTON, Sixth Grade Teacher
MRS. ANNE E. JERKINS, Mathematics Teacher
LEROY L. KAUFMAN, Social Studies Teacher
MABEL M. KELSO, Principal
MRS. EDITH B. LEWIS, Sixth Grade Teacher
MRS. DORIS MALLORY, First and Second Grade Teacher
Lois MORSE, Science and Mathematics Teacher
MRS. CLARA REID, Principal
ETHEL CHASE ROBINSON, Third and Fourth Grade Teacher
MRS. BESSIE MAE RUSS, Secretary and Librarian
JOE W. SCOFIELD, Business Education Teacher
NATALEE STERLING, Principal and First Grade Teacher
MILO V. TIPTON, Principal
LIDA TULANE, Social Studies Teacher

MBS. WILLIE-MAE WADE, Mathematics and Social Studies, Teacher

I IAT is a region? It is a piece of the great con-
W tinental and world organization, molded by the
ages, held together by its own set of natural conditions,
and constituting a unified environment.

What is man's relation to his region? lie must be
both servant and master, student and teacher; he must
give before he takes, work before he wins, he humble
that he may be proud.

Ilas his region any reward to give him for so much
effort? When man in cooperation with the natural,
human, and institutional forces of his region creates
a place for himself, he sees his own life happier and
more prosperous and has a richer promise for the lives
of his children after him, a clearer view of the wider
horizons spread before him, and an always brightening

How can man find this harmony with his region?
He can study its physical nature, its limitations, and
its wealth. He can learn what he may wisely ask of
it for himself and what he must give in return; he can
acknowledge that he belongs to the region as well as the
region to him; he can act in .accordance with this ac-









The Mound Builders
The Lure of Legends
Dr. Odet Phillippi, First White Settler
The Pattern of Pioneer Life
Significant Factors in Pinellas' Growth
Pinellas County
Hurricane in Retrospect
A Problem in the Making
Water Resources
Demiparadise of Tree and Flower
Demiparadise of Beast and Bird and Snake
One Hundred Years Later
Insects and Spiders
The Charm of the Beach
THE PEOPLE AND HOW THEY LIVE....................51
Population Characteristics
Living in Pinellas County
Cultural Advantages
Recreational Opportunities
LIVING FROM THE LAND....................................69
Some Factors Affecting Land Use
Description of Land Areas
Agencies Available to Assist Farmers
Diversified Farming
Part-Time Farming
Specialized Farming
The Tourist Industry
Marketing Agricultural Resources
Sponging and Fishing
Diversified Manufacturing
PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES........................109

REFEBENCES .......................

.............................................. .. 1 3

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................. 116



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A philosopher once observed that the lives of the people were the best
interpretation of a region. Without the people the natural resources mean
nothing. The interaction of man with his natural environment determines the
quality of his living.
If the men and women and the boys and girls living in the Pinellas peninsula
today could interpret the mysteries of the mounds, relive the legends of the
Indians, recreate the adventures of the earliest white settlers, experience the
struggles of the pioneers, catch the vision of contemporary builders, and compre-
hend the influence of the natural environment, they would begin to understand
the rich regional heritage that is theirs. The following brief glimpses into the
history, legend, and folklore of Pinellas County suggest the satisfaction to be
derived from a full exploration of life in the region. The life of the past-both
the recorded and the unrecorded-is a resource of great significance.

Far back in time the Pinellas region was the home of strange races of men
who came, sometimes from far lands to the south and sometimes from lands as
far to the north. They came, lived an age or two, and then gave way to younger
races. But in their little moment of time they developed a way of life and
of it, wittingly or not, left records-great mounds in which may be read, in part,
the story of their passing. So far as we know now, the Mound Builders were
the first people of the Pinellas region.
Who the Mound Builders were and how they lived will probably never be
known in complete detail. Yet excavations of the mounds they left have thrown
much light on their civilization. Excavations of mounds in the Pinellas region
have added to our knowledge of these early people as a group. They have added
also to our knowledge of the earliest inhabitants of the region.
At the turn of the century, an expedition sent out by the University of
Pennsylvania under Frank Hamilton Cushing explored a mound on the Stafford
estate near Tarpon Springs. The mound, which was 60 feet in diameter, had
already been "dug over ruthlessly," as Dr. Cushing expressed it; but the debris
indicated that the mound was many centuries old. It had originally been built
within a deeply hollowed basin and at the time it was used had been surrounded
by a water-filled channel or moat.1 Further excavations by the Cushing ex-
pedition uncovered many objects of rare interest, more than 600 skeletons, and
perhaps the largest quantity of pottery, stone, and other objects of art ever
1 Cushing, "Prehistoric Island Kingdom Among Florida Keys," Philadelphia Press, June 21, 1896.



gathered from a single mound of equal size. In reporting the excavations, Dr.
Gushing said:
"From my studies of this material I found data so significant
that from therh many customs and much of the sociologic and
governmental organization of its builders can be made'out .... If
the Indians encountered by the early Spaniards had works in stone
and clay comparable at all with those of earlier date, I do not
wonder that the explorers so often marvelled at the beauty of the
things the natives possessed. The plummets, pendants and other
ornamental and ceremonial objects of stone which we found were
among the best products of the aboriginal lapidary's art I have yet
seen. They were made of a great variety of material, from soft soap
stone and spar to hard diorite and rock crystal, from hematite,
polished like burnished steel, to clean cut plates of mica and
elaborately wrought symbolic objects of copper.
"The range of commerce that these things indicated was
enormous. There was a fine grained stone derived from the far
West Indies, a shell from the Gulf of Campeche, the mica and
rock crystal were of the Georgia and Carolina kinds, and the copper
had been brought both from Lake Superior and from Cuba, while
the dematite and galean nodules were of the kind so often found
in Mississippi and Iowa." 2
In his general conclusion Dr. Cushing maintains that the observed facts
show that very long ago, perhaps from South America, there came to our region
a people who settled on the coral reefs, and after ages of struggle "became a
vast people and wrought out the beginnings of a civilization which ulti-
mately spread far to the northward, influencing the Mound Builders, and far
to the South, spreading over the peninsula of Yucatan where it gave further rise
to a splendid old civilization that has puzzled the keenest minds." Thus
the Pinellas region shares in one of the baffling mysteries of the western hemi-
Many mounds are still to be seen in Pinellas County. Many were destroyed
by early settlers for road building materials. Old residents say that there were
originally six or seven mounds in the vicinity of Sixth Avenue and Sixth
Street, South, in what is known as Shell Park, in St. Petersburg. Still other
mounds are to be found at Pinellas Point, Maximo Point, the Jungle, Pine Key,
and Weeden's Island.
An important study of the mounds on Weeden's Island was conducted by
the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian in 1923-1924.4 The excavators
were aided by the interest and cooperation of Dr. Leslie M. Weeden, owner of
the island. The Smithsonian report on the excavation is valuable source material
2 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
SWeeden's Island is located near Narvaez Park on the Shores of Tampa Bay a little northeast
of St. Petersburg.


for those interested in the civilization, craftmanship, and primitive art of pre-
historic man.
Indications are, according to the report, that two waves of immigration
swept into Florida in prehistoric times. "The people who came here first, or
of whom the first evidence is found in the lowest layer of the mounds were
of an origin as yet wholly unknown. But the crude pottery of this stratum
resembles that of the West Indies and especially the shell people of Cuba." 5
The Smithsonian has called these people Cautians, since Florida was known
to them as Cautio. The report recommends that students interested in Florida
mounds should study them as clusters composed of different kinds of mounds
forming units-each mound for different purposes.
A contemporary student and historian of the Pinellas peninsula groups
the Indian mounds of the region under three types. In pointing out the
characteristics and function of each type he says:
"First, the home of the cacique or chief. These were conical,
built of sand, steep as possible. They were for the double purpose
of serving as a lookout by day and to prevent surprise attacks at
night. Two and possibly three survive in Pinellas. One on
Pinellas Point is in the back yard of a nice home there. Another
is just south of the east end of the Seminole bridge.
"The second type of mound is the kitchen midden. These
mounds are an accumulation of shells and bones, of food and ashes
of cooking fires. Other than a few broken cooking utensils nothing
else is found in such mounds. The kitchen middens obviously
were located beside a small fresh water stream or spring, and on
or near salt water. Shell food and fish formed the principal food
supply for the Indians.
"The third type is the burial mound. Perhaps the oddest in
this country is the one on the west tip of the small bay island at
the mouth of St. John's Pass. Another is at the Jungle. My house
is located on such a burial mound. In the nearby mound we found
a Spanish sword hilt. Unfortunately the hilt was stolen.
"A short distance north of the Anclote river near Tarpon
Springs was an arrow head factory mound. There remains today
in spite of wanton vandalism rich evidence of the skill and industry
of these blunt weapon makers-a privileged class, immune to tribal
responsibility and fighting, who could and did wander from tribe
to tribe without harm or hindrance in selling their wares.
"There were ten to fifteen small mounds scattered from Pinellas
Point to Bayboro. These have all disappeared before the superior
culture of the white man.
"On Pass-a-Grille Island was, to me, the most interesting thing

SReport of Smithsonian on Weeden Island excavations.


of all, a ceremonial, or religious mound. It was built of sand and
was a perfect replica of a turtle.
"A second Turtle Mound is shown on one of the first maps
ever made of Florida, near Coronado. It was called Turtle Mound
because it looked like a huge turtle from the sea. It was sixty feet
high, one thousand feet long and three hundred feet wide. It was
a great landmark for sailors." 6
Not all the elevations in Pinellas, commonly known as mounds, were built
by man. One notable exception is a geologic formation within the city park
area close to Ninth Street, North in St. Petersburg. This "mound" is a Pliocene
outcropping, rare in Florida. From 1940 to 1945 it was the object of intensive
exploration by competent scientists.7 The excavations provided material for
a series of 2,000 photographs of classified fossils, many of which, according to
Smithsonian scholars, are new discoveries. 8


The charm of the legend like the elusiveness of the will-o'-the-wisp attracts
men of all ages and all regions. Rich indeed is a people who preserve the
legends that embroider their history. The Pinellas region, historically, is very,
very young; consequently, its people have not as yet woven into a rich fabric of
legend and folklore the raw materials of Pinellas living. In the files of old
newspapers, in the tales of old settlers, in the memories of men and women,
in the ever-changing facets of the natural environment the materials may be
found. They are human and natural resources, which have often been blended
into cultural facts, values, forces, and institutions of tremendous significance
in the life of this region today. Someday, some seeker after truth, some student
of regional forces, some individual, with sensitive eye and ear and heart, will
collect the material and weave the pattern.
Perhaps the most delightful of all the legends which may be regarded as
a part of the Pinellas heritage are those through which stalk Spaniard and
Indian, pirate and buccaneer. Tales of romance and treasure, these legends
stimulate the imagination of young and old alike. The two here briefly glanced
at illustrate the quality of other stories that may someday become a part of
the recognized legendary lore of the county.

Legend of Juan Ortiz
To Pinellas, the "point of pines," belongs the legend of Juan Ortiz, one of
the five survivors of the De Narvaez expedition. Its high points follow. When
De Narvaez arrived along the coast of Florida in April, 1528, he overshot the
r From an article by Walter P. Fuller in the Huff Collection of Newspaper Clippings.
SCf. Hunter, "Explorations Unearth New Discoveries," St. Petersburg Times, May 13, 1945.
8 The complete findings of the excavators will be published through the aid of a trust fund set up
by William G. Fargo and will be made available to universities and scientific libraries.


mouth of Tampa Bay and actually landed in Boca Ciega Bay at what is now
:the Jungle. After the landing, he sent one ship back to Cuba for supplies.
On the ship went Juan Ortiz. Meanwhile, through a series of barbarous acts,
De Narvaez incurred the undying enmity of Chief Hirrihigua. He then
moved inland seeking gold.9
The Indians, set for revenge, waited for the return of the supply ship. Using
a clever decoy, they took the returning crew by surprise and killed the landing
party. Only the young Ortiz was saved. His story has been told by many,
perhaps with variations, but essentially it is the same,-"the story of Hirrihigua's
daughter-a story to which, in comparison, the 'discovery' of the Mississippi
River is but a dried fig." 10

Buried Treasure
Before Mrs. Martha Anderson, a pioneer settler of the Pinellas peninsula,
died, a reporter of vision interviewed her and recorded her recollections of
nearly a century of living in the region." She had actually known the wife
of one pirate. The following excerpt from a longer account may cause the blood
of the adventurous to flow a little faster.
"Her tale of buried treasure concerns the story of a sailor
upon a ship besieged by pirates. All of the other sailors were slain
and this particular one was taken ashore where he made his home
with the pirate for years.
"The ship, which was scuttled and burned, lay on the beach
at Long Key (near Pass-a-Grille) for many years. Its bulk with
its massive chains will be remembered by the old timers.
"Treasure taken from this ship, Mrs. Anderson says, was di-
vided and buried in deep holes, covered over with sand over which
was placed the body of a slain sailor and the whole carefully
covered up. This precaution was taken so that, if the grave were
discovered it would be thought to be just that and not be disturbed.
One of these hiding places was thought to have been discovered
by an English drifter who suddenly became wealthy without
reason after visiting Long Key."12

The first white settler in Pinellas peninsula and the grandfather of the
first white child born in the region was Dr. Odet Phillippi.'3 It is interesting
Hunter, St. Petersburg Times, February 14, 1937. It is interesting to note that Hirrihigua was
the name of the Indian province on the shores of Tampa Bay. The real name of the chief was Ucita.
'o Lanier, Florida: Its Scenery, Climate and History, p. 184.
The interview, recorded in the Huff Collection of Newspaper Clippings, took place when Mrs.
Anderson was 97 years old.
12 From the Huff Collection of Newspaper Clippings.
'8 The first white child, Odet "Keeter" Booth, was born August 4, 1853. He was the son of
Merlineya Phillippi, daughter of Odet Phillippi, and Richard J. Booth, an Englishman, who arrived in
1834. "Keeter" Booth died in 1934 and is buried in Sylvan Abbey Graveyard..


to note that Dr. Phillippi came to Pinellas at a time when men of high
station, uprooted by the Napoleonic Wars, were seeking advantages in the
western world. The colorful experiences which characterized his life reflect
the spirit of the era. Some insight into his contribution to the region may be
gained from the following brief account of his life.
Dr. Odet Phillippi, a Frenchman, friend of Napoleon and surgeon in his
fleet, arrived at what is now Safety Harbor aboard his own ship, the Mey,
in 1823. His life had been full of adventure. Having been captured by the
British after the battle of Trafalgar, he had been sent to the Bahamas, where
he remained a virtual prisoner for two years. By some circumstance he was
released and joined the French Huguenots in Charleston, South Carolina.
There he married and resumed his practice of medicine, which gave him a
lucrative income. In 1814 Phillippi's beautiful wife died, leaving him with
four little girls. Two years later he married Miss Hortense De Medicies, a
beautiful but selfish individual.
Through a bad investment Phillippi lost his fortune, salvaging only enough
to purchase a sizable sailing ship, the Mey. With his family and household
goods and 100 Negroes, he set out to seek another fortune. After a month's
voyage they landed on the southeast coast of Florida. The family cruised along
the coast while the slaves built palmetto-thatched houses. Once the housing
question was settled, the Negroes set to work making salt. Later, Phillippi,
eager to find a place suitable for raising tropical fruits, loaded his belongings
on the Mey and moved to the Indian River district. The Indians were friendly
and seemed to take some interest in the activities of the settlement.
When the land had been cleared, Phillippi boarded the boat again and set
out for the Bahamas, in order to get a load of citrus trees and tropical shrubs.
During the voyage he encountered pirates, who made him a prisoner only
long enough for him to administer medical aid to the "king" of the buccaneer
band. Instead of carrying out their original command, "We want you and
your boodle," they rewarded the doctor with the gift of an iron chest filled
with plenty of "boodle" and allowed "the old galoot" to go free. An agreement
was made that in the future the doctor's services would be at their disposal.
The voyage to the Bahamas was completed, and a splendid cargo of oranges
and every other conceivable kind of tree and shrub was taken aboard. After
the return to the Indian River district these were planted and were soon
growing beautifully.
Four years they lived in peace with the Indians, and then the day came
when Phillippi was warned that war with the Indians was imminent. Almost
immediately the Mey was loaded, and they set sail again. While floating down
the river, they could see smoke from what had been their home.
Upon sailing around the Cape of Florida,-they again encountered the pirate
ship. One of the buccaneers boarded the Mey, and after he learned of their
experience with the Indians, took from his pocket a map. He pointed out


4*6 @ -





i .


Espiritu Santo Bay, saying, "If there is a God, surely this is His resting place.
There is but one bay to compare with it, Naples."
The Mey arrived at Espiritu Santo Bay, at the head of Old Tampa Bay, in
the spring of 1823. Again the Negroes built palmetto huts, and later a
"chateau" for Dr. Phillippi, the materials having been brought from Cuba.
During the rainy season, all the trees and shrubs were meticulously put into
the ground. The long, green lines of trees reached out from the clearing to
meet the hammock. As time passed, choice guavas, mangoes, avocados, and
sapodillas grew in profusion.
During a family visit to Havana, Mrs. Phillippi passed away. Dr. Phillippi,
with his family and servants, returned to their beloved hammock. What a
glorious picture his grove of 100 acres must have made, and his homestead at
the foot of the Indian mound must have been a welcome sight.
In 1848 disaster in the form of a hurricane and tidal wave struck again.
The salt spray killed the lovely trees. The Phillippi home was destroyed, and
all belongings swept away, even to the iron pirate chest which held his heir-
looms and jewelry.
During the War Between the States, Dr. Phillippi moved to Hernando
County. When peace came, he returned to his old hammock and established
himself a mile back in the woods. He had grown so old and feeble that it was
only with the help of old Nelson, his faithful manservant, that he was able to
mount and dismount. Slowly his eyesight failed, and during his long hours
of idleness, while sitting on his porch, he reflected on the past and frequently
mumbled the name of Napoleon, his beloved leader.
Sitting on a chosen spot near the bay, with his snow-white head bared to
the heavens, a gourd of sparkling water in his hand, he would say, "This
is God's own country, and this water His medicine, stirred by His hand, and
deposited on this shore to heal man's suffering." 14

The pioneer white settlers developed a pattern of life in which is rooted
the modern Pinellas era. Today some of the older people and the descendants
of these early families like to tell about the mirthful moments, the difficult
struggles, and the helpful fellowship which laid a foundation for our mode
of life.
They 15 tell of clearing land and hauling logs with oxen to a building
site. These log cabins were of one, two, or three rooms, the chimneys being
the stick and mud type. The window openings were covered with wooden
4 The material for this story is from an unpublished manuscript by the late Mrs. George Booth
of Safety Harbor.
1' From interviews with Mrs. De Joinville Booth, Mrs. W. A. McMullen, Sr., Dr. Bob McMullen,
I. B. Mears, Capt. Kenneth M. Ransom, Mrs. Annie Grable, Mrs. Dan Stoutamire, Mrs. W. M. Cobb, and
A. E. Shower.


shutters. For cooking purposes a stove pen was built near the cabin. This primi-
tive stove was framed with small logs, filled with sand, and usually roofed. On
top of the sanbox all the family cooking was done. Cooking utensils were
few, commonly one pot and one pan.
The following story is typical of pioneer life:
"Grandfather Cobb recalls his arrival in the Ridge section at
the age of nineteen years. His first job was driving range cattle
for the magnificent pay of fifty cents a day. He was a good
worker, so his pay later was raised to one whole dollar a day,
big money for those days.
"Two years after his arrival he married. Then there was the
problem of a home for himself and bride. Did he go to the mill
for lumber, the supply company for other materials? No! For
the simple reason there weren't any.
"So he built a log cabin, filling the chinks between the logs
with lime he manufactured in a home-made kiln. This is how it
was done. He'd cart a load of oyster shells from the bay to the
lime pit. Then above them he'd place a layer of firewood, then
another layer of shells, another layer of wood, etc. Finally he'd
set the whole thing on fire. The result: home-made lime. The
bricks for the chimney were made by more or less the same process.
"Striking out for himself, Mr. Cobb raised cattle and cotton;
yes, real cotton. He bought a tract of land for $1.25 an acre. His
first cotton crop was a bumper one. He took it to Clearwater for
marketing. And this was no simple process either. Nothing but
sand roads; no hard surface, just sand, with deep ruts so difficult
to travel that only a large-wheeled wagon would get on it. There
were no bridges over the creeks and on several occasions he
would have to wait a long time for the water to go down before
he could cross without getting his load of cotton wet.
"Later Mr. Cobb turned to citrus raising. He says he planted
or budded enough trees to supply a nation. A good percent of all
the citrus trees in the ridge section were planted or budded by
"Mr. Cobb made very few trips to the cities in the old days.
St. Petersburg was then nothing but a village with a very
few scattered houses. Clearwater had a fort, a post office and a
few houses. However, he found no need to go to the cities. Every
thing that was needed he raised himself."16
With the coming of the sawmill, dwellings of board-on-end construction
were built. Children were elated when their families could afford glass windows.
Furniture was homemade; chair seats were hides from cattle raised on the range;
16 From the Helen Huff Collection of Newspaper Clippings.


homemade candles or lightwood furnished lighting; and the beds were canopied
with mosquito netting. At the beginning of the century spacious homes put
together with dressed lumber were built and can be seen in most parts of the
county today.
In the early days wild animals, game, and fish were plentiful. Bears were
about, and wild turkeys were numerous. One pioneer remembers stepping
out on her porch and seeing six deer go by. Another, growing reminiscent,
said that fish were so plentiful you could draw them in a seine and so thick
when running, it looked as if you could walk on them. When schools of fish
crossed sand bars, they made a roaring sound which could be heard from a
considerable distance. Some say that at one of these times Aunt Mary Turner
gathered them up in her apron. The fish caught at such times were salted and
enough stored away to last three months.
Every pioneer home had a garden where sweet potatoes and green vegetables
were raised. The deer often found the potato patch and destroyed much of the
crop. Because of this the farmer built a platform near his patch, chose a moon-
light night, and waited, gun in hand, for the marauder. After that the family
usually had venison to go with the sweet potatoes. Corn bread was made of
meal ground by hand from home grown corn. Hominy and grits were home-
made. The corn patch supplied sweet syrup for pancakes and bread; huckle-
berries and guavas were delicious fillings for pies and puddings.
Cotton and cattle were the only things that brought money into the country
at first. The people of Indian Pass (Anona) worked away from home or ran on
boats. Every farm had a small seedling orange grove. Hucksters from Mobile
and New Orleans came in boats for oranges. They did the picking and hauled
the fruit by a team of oxen to a small boat which carried its load to the
schooner at anchor in the bay. Difficulties of marketing hindered the citrus
industry. After the freeze of 1895 oranges jumped in price from six to 10
dollars a box. At that time people in various parts of the nation were being
made aware that oranges were good for one's health; consequently, there came
to be a greater demand for this fruit, stimulating its production.
Mail and necessary supplies were brought by sailboat from Cedar Keys and
Tampa. Boats frequently took a load of vegetables to Cedar Keys and brought
back lumber and supplies. Flour and rolled oats came in barrels and were
weighed out to customers.
Cloth and thread for clothes, sheets, and counterpanes were often spun
from cotton raised on the farm. Aunt Amelia Harris and Margaret Taylor
Campbell were noted for their spinning and weaving. Margaret Taylor Campbell
had enough cloth woven for two dresses when the Yankees came along, cut the
cloth from the loom, and carried it away. Later cloth was brought from Tampa
and Clearwater Harbor.
Dunedin was a shopping trading point. It took all day to go from near Largo
to Dunedin and back with a team of oxen.


The tempo of life was more leisurely then than now. There were plenty of
good times. Harvey Hendrick ferried folks to Indian Rocks where they had
picnics. Families and friends visited back and forth; if there were too few beds,
pallets were made on the floor for the children. Many attended cane grindings
and the annual fair at Belleair.
Of the fair, David Turner said, "Husbandmen and housewives brought for
display the choicest products from their farms and homes. Prizes were awarded
for the best fruits, cooked foods, quilts, dresses, crochet work, carpentry, and
paintings." 17
There were singing schools and debating clubs, and later baseball and
bicycling were favorite diversions of the young people. There was plenty of
good hunting. Turtle egging was a favorite sport. Parties were many; the
tunes of the fiddlers enlivened the group and furnished music for the dances.
One of the old customs, as related by Caroline Turner Nelson, Clearwater's
oldest native resident, was that of funmaking at Christmas time. Men wearing
false faces and dressed in fantastic garb gathered early on Christmas morning
and rode from house to house, blowing horns, shouting, jesting, and having a
hilarious time. They rode horseback and in buggies and gigs. Often refreshments
of a stimulating nature were handed out from homes visited. Songs were sung
by the funmakers as the horses galloped from one house to another. Many times
the appearance of the strangers terrified small children, and they took refuge
behind mother's skirts or hid in the barn.
While the pioneers were learning from the land, there were other learning
they craved for their children and refused to neglect. In every little settlement,
churches and schoolhouses were built. The one building usually served a double
purpose, for in the minds of these hardy people religion and education were
joined in a union not to be broken. The first church and schoolhouse at Indian
Pass, now Anona, was erected on the site of the present church building on land
donated by Capt. John Lowe in 1874. All the lumber used was dressed by
hand. Logs for sills were brought from the woods by teams of oxen; pine shingles
for the roof were rived by hand. Children sat on benches before high desks
built to the wall. They came to the center of the room to recite and spell lessons
from the old Blue Back Speller.
An early school building at Sylvan Abbey was named for Abbey Dudley,
the beautiful daughter of the first teacher. An older building was the Taylor
schoolhouse, built before the Civil War on what is now the Sever place. Dr.
Bethel McMullen and Mrs. Sally McMullen Belcher attended this school.
At an earlier date, probably early in the 1850's, Capt. James McMullen erected
two miles southeast of Clearwater a small log building to be used as a school
for his own and neighboring children. Mrs. Sally McMullen Belcher often
said that it was a hard task to study when they wanted to watch the little bears
playing about in thetrees near by.
17 From an address given by David Turner of Clearwater. Mrs. Caroline Turner Nelson of Clear-
water has the manuscript of this address.




Another early educational institution was founded in what is now Gulf-
port. Here in a little one-room log cabin the late Arthur Norwood held school.
The pupils furnished their own rude homemade desks. Instruction was from
the first grade up; it is recalled that some pupils even studied Latin and
Greek. According to tales there were times when the pupils, becoming angry
at the teacher, picked up their desks and walked home. This cabin was used
as a meeting place by the early Methodist congregation. Pinellas County's
first school superintendent jokingly nicknamed this log school, "Prop College." 18
The first school session in St. Petersburg was held in a little wooden building
erected in 1888 by the people of the city under the direction of the trustees of
the Congregational Church. The first teacher was Miss Mamie Gilkeson, who
resigned at the end of two months' service and was succeeded by Miss Olive
Wickham. The building was located between Ninth and Tenth Streets near
Central Avenue. Twenty-nine pupils were enrolled in the first class.
Religious worship was often conducted in homes. Big meetings were held
under arbors by ministers of various sects who rode horseback over miles of
sandy road to serve isolated communities. The coming of the preacher was a
happy occasion for little pioneers whose mothers cooked from their favorite
recipes and set a table that fairly groaned with all the good food available.
The pioneer, itinerant ministers shared the joys and sorrows of their people and
inspired them to better living. The first churches in this region were Sylvan
Abbey, Curlew, and Anona.

Many factors have contributed significantly to the development of Pinellas
County. Historically, two factors are significant: the Van Bibber report to the
American Medical Association in 1885 and the development of transportation.
The coming of the railroads and the vision of the men who brought them here
should not be neglected in any approach to the resources of the region.
In 1885, Dr. W. C. Van Bibber of Baltimore offered a paper before the
American Medical Association at New Orleans, stating that Pinellas was the
"healthiest spot on earth." His statement was backed by statistics gathered
over a period of time. He and his colleagues recommended Pinellas as a suitable
location for a health city. Part of his report read, as follows:
"Overlooking the deep Gulf of Mexico, with the broad waters
of a beautiful bay nearly surrounding it, with but little now upon
its soil but the primal forest, there is a large sub-peninsula, Point
Pinellas, waiting the hand of improvement .... It lies in latitude
27 degrees and 42 minutes, and contains, with its adjoining keys,
about 160,000 acres of land. No marsh surrounds its shores or
rests upon its surface; the sweep of its beach is broad and graceful,
Grismer, History of St. Petersburg, Historical and Biographical, p. 115.


stretching many miles, and may be improved to an imposing extent.
Its average winter temperature is 72 degrees; that its climate is
peculiar, its natural products show; that its air is healthy, the ruddy
appearance of its inhabitants attest. Those who have carefully
surveyed the entire state, and have personally investigated this
sub-peninsula and its surrounding, think that it offers the best
climate in Florida. Here should be built such a city...." 9
Great publicity came as a result of this report. Doctors from far and wide
visited the region that was reputed to have such an ideal climate. It is difficult
to estimate how far the Van Bibber report contributed in the growth and de-
velopment of lower Pinellas.
Before the coming of the railroads to Pinellas County, "mail arrived at Cedar
Keys and was brought to Clearwater by coastwise packets. Arrival of boats
bringing new people and merchandise was an exciting event. It had a
glamour that the railroad when it finally materialized could not capture.
First of the boats on the Cedar Keys to Clearwater run was the Madison
Packet." 20
As one watches the splendid modern trains pull into Pinellas stations,
bringing winter visitors from nearly every state in the Union, it seems a far
cry to the days when it took the early pioneers of our county all day to go
from Largo to Dunedin and back by oxcart. It even seems far back to that
long looked for day in 1888 when the Orange Belt's narrow gauge railroad
was completed from Sanford over on the St. John's River to the tip of Pinellas
peninsula. Small as this beginning may appear today, it was a gigantic task
for Peter Demens and his associates, one which when finally accomplished,
meant so much to the progress of Pinellas County.
In 1895 H. B. Plant bought the Orange Belt Railroad, changing its name
to the Sanford and St. Petersburg Railroad. In 1897 a standard gauge track
was substituted for the old narrow gauge. The Atlantic Coast Line system
purchased the Plant interests in 1901 and has operated the road continuously
since that date.
The Seaboard Railway's service to St. Petersburg began in 1907, when an
arrangement was made whereby tickets could be purchased direct and freight
could be billed through to St. Petersburg from any points on railroads allied
with the Seaboard, connections being made at Tampa with boats operated by
the Tampa Bay Transportation Company. In 1914 the Seaboard extended its
tracks from Tampa to Pinellas County, going through Clearwater, Largo, and
St. Petersburg.
With the coming of the railroads began the march of progress to Pinellas.
This healthful land was made more accessible to the traveler, and citrus prod-
ucts were shipped from the county more easily. Today, in addition to the
A paper prepared by Dr. W. C. Van Bibber of Baltimore and read before the 36th annual meet-
ing of the American Medical Society, 1885.
20 Hunter, St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1936.


railroads, the peninsula has airplane, truck line, and water transportation

We who are accustomed to driving over the excellent roads of Pinellas
seldom reflect on the part the roads have played in making the history of
the county. Pinellas County came into existence in 1911, when the State
Legislature passed the Division Bill, which separated what is now Pinellas
from Hillsborough County. This movement had started many years before. It
was the arrival of the automobile and the failure of the lawmakers of Hills-
borough County to provide roads, which hastened the struggle for separation.
Mr. W. L. Straub, then owner and editor of the St. Petersburg Times, a
very public spirited individual, had arrived on the Peninsula in 1900. At that
time the roads in this area were little more than cattle paths, covered over with
pine needles and sawdust. A wagon trail had been broken by stock men, con-
necting the John Taylor place in Largo and the Hay place in St. Petersburg-
near Twentieth Street and Lakeview Avenue. This trail evidently was in
existence as early as 1856. The people of Pinellas traveled it frequently.
Mr. Straub quickly realized that the Tampa lawmakers had no intention
of investing in roads for Pinellas and set forth the idea of separation from
Hillsborough. During the period from 1907 to 1911 each state legislature saw the
introduction of a bill to sever the peninsula, but the measure was always
promptly killed by Tampa lawmakers. Mr. Straub through his daily newspaper
published facts that molded opinions not only of local people but also of the
lawmakers at Tallahassee. He disclosed that the peninsula had 17 per cent
of the population but paid 23 per cent of the taxes. The census of 1910 showed
that the peninsular inhabitants numbered over 13,000. When the legislature
convened in 1911, members were well informed on the subject, thanks to Mr.
Straub's free mailing list. The bill was passed on May 23, 1911, and Pinellas
County was born.

Some years ago George E. Cook of the David Cook family, Maximo Point,
sponsored a writing contest among the school children of Pinellas County on
the subject, "Why I Like to Live in Pinellas County." Among the prize
winning compositions was a masterpiece on hurricanes. The young author,
convinced of the perfection of the Pinellas climate, concluded his composition
in this manner: "Storms start on the east coast, and when they get to St.
Petersburg, they are no good."
History does not always bear out the optimism of this lad, especially when
the hurricane starts on the west coast instead of the east. Such storms, how-
ever, are so infrequent that, when they do occur, they are entered in historical


records, adding glamour to the date; and therefore the inhabitants are wont
to identify the year in terms of the storm, as for example, "the gale of '48."
Of this gale John A. Bethell wrote:
"The gale that destroyed everything in its track along the west
coast in 1848 among other things washed down the lighthouse
on Egmont Key . Every island from Sanibel to Bayport was
overflowed and many new passes were made by it through the
islands, among them Longboat Meet and John's Pass. By cutting
a channel into the swamp that was on Passage Key it created a very
snug harbor for small shipping. The gale was also the cause of
the washing away of several sand keys between Mullet Key and
Pass-a-Grille. One of these was about one and a half acres
in extent and was well nigh covered with buttonwood, mangrove
and bay cedars. The laughing gulls and shearwaters used to lay
their eggs there, and it was known as Panama Key. After the
war, some northern smack fishermen established a ranch there to
catch mullet and bottom fish for the Cuban market. They never
made a success of it from the fact that the sharks cut their nets so
badly that they had to quit. There is nothing now remaining of
the key but a sand flat." 21

Many stories have been told concerning the ruthless destruction of bird
life in the early days of Pinellas. Probably the greatest destruction in any
one period was wrought by a group of men who located at the point of lower
Pinellas for the purpose of killing birds for their plumes, feathers, skins,
and eggs. In the words of an observer, John A. Bethell, "one season they
got 11,000 skins and plumes, 30,000 birds' eggs, and with a force of 11 men
with blowpipes, it was impossible to blow the contents out of more than one-
half of these eggs before they were spoiled. Then they had to peck holes
in the ends of the balance and spread them out over the face of creation for
the ants to do the rest. That was the greatest destruction of the feathered
tribe at any time." 22
In the 1890's, Roy L. Hanna, a resident of St. Petersburg and a man of
great vision, witnessed in one day the wanton destruction of three bushels of
pelican, cormorant, and crane eggs. He immediately conceived the idea of a
sanctuary. A small island, Indian Key, lying off the coast, seemed just the
place to afford this protection. Mr. Hanna took steps to purchase the island,
which belonged to the State of Florida. In 1902 he learned that the federal
government wanted the island as a bird reservation. After correspondence with
21 Bethell, History of Pinellas Peninsula, pp. 63-64.
22 hIbd., pp. 58-59.


President Theodore Roosevelt, he turned over all his rights to Bird Key as it
is now so appropriately called.
Mrs. Katherine Bell Tippetts, former president of the Florida Audubon
Society, and founder, with Mr. Hanna, of the St. Petersburg Audubon Society,
has been successful in establishing bird sanctuaries throughout the county.
It was through her influence that the Biological Survey at Washington, D. C.
was able to secure the executive order signed by President Warren G. Harding,
setting aside Cow, Calf, and Bush Islands as parts of Bird Key.
The foregoing story is an excellent example of the recognition of a problem
and the efforts of a man and woman of vision to solve the problem. Other
phases of conservation are as significant today as was the great need to stem
the tide of ruthless destruction of bird life. To understand the problems and
to gain some insight into one's own responsibility and opportunities for solving
the problems necessitate a real appreciation of the natural, human, and cultural
resources of the area one calls home.

,-*, s.-

:-' .,-s




Have you ever driven up the Ridge Road to enjoy the orange blossoms in
early spring? Have you ever rolled down the sudden descent to Booker Creek
in Roser Park? Have you ever swooped down the roller coaster drop to the
beach causeway in Clearwater? Pinellas is not the pancake peninsula it has
been painted.


Pinellas peninsula juts from the mother peninsula of Florida halfway down
its west coast. Like a true child it bears a close physical resemblance to its
parent. So strong is the resemblance that Pinellas has often been called Little
Florida. Down the center runs a ridge, a replica in miniature of the master
ridge along the center of the state. The ridge in the county tapers off to flat-
lands, and an irregular coast line affords natural harbors and scenic beauty in
accordance with the pattern set by the state.
Millions of years ago, in the days when the Pensacola Sea1 still covered
much of present-day Florida, islands rose above the water covering the land
which later became the Pinellas peninsula. Eventually, as the sea receded,
these islands tvere left, forming the high ridges of the present time.2 One
island, approximately 20 square miles in area, is within the city limits of St.
Petersburg. From its highest point, about 413 feet above sea level, is a gradual
slope so smoothed by time as to be almost imperceptible. From the Yacht
Basin to the Florida National Bank the elevation changes from six to 22 feet
within the space of seven blocks.
The largest island begins near Oakhurst and Seminole and runs north
nearly 20 miles to the vicinity of Tarpon Springs. Although the island has
a general width of three miles, toward the southern end it tapers to a narrow
strip along which runs the Ridge Road. The western border is close to the
present coast line from Indian Rocks to Clearwater and less than two miles
from the coast thence northward. This accounts for the fact that Clearwater
has the highest elevation of any coastal city in Florida, averaging 32 feet with
a high point of 75 feet.4 On the ridge, just east of Dunedin, is the highest
1 Leverett, The Pensacola Terrace and Associated Beaches and Bars, Florida State Geological Sur-
vey, Bulletin No. 7, pp. 20-21.
Note: C. Wythe Cooke, writing in Scenery of Florida, Interpreted by a Geologist, Florida State
Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 17, pp. 48, 52, 58, and 74, relates these terraces to classifications more
generally used. He places the present Pinellas section on the Penholoway terrace; the rest of the county
on the Pamlico terrace.
2 Ibid. pp. 20-21.
SGunter, Elevations in Florida, Florida Geological Survey, 17th Annual Report, pp. 41-168.
4From the Classified Business Directory and Membership Roll of Clearwater Chamber of Commerce
and Interesting Facts abomt Clearwater.


~~/Zw& S~rTl&(V5

Source: "Map of the Pensacola Sea in Florida" from Florida State Geological Surtey.




point in the county, 100 feet above sea level.5 The general average of the
ridge is between 60 and 75 feet. On the northeast side of Lake Butler lies
the smallest of these primeval islands. It is four or five square miles in area.
In contrast with the antiquity of the mainland, the keys are a mere 10,000
years old.6 Anclote Keys, the northernmost, lie about 5.5 miles off the coast.
Hog Island, six miles farther south, is close to the mainland, while Clear-
water and Pass-a-Grille Keys almost unite with it. The fact of the matter is
that the sandy beaches of the west coast are not to be found on the mainland
but on the keys. While the residents of the southern part of the county have
beaches easily accessible, those in the northern part have none. The beaches
are a contributing factor in the growth of the southern end of the county as
a tourist resort.
Nature played the largest part in making Pinellas an independent county.
When Pinellas was a part of Hillsborough County, Tampa was the political
and business center of the area. It was a grueling trip from outlying parts of
the county to this city. For example, a man in Tarpon Springs, wishing to
make the trip, was faced by two choices. He could catch the "Short" at 7:30
in the morning for St. Petersburg, where he changed to the old Favorite Line
boat for a trip across the bay; or he could leave home at the same early hour
by way of the "Peavine" which wandered through Tarpon Junction and much
of Hillsborough County before arriving at Tampa around noon. It was an
easy matter to see that all that was necessary geographically to make Pinellas
peninsula a political unit was to draw one land boundary just north of the
Anclote River and another at right angles to it directly south to Oldsmar.
When the division from Hillsborough was finally effected, the natural barriers
were followed, and Pinellas became the smallest county in the state in land
area. Excluding the territory in the gulf and bays within the boundaries set,
the county had an area of approximately 309 square miles.7 Automatically
it acquired 128 miles of coast line, a length of 40 miles and an average width
of seven miles, its widest point reaching 14 miles. In this division were in-
cluded the gulf beaches, one of the major assets.


Next time you admire one of the lush garden spots of Pinellas County,
weigh the thought that, in all probability, one of our many vanished lakes once
covered the area.8 Until recent years the county was dotted with numerous
According to the figures of the county engineer, there may be some variation from the elevations
6 Cooke, op. cit., p. 74.
T This figure is from the Statistical Abstract of Florida Counties. The area of Pinellas County is
sometimes given as 439 square miles. This figure includes the waters in the gulf and bays within the
limits set for the county.
8 A comparison of the map prepared in 1913 by the Bureau of Soils of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture in conjunction with the Florida State Geological Survey with a present-day map will make
this disappearance startlingly apparent. A copy of the Bureau of Soils map is in the office of Pinellas
County Agricultural Agent at Largp,


lakes. A glance at a current map will bring home the fact that most of the
lakes have become a thing of the past. They have been drained away be-
cause of a wish to use the rich muck to be found in the lake beds or a desire
to rid the county of mosquito breeding areas. Of the remaining lakes, the
greatest number-certainly the largest of them-occur in the flatwoods, once
the old sea bottom. At the north end of the county is Lake Butler, 2,500
acres; at the south, Lake Maggiore, 350 acres; and just northwest of Safety
Harbor, Lake Bowden, 90 acres. Lake George and Lake Jerry, both about
65 acres, are in the central part of the county. Lake Largo, once one of our
larger lakes, has been drained away, leaving the richest pasture lands of the


county. On the flatland, just after the ridge land drops away east of Largo,
lies the fertile land this lake has left behind. It supports a thriving dairy
and a truck garden. Turner's Sunken Garden and Goosepond in St. Peters-
burg and Gooseneck in Clearwater present other examples of drained land
which provides rich soil.
On the other hand the loss of some of our lakes presents a problem. All
too often land gained by draining fails to balance loss to the surrounding land,
brought about by removing natural irrigation. Grove owners claim that
the draining away of Bee Pond near Tarpon Springs has removed one of the


factors that formerly helped alleviate the extremely cold weather in that area.
In very dry seasons drained muck land may be swept by fires and much of
the fertility destroyed. Moreover, the draining away of the surface waters
has greatly reduced one of the chief sources of our underground water supply
and at the same time has exposed more land which will require artificial
Pinellas county is on a slant. On the west lies the highland and on the
east the lowland. The creeks flowing into the gulf are short and few, while
those running to Old Tampa Bay are longer and more sluggish because of the
stretch of flatland they must cross. Chief of the lesser streams is Booker
Creek,9 which feeds Lake Butler. Other streams of some importance include
Curlew, Stevenson's, Allen's, Alligator, McKay's, and Joe's Creeks.
The one river of the north end of the county, the Anclote, meanders into
the gulf. A lazy flatlander, it lets itself be temporarily deflected southward
from its western course by an ancient sand bar.10 While this was not a practi-
cal thing for a river to do, aesthetically it created a picture of tropical beauty.
Along its wandering upper courses, where small boats must proceed with
caution lest they run into an alley blinded by saw grass, it turns into a post
card river. Here it is fringed by moss-hung trees at whose roots an occasional
alligator grunts coyly or belligerently, as the situation demands. As the An-
clote ambles by Tarpon Springs, it pulls itself together, shakes off its dreamy
beginnings, and goes utilitarian to provide a safe harbor for the sponge fleet.
The water resources of Florida present a paradox. Despite the abundance
of rainfall, the lakes and the streams, and the vast reservoir of underground
water, many areas of the state face serious water problems. The principal
source of water supply for cities in Florida is artesian wells. The cities and
towns of Pinellas County are no exception to this rule.
Because there is real danger of pollution of the surface waters of the
county, the cities of Pinellas use artesian well water entirely. At the present
time our underground water is free from the danger of pollution from sewage
that has come to some of the surface water that might be used for recreational
purposes. Plans for better sewage disposal are projected for the future so that
perhaps bayous, lakes, and bays so tainted can be salvaged.
The drain on the underground water supply of the whole state has become
increasingly large in recent years so that, according to Lacy Thomas, the water
table has dropped from two and one half to three feet." The causes of this
decline are found in this county as well as throughout the state. All water
withdrawn from artesian wells in Pinellas County, as in most of Florida,
SNot to be confused with the Booker Creek running through the ravine in St. Petersburg, which
is the one referred to by John A. Bethell in his History of Pinellas County.
"o Leverett, op. cit., says that this bar of sandy soil is one of a chain which may be related to the
islands that rose above the early sea and which now parallels the highway between Tarpon Springs and
Port Richey.
Thomas, "Water, Water, Everywhere," The Florida Grower, May, 1945, p. 12.


was originally rain. This presents a problem of source from two angles. Rec-
ords of the last 14 years show a decreasing rate of rainfall in the county,12
although this is probably a temporary decline. A contributing factor is the
lack of moisture in the air, resulting from the interruption of the normal flow
of moisture from sea to air to land. As the land has become denuded through
deforestation and burning over, more and more of the rain that does fall slips
into the lakes and streams so that now only about 25 per cent reaches the
underground reservoir.
During the past few years, a tremendous amount of underground water has
been wasted. Artesian wells that have brought in sulphur water have been
allowed to flow unchecked. As a result of this practice volumes of water have
been lost. This condition is very evident in the case of the large spring near
Oldsmar and may be noted in lesser springs over the county. In past years
many of the lakes where the escaping rain water might have been stored have
been drained completely away so that their fertile beds might be used. The
irony of this is that the very lands which have been optimistically drained
must in turn be artificially irrigated. The truck gardens and fruit trees
planted on the drained area need irrigation chiefly in the dry season when
the water level is at its lowest. Underground water seeks its own level as does
that on the surface; consequently, it is in the higher land that the dropping
down of the water level is most strongly felt. It is this higher land which has
been overdrained in many cases for which some sort of water control may be
necessary in the future.
An increasing population has caused a greater domestic use of water, and
growing industry has consumed more and more water for commercial pur-
poses. Since water cooling is still the easiest and cheapest means of air con-
ditioning, theaters, stores, and restaurants use it more often than any other
method. Millions of gallons of water are used in washing citrus fruit and in
cleaning fish.
The greatest danger to the water supply of the county is the possible in-
filtration by salt water into the deep wells. Wells that have been dug so deep
that they have brought in salt water have been left uncapped so that fresh
underground streams have been infiltrated. Ii earlier days.St. Petersburg had
its wells located on the southeast side of Mirror Lake, but with overpumping
and the falling away of the natural supply of water, salt water began to seep in.
Consequently, St. Petersburg's water is pumped 35 miles from Cosme-Odessa
where the 300-foot wells sunk in fields now in use are reported to have
a possible output of about 20,000,000 gallons a day. To provide for future
expansion the city has also acquired Weekiwachee Springs, the largest natural
outlet of the Tampa formation from which its Odessa wells pump water. The
water of the present wells has less than 200 parts of mineral content per
million, and this is refined to only about 90 parts in the purification process.
12 The Clearwater Sun, June 1, 1945.


Similarly, several years ago Tarpon Springs was forced to withdraw to its
original deep wells when Lake Butler, to which it had turned for its water
supply, grew almost as salty as the bay in dry seasons.'3 Clearwater and
Largo have 200-foot wells in their area, but since the keys have no source of
underground water, their water must be piped from the mainland. Pass-a-
Grille's supply comes from wells on the Indian Rocks Road, but these are
rapidly becoming inadequate.
The springs in Pinellas County are, for the most part, artesian in nature.
The source is the rain that passes downward through sink holes to great lime-
stone caverns far below the present water table to emerge through vertical
passages at sea level. There are four mineral springs at Safety Harbor. Much
has been claimed for the medicinal properties of these waters. A large spring
of lithia water at Wall Springs furnishes ever-flowing water for a swimming
pool. This water is said to maintain a temperature of 70 degrees the year
round. A sulphur spring boils occasionally in Spring Bayou at Tarpon Springs.
The passage through which the water flows upward from its deep cavern below
has some connection with Lake Butler, for the rise and fall of the water level
in the lake have some bearing on just when the spring boils.


The early settlers of Pinellas located on the best land of the patchwork
quilt spread out before them. In all probability they were guided by the
native growth they found rather than by an exact knowledge of the soil.
Pinellas' soils are spotty, but their pattern adheres in the main to the layer
cake pattern of the terrain. Actually there are four main types of soil to be
found in the county. Each type has subdivisions which differ in small ways.
On the ridge sections are found the well-drained, rolling uplands which
constitute the citrus belt. Here normally grew the oak scrub, the pine, and
the blackjack which have been supplanted by our citrus groves. Low in organic
content, this land has a gray surface and yellow subsoil and is sometimes
Lying between the uplands and the flatwoods are marginal soils which
possess intermediate properties of both the uplands and the flatwoods. These
soils appear usually on sloping pine land and hammock land or on nearly level
to undulating hammock land. The largest area of this type of soil is in the
vicinity of Pinellas Air Base. This type of soil ranges in color from black to
gray surface soil and often has yellow, yellowish-gray, or white subsoil. The
natural vegetation of this kind of soil is pine, hammock hardwoods, and grass,
along with cabbage palmetto. The surface is near the water table, and the
ability .of these soils to hold water is a factor in their selection for the culti-
vation of truck crops and citrus fruits.
"s The St. Petersburg Times, Sunday, June 10, 1945.


The poorly drained soil appears in the eastern part of the county in the
flatwoods. It culminates in the section east of Lake Butler in a very poor soil
of almost quicksand nature.
The west side of the keys has a beach sand composed of whole or roughly
broken shells which have become solidly packed by the beating of the waves
and which possess little or no organic content. Because the keys are wave-
beaten, erosion of the beaches has presented a serious problem. Public beaches,
such as that at St. Petersburg Beach, which formerly had a wide expanse of

S -


sand, have been cut away. Many cottages have their own sea walls to keep
from being undermined.

How do you like your vitamin D? Pinellas County offers it in outsize doses
from the sun's rays. For 34.5 years it has been the policy of a St. Petersburg
newspaper to give away its home edition every week day the sun does not
shine on the city up to press time. During that period there has been an
average of only 4.75 free papers a year, a total of 154 papers over the whole
time. This record allows Pinellas to preen itself as the sunniest spot in Florida,
since the average number of cloudy days over the state has been given as 84


days per year.14 March, April, and May offer the peak average of 8.55 hours
of sunshine, but even December, January, and February provide an average
of 5.9 hours of sun a day," so that the winter months afford abundant sun-
shine as a tourist attraction and health factor.
Florida may be broken into three climatic belts-a modified continental
for north Florida, a semitropical for central Florida, and a subtropical for south
Florida. Pinellas falls in the second of these. Even between Tampa, the
chief weather station for this area, and St. Petersburg there may be variations.


For this reason, most of the information included herewith has been taken
from the findings of a St. Petersburg newspaper. The paper's thermometers
are in shelter 42 feet above the ground, and their rain gauge is 33 feet above
it. The ground at this point is 31 feet above sea level.
Had you been in St. Petersburg on July 13, 1932 or July 22, 1942, you
would have sizzled in a temperature of 97 degrees. Had you been there on
February 3, 1917 or January 28, 1940, you would have shivered at 29 degrees.
Despite these extremes, the normal temperature range is between 55 and 90
degrees, an average of about 73 degrees. On August 2, 1915, you would have
14 Tampa Sunday Tribune, Sunday, November 30, 1941.
Note: This figure includes Sundays which are not reckoned in The Evening Independent's St.
Petersburg record.
1' U. S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau, Climatic Summary of the United States,
Section 105, Southern Florida, p. 105.


sloshed about in 15.45 inches of rainfall and in November, 1931 and October,
1942, have wondered whether it would ever rain again. You have a right to
expect from one inch in dry November to nine inches and over in July or
August, the peak of the rainy season, when about 60 per cent of the annual
rainfall occurs.
The cradling waters of the gulf and the bay bring warmer air to Pinellas
County. Between the middle of December and the middle of February there is
some danger of frost, but within the period of the last 31 years, freezing temper-
atures have been recorded only 13 times. The insular character of the
peninsula does not bring the excessive dampness that might be expected. On
an average the humidity rises at night to about 80 per cent but drops with
the rising daytime temperature to about 50 per cent. During the months be-
tween November and March wispy bits of fog may stream from the hollows of
the county, but the days in which real fog rises average only 10.16
For the most part a mild breeze from the northeast drifts over the county,
only occasionally spiced by a strong wind. Although at times a tropical hurri-
cane passes by near enough to bring stiff winds and high tides, the chances
of this area's being visited by a severe hurricane have been calculated to be
about once in 30 years.17
16 Mitchell and Ensign, Climate of Florida, p. 120.
Annual Meteorological Summary with Comparative Data, published by The Evening Independent.




The young settler paused a moment to look upon this land to which he
had ventured. He drew a long breath of satisfaction. Here before him,
glistening with dew in the early morning sunlight, his for the taking, lay

This other Eden, demiparadise,
This garden built by Nature for herself
For quiet rest and healthy recreation:
This happy home for men, this little world,
This emerald pendant on a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a store
Of wondrous treasure, open to the touch
Of eager hands exploring 'long its shores
This little realm of trees and birds and flowers.'

It was a fairly open country, some rolling, some flat, with occasional
hammocks, swamps, and salt marshes. Islands were not far distant from the
shore. The waters between, making peaceful lagoons, offered immediate
sources of food and the temptation to investigate ere any work was done.
The high open piny woods were covered with saw palmetto, several varieties
of huckleberries, and a native blackberry, unlike the northern species for it was
prostrate, which in moist soil near the hammocks formed dense coverts. The
longleaf pine, the spruce pine, and the slash pine were dominant trees. And
the glorious live oak afforded welcome shade.
Many kinds of shrubs grew on the high pinelands. There were three or four
species of dwarf papaws, the fruit insipid but edible. A member of the
primrose family, a cousin of the southern water pimpernel, bore in February
delicate, pink blossoms. And yellow jasmine climbed over the palmetto fans.
Myrtle, elder, haw, the wild olive or devilwood, with short racemes of white,
fragrant flowers, filled the spaces between the clumps of saw palmetto. In
February the lovely pink flowers of the fetterbush, a relative of the huckle-
berry, brightened the ground; and shortly, the blue and yellow violets showed
their flowers through the wire grass in the open spaces near the pines. Also,
a cousin of the northern Jersey tea, a shrub, low but very diffuse, bore in
February and March abundant, snow-white flowers. At about the same time,
springing up amongst the grasses were black root with its white blooms and the
purple cudweed whose flowers were woolly. Later wild oats sprang up to make
1 By Lois Morse, with apologies to Shakespeare.


a summer crop. Scattered here and there all through the open woods was
coontie, a peculiar plant of special interest to botanists.
In the more open flatwoods, the pines, mostly slash, were shorter and less
branched; the saw palmetto was lower and more scrublike; and the wire grass
was ranker in its growth. In the damp places violets and the lovely, shell-
pink blossoms of a bulb appeared for a brief time. The rose-purple blossoms
of the low spiderwort put in their appearance. The pale-blue blossoms of the
dwarf butterwort were as definitely harbingers of spring in Florida land as
were the blue flowers of the hepaticas in the northland.
In the open pinewoods could be found sparingly a member of the gentian
family whose beautiful, pink blossom, an inch across, appeared in January
through March. There, too, was found the cowberry, called by early settlers
the rosemary.
There were also areas of poor land clothed with a growth of blackjack
oak and spruce pine. The ground was sparsely covered with saw palmetto,
prickly pear, some air plants, sedges, a scrub palm, a scrub holly, and stunted
forms of shrubs found in the longleaf and slash-pine forests. An interesting
growth on the otherwise relatively bare ground was the reindeer moss, a lichen,
which was dry and crunchy until a rain; then it swelled to several times its
original size, mich like a sponge, and became soft and absorbent.
In the swamp regions cypress, red maple, gum, and water oak were common,
the cypress predominating. Cabbage palmetto was prevalent near the coast
where the soil was damp.
In the hammocks live oaks, water oaks, red and white bay, sweet gum, sour
gum, juniper, and hackberry were common trees. In really wet places there
was a plentiful supply of lovely red maple, swamp hickory, elder, elm, and
sweet bay. On the drier spots near the edges of the hammocks were holly,
magnolia, wild plum, and the beautiful, sweet-smelling, wild Cherokee rose-a
sturdy, shrublike vine.
The hammocks were a mass of growth. Some of the conspicuous vines were
Virginia willow; climbing hempweed, whose pink-white, flowering heads were
numerous in late autumn; the perennial, climbing milkweed; the wild grape;
bamboo vine; and the Virginia creeper. Poison ivy and poison oak made the
unwary miserable. The oaks struggled against mistletoe and Spanish moss.
In the deep shade Indian pipe flourished, and ferns of many kinds carpeted
the soil. One of the loveliest flowers in the hammock was the Carolina
aster, whose handsome blue flowers trailed high in the shrubs.
On the edges of the hammocks were found abundantly smooth sumac;
climbing cucumber, with small yellow flowers; coralberry, whose showy scarlet
flowers, in long racemes, appeared before the leaves in spring; and the farkle-
berry, which reached a height of 15 feet and bloomed in February. The hoary
lupine reached a scandalous height for a member of Lupinus. Here, too, was
found the beautiful liatris whose home is only in South Florida and whose deep


purple spikes delight the soul of him who gathers wild flowers in the fall. It,
with the goldenrod which grows near by, makes a beautiful bouquet.
The cypress and live oaks displayed many interesting air plants, among
them the little resurrection fern, the tree orchid, and 'a large; pineapple-like
form, with leaves sometimes a foot in diameter.
In the cactus thickets along the shore there were cabbage palmetto, Spanish
bayonet, buttonwood, prickly pear, wild fig, and sometimes, gumbo-limbo.
On the sandy shores amongst the grasses, wild. oats, sedges, prickly pear, cacti,
and goat's foot morning glory were found. Moonflowers grew luxuriantly
almost covering the cabbage palmetto. Sea grapes spread themselves over
the sand bluffs. Sometimes a pine grew erect prevailing against the wild
winds, and saw palmetto grew often to a size that belied the lack of fertile soil.
Here was a leguminous shrub, found only in south Florida near the coast,
and a large jointed cactus which bore yellow flowers.
The young settler looked across the bay to the enticing, restful green of
the mangrove swamps. Probably he did not know that they were swamps
until he found a way to investigate them. What did he find? At least three
kinds of mangrove: the common red mangrove, which made up the bulk of the
growth; the buttonwood, only 15 feet at its highest, for this was the northern
limit of the buttonwood which grows tall down in the Thousand Islands; and
the black mangrove, which may attain a great height here. It bore white
blossoms in July and August and was frequented by bees. The bark and roots,
according to tradition, are rich in tannin.


Through all this wealth of trees, shrubs, and grasses, deer roamed at will.
The black bear was plentiful; and so were fox, wolf, wild cat, panther, wild
boar, raccoon, mole, otter, rabbit, and opossum. Two varieties of skunk could
be recognized. The gray squirrel, the flying squirrel, the wood rat, and the
salamander led uneventful lives in the hammocks and high pinelands. Bald-
headed eagles built their nests year after year in the same pine tree. There
was a huge nest on Hog Island. Egrets were as plentiful as mosquitoes, and
the woods were filled with parokeets and lovely, pink curlews.
The young settler found a land not only rich in plant life but also abundant
in a great variety of bird life. The peninsula was the year-round home of
almost 100 different kinds of birds and the winter home of as many more.
There were also many summer birds, and birds that stayed but a few days
during their migratory flights. The mockingbird, the Florida blue jay, the
Florida cardinal, and the purple martins made their homes about his grove
and garden. In the spring he heard the chuck-will's-widow, and always scamper-
ing across his yard looking for grain which his chickens might have left was
the little bobwhite. Robins came by for a day or two in the spring, and often


his fields would seem to be a mass of grackles or red-winged blackbirds. Red-
headed woodpeckers, flickers, and sapsuckers made splashes of color, as they
ran up and down the trunks of the oaks and pines in their search for worms.
At night the little Florida screech owl told him in mournful tones that
it was doing its bit to rid him of mice and insects. In March he would, if
he took a stroll up his lane after dark, see the amber eyes of his ally, the
nighthawk, resting in the pathway after its meal of mosquitoes and night-flies.
Hummingbirds flitted over the honeysuckle and star jasmine vines that shaded
his porch, while high overhead the turkey buzzard kept an alert eye on the
ground below, watching for anything he might clean up.


In winter the bays were covered with duck, visitors for the season, while
all year many species of gulls, herons, and shore birds were a constant source
of entertainment to the family that spent the day at the beach or on the
shores of a lake. The pelicans were especially interesting, particularly the
white pelicans, which were quite numerous in the early days before civilization
became too obtrusive.
All nature was not as kindly as the birds to the first settler. He quickly
learned that he must not walk unattended through palmetto scrub or wade
carelessly through swampy ground. He found that there were several poisonous
snakes, not evident to the casual eye and, for that reason, the more dangerous.


They have managed to withstand the encroachments of mankind and are
still to be reckoned with.
The most deadly of these reptiles is the diamondback rattlesnake which
attains a length of over eight feet and a weight greater than that of any known
poisonous serpent. It always rattles ere it strikes and with vigilance one is
safe, but no sensible person goes plunging through saw palmetto without
watching for rattlesnakes. The little ground or pygmy rattlesnake is more
common. It seldom reaches a length greater than 20 inches and does not have
venom enough to make a person more than slightly ill. It is slow to strike
unless teased or frightened.
The cottonmouth moccasin, or water moccasin, own cousin to the highland
moccasin or copperhead, is one of the most deadly of the North American snakes.
Its average length is about four feet. It is a most disagreeable snake to look
at, dull-brown, heavy in body, with a short tail and chunky, ugly head. The
young are vividly marked,, pinkish, with red-brown, white-margined, trans-
verse bands and a sulphur yellow tail.
The other poisonous snake in the county is the coral snake. The settler
often plowed one up to the surface when he turned over his fields. It looks
and acts harmless enough, but it is deadly poisonous. It rarely reaches three
feet in length and has very short fangs. Cotton gloves or gaiters are sufficient
protection against its bite. It does not strike at an offending object. Like
the cobra, which belongs to the same family, Elapidae, it bites with a chew-
ing motion. It is sluggish and stupid. There is a harmless garter that is often
confused with the coral snake; and since, in the interest of conservation,
no harmless snake should be killed, it is well to note the distinctions. The
coral is distinguished by a black snout and yellow band across the head,
followed by a black ring. In other words, the black rings are single and bordered
by pairs of yellow rings. In the harmless snake the snout is yellow, and the
yellow rings are single and bordered by pairs of black rings.
Snakes were not the only reptiles which menaced the unwary in the
swampy regions and in the multitudes of lakes and ponds throughout the
flatlands. Alligators were plentiful. Hunters came in from near-by sections
to kill them for their hides, but in spite of the hunting, alligators were common
all over the region for many years and are not rare at the present time.
With the advent of man, mammals all but disappeared. No deer now
are found roaming the woods. There are no bear. Once in a while a bobcat
is killed. Only the other day an otter was seen. The little Florida gray fox,
whose name, Urocyon cinereorgentatus floridanus Rhoads, is longer than his
tail, is practically a thing of the past. Its hue is reddish-gray; its body is long
and graceful. It is the only fox found this far south. On cool winter nights
one can sometimes hear the thin shrill bark of these little foxes.
While the larger mammals, like the deer, have gone with civilization's
advent, the squirrels, rabbits, and rats have more than held their own. One


mammal, the salamander, which is not a salamander but a pocket gopher,
throws up those piles of sand seen here and there through the open woods.
The fore claws are large and strong, the better that they may burrow!
Seeming to be what one is not naturally leads to the gopher turtle, which
is not a gopher but a tortoise. It makes a burrow, often to a depth of 12 feet.
These burrows are sometimes inhabited by rabbits, snakes, and toads as well
as by the tortoise. The gopher turtle is wholly herbivorous. It is said that they
make a delicious stew.


O. Henry says that the so-called human environment is but the unnamable
kinship of man and nature. And thus it would seem to be in this region.
Men came here to settle from many parts of the world. They destroyed much,
but, too, they built much. To the generous gifts of nature that they found,
people added generously from foreign lands. Some of the trees and flowers
and birds that were here when the first settler arrived have disappeared in
the process of building a human community; however, the natural beauty of
the region has been augmented by the importation of graceful palms and
beautiful subtropical flowering trees and shrubs native to many parts of the
world. Its beauty enhanced by man's thoughtful planting, the region is truly
a demiparadise.
Many seasons have come and gone since the first young settler contem-
plated the little world from which he would carve his home. One hundred
years later, following the call of the southland, the enticement of soft air,
bright sun, and salty breezes, came another young settler, but to quite a
different land. Paved highways had replaced the winding dirt roads of early
days. Citrus groves spread over acres and acres of the rolling piny woods, their
deep-green foliage in pleasing contrast with the lighter green of the native
growth. Thriving communities had sprung up here and there with homes
elaborate or simple, according to the circumstances of those who had sought
here a haven from the cold, an opportunity for a happy and successful life.
So diversified was the growth, so varied the possibilities for building a
home, that the modern young settler decided he would live here one year be-
fore making his final choice of locations. So the young man lived observing
the changing seasons. He noted that, by careful selections, it was possible all
the year to have a succession of beautiful growth about his home. Lovely
lawns could be had with St. Augustine or centipede grass. Shade trees of oaks,
magnolia, and camphors withstood the ordinary cold of winter and remained
green the year through, although they fairly shone with bright, fresh, green
leaves in the spring.
Simple country homes set in the midst of groves bore jeweled testimony
to the versatility of the soil and climate when proper thought and care were
given to the planting. Here he found a spacious yard of St. Augustine grass


f, '




bounded by hibiscus. The simple, comfortable home seemed to grow out of a
mass of green foundation planting, pittosporum, or possibly ligustrum, which
well withstood occasional frosts. He saw that crotons, in a variety of colors,
made pleasing contrast to the solid greens of the plantings, and that they, too,
withstood mild cold and were not too particular about the soil. Nor did any
home seem quite complete without its foundation planting or hedge of surinam
cherries. Their glossy leaves were pleasing, and their tomato red fruit were
good to eat in the spring and for making jelly. He found, too, that the plum-
bago which bore lavender flowers in the summer, would grow in fairly good
soil with very little care; that the podocarpus, with its glossy foliage, made a
pleasing corner planting; and that the light-green thryallis had abundant
yellow blossoms in the summer.
Off to the side of the house would be the usual flower garden, a mass of
glowing color, with zinnias and marigolds in the summer; in the winter
sparkling with all sorts of bright flowers, calendulas, snapdragons, delphiniums,
asters, and lovely chrysanthemums. The gardens caused a wave of nostalgia,-
everything almost that lived in the memory of childhood's gardens seemed
to be here, all but lilacs, tulips, and dahlias. One garden boasted a pansy
bed, with little faces looking up at him, exceeding anything of the sort in
size and variety of color which he had seen in more northern latitudes. Sweet
peas grew tall and luxuriant for a brief period during the colder weather, while
gladioli bloomed to some extent for all save the three summer months. Obvi-
ously any kind of flower garden one could desire might be had for the making.
Roses? Yes, beautiful ones, gorgeous in the winter and bearing some in the
summer if they were shaded from the direct rays of the sun. The young man
learned that almost any rose that was grafted to Texas wax or Cherokee stalk
could be raised in Pinellas and that the bushes bloomed so profusely they
wore themselves out and had to be replaced every few years.
In the spring he was delighted at the massed beds of Easter lilies and
callas that seemed to grow just in time for the Easter season. The Easter lilies
growing out in the open often have six or eight blooms to a stalk, and more
are not unknown. The youngster made a mental note that lilies were to be
among his "musts" in his future garden.
"And what is that mass of flame which seems to be consuming the garage
off in the background?" he thought one day, as he drove by a lovely place, a
veritable riot of color. He found it to be bignoniad or flame vine. For
three months of the winter it burned in glory over buildings and high up
into the pines. It even covered the fences of chicken pens and vegetable
gardens. But he learned that it did not thrive in too rich soil or with too much
care. For that reason it grew well on beach property, where it makes a good
fence cover or shade for a sunny porch.
Another cause for the riotous color of this place was the huge clump of


poinsettias, growing tall against the base of a chimney and reaching up past
the windows on either side to make a Christmas card picture for those inside
the house. The blossoms were often 10 or 12 inches across and usually reached
perfection at the Christmas season. At the same season the crimson lake
bougainvillea was gloriously in bloom on the trellis over the patio.
In the spring and early summer, as if to keep one in mind of the red
flowers of winter, there came tiptoeingly out of grove, pausing on the brink
of the lawn, a lovely, deep-green bush with clusters of vivid red blossoms,
flame-of-the-woods. Its sudden beauty against the greenness of the grove made
the young man catch his breath with sheer pleasure.
Not all plants and shrubs bore red flowers. The yellow allamanda, the
yellow-flowering elder, the purple bougainvillea, and the weeping lantana, a
vine with small lavender flowers, could all be made into vines or shrubs by
training and would grow in poor or good soil and in direct sunlight. They
offered considerable scope in planning the yard and garden. And there was
the versatile oleander in several shades. It lent itself to all sorts of conditions,
as a screen, hedge, bush, or little tree. It grew on the beach; it was an ex-
cellent windbreak. Best of all, it bloomed through all the months of spring
and many of summer. That no home should be without some oleanders was
Quite unexpectedly one day at just the right time of spring the young
man came upon a home in a section of cleared hammock land. Some of the old
trees had been left, and their shade made an ideal setting for a lovely azalea
garden. He found upon inquiring that azaleas need shade and a rich acid soil.
If the soil is not acid enough, the lack may be rectified by the addition of
aluminum sulphate. Azaleas are particularly beautiful early spring flowers. So,
also, are gardenias, camellias, and japonicas grown in the same sort of environ-
Over there in the distance was a little stucco house in a fresh green setting.
It, too, was almost all green. It was literally covered with climbing fig which
clung without support and had to be trimmed away from the windows and doors.
"It is a lovely thing," he thought; "it makes a living house in a living garden."
In the same garden he saw for the first time the beautiful vine thunbergia
grandiflora, whose heavenly blue flowers were delicate and most sensitive to cold.
This vine makes a splendid covering for a pergola or a heavy screen for a patio or
porch if it can be protected from sharp winds or heavy frosts.
As the young man dreamed about his future home, he could not help being
most uncertain about the flowering trees he might have. There were the willowy
jacaranda, with its masses of purple, bell-like flowers in the spring; the magnifi-
cent royal poinciana, one of the most glorious flowering trees in the world; the
mountain ebony; and the lovely delicate acacias. Unless he had a larger place
than had been anticipated, he could not have them all; yet all were so lovely;
how would he choose? Perhaps he would have palms instead! There were even
more palms than flowering trees from which to select.


He remembered one place where the royal palms, their glimmering, pale-
gray trunks reaching to a height of almost 100 feet, lent an eerie sense of tropical
beauty almost overpowering in the bright moonlight. Obviously they were too
imposing for a small place; but there were many other palms, all apparently doing
well in this region, from which he could choose. Among them were Washing-
tonia, Cocos plumose, the majestic Canary Island date, Senegal date, the widely
planted cabbage palmetto, coconut, and spindle.
Besides these there were numbers of smaller trees, odd and exotic. How
much he would like some of these, but which ones? A kapok tree and a woman's
tongue were odd, different, and offered shade. The Jerusalem thorn, the pud-
ding-pipe, and the sausage tree were curious ornamentals. As the newcomer
had seen each growing in the more elaborate city estates, he had quivered with
desire to possess such a one. Others that intrigued him greatly were the lovely
ornamental fruit tree, rose apple; the tall erect flame tree, with its gorgeous
scarlet-orange, tuliplike flowers; the cajeput or punk tree, which makes an ex-
cellent windbreak or background and withstands salt-water spray, drought,
and a slight frost; and the maidenhair tree. It would be grand to have any
or all of these.
Little trees, almost like shrubs, which took so little room were Traveler's
palm, Phoenix, pygmy date, and Sabal. Most of these would grow on the
beach, too, if that were where he finally settled. Of course, there were the Aus-
tralian pine and the Australian silk oak. He had almost forgotten them. Ap-
parently they would grow anywhere; the pine particularly enjoyed the contest
with nature which the beach offered. While the homeseeker was thinking of
the beach, he made a note that Spanish bayonet and striped century plant were
prospective inhabitants of his lot there. Sansevieria would make a good foun-
dation plant there, and lantana, an excellent background, one of the few beach
plants having abundant blooms. The moonflower would grow there, too, as a
lovely, flowering, summer vine. The young man sighed. If he were not care-
ful, both he and his lot would be choked in a jungle of trees and shrubs.


One afternoon while he was prowling about, he noted a marvelous clump
of bamboos growing by a pool in a golf course. He went over and there in the
pool found some lovely lilies. General Pershing (purple-pink), Panama Pacific
(blue), and Augustus Kock (purple) were day blooming lilies; and two were
night blooming, Frank Trelease (red), and June (white). They were beauti-
ful things. A thrill went through the young explorer.
"Ah," he thought, "a pool will be an important feature of my future
garden, a pool, lilies, and bamboo making oriental shadows dance on its surface
in the moonlight. And I'll have night-blooming cereus climbing up the boots
of my palmettos, and night-blooming jasmine to add to the tropical charm.
I'll sit by my pool of an evening and dream."


Little did he reckon the mosquitoes which do not dream in the evening.
But he should have remembered them! How often, when he had been visiting
with the growers and householders, had he heard complaints about the insect
pests and the constant struggle man waged against them in the protection of
his plant and animal possessions. But surely there must be some solution.
The young man, as he rested in the dark, quiet evening, thought earnestly
about the problem, his mind running along in the following vein:
Nowhere in the fields of fact or fancy can there be found more surpassing
marvels than are to be discovered among the nimble folk whom most people
dismiss from their minds as mere bugs. Man speaks proudly of such epochs in
his own history, as the Stone Age, the Iron Age, and the Age of Electricity;


but, in terms of epochs immeasurably longer, this is preeminently the Age of
Insects. They are the dominant life of the faunal world. There are over
400,000 living species as compared with 4,500 species of mammals. The next
approach to them in antiquity, as well as in number of species, are the mollusks
with 50,000 known living species. To put it in another way, within the
radius represented by an hour's motor ride more kinds of insects may be
found than there are species of birds in the whole world, and within an hour's
walk more kinds of insects may be found than there are species of mammals in
all creation. Insects were here eons before the first mammal appeared, and they
will probably be here eons after man's last city will have been buried beneath
the debris of thousands of centuries.


If the test of nobility is antiquity of family, the cockroach is the true aristo-
crat. Man is but the creature of the last 20 minutes as compared with the
cockroach which, from the kitchen sink, can point its antennae to the coal
in the hod and say, "When that was being made, my family was already well
Roaches have been with man since man began. They travel everywhere
with us. No ship ever sailed the seven seas without its cockroach passengers.
They have entered heart and soul into every great epoch-making movement
of peoples. It is not so much that the roach approves of human motives, as
that he likes what man eats. In addition to eating our food and clothing, the
roach helps us kill bedbugs.
It has been estimated that only about one per cent of the insect species
is directly injurious to crops, but these are so greedy and so prolific that they
do more than a billion dollars worth of damage each year in the United
States alone. About 50 per cent of all species is engaged in preying on other
insects, including those whose tremendous board bill we have to pay. Wasps
provision their nests with grasshoppers and caterpillars; parasitic flies lay their
eggs on cutworms and in the egg cases of other enemies. Dragonflies eat
mosquitoes, and the ladybird beetles combat San Jose scale and devour aphids
in our groves and on our roses. Our fruit crop in Pinellas County would be
of no value were it not for the winged messengers that carry pollen from
blossom to blossom.
Thus he philosophized, drawing on a store of knowledge, for he was a care-
ful student and a keen observer. Then he decided to ask questions of those
with experience and make notes of some of the important facts to guide him
when he finally began to live in Florida; for by this time he had decided defi-
nitely to settle in the Pinellas peninsula; and he had observed that the man
who succeeded best in growing plant or tree or grass or in just enjoying living
here was the one who understood something of the insect life of the region.
Following are some quotations from his notebook, the results of his efforts to
understand the insect life of the region as it affects man's welfare:
While a great many insects are definitely helpful to man and contribute
greatly to his economic welfare, countless others have a nuisance as well as
an economic value. Flies and mosquitoes are two classes of this sort. Spiders
catch and kill many flies; also, hornets kill tremendous numbers; but these
are not enough to safeguard man. There is definite proof that flies carry the
bacilli of typhoid fever, cholera, tuberculosis, and infantile diarrheal diseases.
The best control is better sanitation. Fly-traps, if properly made, are very
effective. Certain insect powders, such as pyrethrum, help. It is especially
good for ridding a kitchen of flies. A 40 per cent solution of formaldehyde
mixed with milk and water, a tablespoonful in a pint of water and milk, will
attract and kill large numbers. The proper use of screens is an essential pre-
caution. ,


The mosquito and its deadly work are too well known to require any ex-
position here, except to call attention to the fact that without water they can
not breed. Proper care in the disposal of empty tin cans and jars is neces-
sary. Fish should always be kept in garden pools to prevent hatching mosquitoes.
Sodium fluoride is a good control for cockroaches, poultry lice, and ants.
It is somewhat poisonous to man; therefore care should be taken in dusting
it about the room, not to inhale it, and in keeping it out of the way of house-
hold pets and children. An ordinary quart fruit jar baited with a piece of
banana is an excellent trap. Roaches may be killed with boiling water.
Cutworms are the larvae of any of several species of moths of the Noctuidae
family. There are 2,000 species of this family in the United States. While
all cutworms are noctuids, not all noctuids are cutworms. They can be dis-
tinguished from the white grubs, larvae of beetles, by the fact that they have
fleshy "prop-legs" on their abdomens. They may be destroyed before plant-
ing the garden by a mash made with one part, dry weight, of Paris green to
25 parts of bran, moistened with molasses diluted in an equal part of water.
This will kill chickens, too.
Nearly 500 species of fleas are known. They affect us in two ways: first,
they annoy us and our domestic animals by their punctures; and second, they
convey the causative organism of some serious diseases. Any of them will
infest human beings as well as pets. Cleanliness of kennels, beds, and the
animals themselves is essential to control. Four tablespoonsful of creolin to a
gallon of water will prove an effective bathing solution. It does not need to
be washed out of the animal's fur. Pyrethrum dusted on the animal will stupefy
the fleas. Most of them will fall from the fur if it is brushed vigorously. Then
they may be burned. Spraying with pyrethrum or benzene is a fairly success-
ful method of cleansing a room of fleas. It is said that spraying a room with
oil of pennyroyal will drive out fleas.
Ants as a whole may be considered as agents in making the earth more
habitable for man. They are aerators of the soil; they help in the decompo-
sition of organic substances; and they are great insect destroyers. Many species
are most annoying. In the house, tarter emetic mixed with honey or bacon
fat is effective in driving ants away. The mixture should be set in places
where ants congregate. Naphthalene flakes scattered on shelves and in corners
are helpful. If the nest can be found and is accessible, it may be destroyed
by treating with carbon disulphide. Because this is inflammable, care should be
exercised in its use.
Clothes moths have been known to the human race for thousands of years.
The Romans knew them well and gave them their name, Tinea. Sunlight
and air are the best protection. After sunning, airing, and thoroughly shaking,
clothes may be packed away in naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Placing
clothes in a cold storage vault is the safest way to protect them.
Red bugs or chiggers are exceedingly uncomfortable. They insert their


mouth parts into the skin and at the same time force the clawlike palpi down-
ward and backward, securely anchoring themselves in a position that enables
them to suck blood. They start a severe irritation and may secrete a poison.
After some hours, varying with individuals, a red blotch appears, accompanied
by intense itching which increases with scratching. In from 24 to 36 hours
a blister appears. Finally a scab forms, and when it falls off, a scar often re-
mains. Sulphur dusted inside hosiery and underwear before going into the
fields will give complete immunity to attacks by chiggers. Ordinary laundry
soap is a protection. One method is to wet the cake of soap and rub it on
each leg from the heel to four or five inches above the knee. When the soap
dries, the red bugs never get through it. To allay irritation, a weak solution
of ammonia applied to the affected areas is useful. Also, a supersaturated so-
lution of baking soda and water gives great relief.
Termites are most serious pests. Buildings should be inspected for them
periodically. The longer their infestation, the harder it is to get rid of them.
If these white ants are already in the wood, and it is possible to do so, cut
off their supply of moisture, and they will die. Nothing more is necessary.
Timbers may be treated by pumping the fumes from a mixture of white arsenic
and sulphur burned over coals into all parts of the nest. Cyanide gas forced
into the nests will kill them.
Screwworm is the larva of a small fly about two fifths of an inch in length.
It rarely infests man but gets into the wounds of animals. The animal should
be treated by a veterinarian.
Insects injurious to plant life are legion. To know the life history of the
insect, whether it is the larva or adult form which does the mischief and
whether it chews or sucks, is invaluable to man. For example, if it chews, the
insect may be poisoned by spraying arsenate of lead solution. If it sucks, it
must be dusted with some contact insecticide, such as tobacco dust.
Centipedes eat many insects and are desirable but not welcome guests in
a house. Their bite is no more serious than a bee's sting and varies with the
individual. Records of persons being bitten are rare.
Scorpions are very common in the region. There are several species of
them, varying in size from one and one fourth inch to three inches in length.
They are found in outhouses, barns, dwellings, rural mailboxes, lumber, and
piles of waste paper. Their sting is poisonous but varies with the individual's
sensitiveness. Sometimes it is necessary to call a physician, but ammonia and
camphor ordinarily give relief.
The only poisonous spider we have is the black widow. Its bite has been
known to make a person very ill. In some cases the bite is no more serious
than that of a centipede. This spider is found in outhouses, sheds, corners of
garages, and places where trash accumulates.
Most spiders are friends of man and should be protected. The big house
spider which runs about with its egg case clutched to its bosom disposes of many


insects. The yellow, garden spider which spins an almost vertical and striking-
ly beautiful web hangs head downward and patiently awaits her meal of young
grasshoppers. The silk spider is one of our most beautiful spiders. It is some-
times called the brush-legged spider, for on all but the third pair of legs are
whorls of setae which are so arranged as to suggest bottle brushes. It catches
many large insects.
Ticks are gigantic mites. They transmit cattle tick fever and Rocky
Mountain spotted fever which has spread from the mountains of the west to
as far east as Virginia. We have the chicken tick here, and the wood tick is
very plentiful. The cattle tick is somewhat in abeyance now, following an
extensive dipping period some years ago. The wood tick gets on dogs. The
most effective control is dipping the animal in a slightly weakened cattle tick
dip solution. .


And so the modern young settler came to the end of his year. He knew
what grew best, which handicaps were present, and with which enemies he
must contend. If the country had appealed to him at first, the appeal had
grown with the months of investigation. Somewhere in this lovely spot he
was about to make a home. He set himself with a singing heart to making
his selection. Surely, with such a wealth of beautiful plant life, one could
not go far astray.
Or could one? After two or three days of trying to make up his mind, the
young man decided to spend a week at the beach. He did not especially want
to go fishing, though there were plenty to catch. The waters surrounding
Pinellas County are the home of many excellent food fish. He might get bone-
fish, grouper, sea trout, Spanish mackerel, or mango snapper, and probably
some others. He could have a lot of fun spearing mullet or catching them
in a net. He wanted to wander up and down the beach and come to a decision
about his future.
So the young man went to the beach to spend a few days in seemingly idle
and aimless wandering. He found countless creatures that intrigued his in-
terest although there was not much plant life. Sometimes he found various
species of sponges of different types, often the glove sponge, or the glass sponge,
which is used commercially. Also, he found many specimens of coral. One day
he picked up a perfect little piece of staghorn coral and on another day, a fine
example of the brain coral. But he was more interested in the sea whips and
sea fans. Their appearance explains their family name, Gorgonacea, because
it certainly suggests the Gorgon's locks.
Quietly investigating the shores along the bay, the young man found hydras
and sea anemones, their arms extended to catch unwary little animals. The
sea anemones are often highly colored, as their names suggest, as, for example,
sea marigolds. They are colonial and sessile animals.


After a stormy night the homeseeker walked into a lot of Portuguese men-
of-war on the shore. They always attract attention, for they are a very beautiful
purple-lavender color and have a crest which catches the wind when they
are on the water. The settler found to his sorrow that they sting frightfully
when stepped upon by bare feet.
He got to be quite friendly with some of the fishermen. One day one of
them showed him a five gallon jug of sea water with multitudes of baby sea
horses and pipefish. The adults attain a length of four or five inches, but the
babies are less than half an inch in length. In both species the male in-
cubates the babies in a pouch in its body. These little creatures always arouse
much interest. So does the cowfish, another tiny fish of usually four or five inches,
when it is caught, but really attaining a length of 10 or 12 inches. These fish
can assume at will the color of their surroundings. In their normal state under
water they are a greenish-yellow color.
Balloon fish and porcupine fish are quite common near the shores. As their
names suggest, they puff up to several times their natural size when captured.
The young man got a couple of specimens to dry and preserve as souvenirs.
Sometimes a fisherman would bring in a sand shark or a hammerhead. Neither
of these is dangerous to man, but they are troublesome to fish, and fishermen
dislike them very much. Nor do they like the sting ray. The fisherman showed
him the stinging spine in its whiplike tail. It is a vicious instrument and can
do a man much damage. These sting rays found in Pinellas bays are usually
one or two feet in width, although specimens 20 feet in width and weighing
3,000 pounds have been found.
He grew to be very friendly with one man who prevailed upon him to go
deep-sea fishing. He had the usual beginner's luck and brought back several
red snappers and kingfish. He would have liked to go out for tarpon but did
not get the chance. They are such a gamy fish he thought it would be fun to
tussle with one. Much to his surprise he did catch an octopus and found its
construction most interesting. The fisherman showed him some squids which
are cousins of the octopus. They are queer creatures capable of taking on the
color of their surroundings and thus escaping detection. The settler wondered
how many he had looked upon without knowing it. The squid has 10 arms,
with sucking disks. These are for holding its prey. The octopus has eight arms,
otherwise the two are much alike. They both swim backwards quite rapidly by
forcing water from a siphon. The squid can also emit an inky substance which
clouds the water and assists it to escape or to catch its prey.
The youth did not see many crabs along the beach. He discovered the little
fiddler crab, which acts as a scavenger and does more than its share in keeping
the beaches clean. However, he saw examples of most of the species that are
common in the waters about Pinellas, the stone crab, lady crab, blue crab,
edible shrimp, and some others. The soft-shelled crab of commerce is the blue
crab caught in the period just after molting.


The thing which gave the young man the most pleasure and satisfaction
was his daily walk along the shore looking for shells that were rare and per-
fect specimens. Of the 400 species and dozens of subspecies found along the
gulf coast, a large majority are found on Pinellas beaches.2 In the course of
the week he picked up good examples of many of them. He found some
lovely species of scallops or pectens. This is one of the shells renowned in
early history; the crusaders used it as an emblem. He gathered the pen shell
which in olden days produced cloth of gold, the coquina from which he
made himself a delicious broth, the left-handed whelk, and, once, to his great
joy, a fine example of Junonia. He was fortunate enough to find a king's-
crown, one of the shells most destructive to oysters. Only the giant band shell
is capable of attacking and destroying the king's-crown.
It was fine to walk along the shore in the early morning or at dusk and
watch these curious creatures feeding in the shoals. Sometimes he saw a sand
dollar or a Florida starfish, reddish in color and distinguished by an orange
spot near the base of one of the rays. Another starfish he often found was the
gray starfish. Starfish are enemies of oysters, and oyster gatherers dislike them
When the tide was out, he sometimes found sea urchins or sea pincushions,
the latter name being more descriptive. They are clothed in deep purple or
reddish-brown spines moving on the ball-and-socket joints. Once in a while he
would find a sea cucumber, of which Pinellas has two species. They are curious
creatures, capable of coughing up their'stomachs for an enemy to eat and re-
tiring to a secluded nook to grow a new one. This power of regeneration is a
characteristic of the whole group.
One morning the young man found a hermit crab backed into a shell of
pale tulip, and thrill on thrill, he saw a female horseshoe crab come out of

2 Dr. Malcolm MacLeod, Pass-a-Grille, Florida, formerly with the University of Florida, Gainesville,
kindly aided in the selection of the shells most commonly found along our shores. Following is a list of
those which he suggested:

Large cockle (Cardium robustum)
Sun ray clam (Macrocallista nimbosa)
Rose petal (Tellina alternate)
Cross-barred Venus (Chione cancellata)
Surf clam (Spissula solidissima similis)
Transverse ark (Area transversa)
Plaited shell (kitten's claw) (cat's paw)
(Plicatula gibbosa)
Jingle shell (baby's foot) (Anomia simplex)
Angel's wing (Pholas costata)
Rose cockle (Cardium isocardia)
Razor clam (Solen viridis)
Ponderous ark (widow's shell) (Noetia ponderosa)
Chest rock oyster (Echinoe chama arcinella)
Pearly cat's eye (Natica duplicate)
Conch (Strombus gigas)
Florida button shell (Modulus modulus
Baby's ear (Sinum perspectum)
Coffee shell (Melampus coffeus)
Marginella (ruddy rum shell) (Marginella
Pointed Venus (Anomalocardia cuneimeris)
Key-Hole limpet (Chinese hat) (Volcano shell)
(Fissurella barbadensis)

Florida drill (Urosalpinx floridana)
Pale tulip (Fasciolaria distans)
Panama (lettered olive) (Oliva sayana)
Apple murex (Murex pomum)
Florida cone (Conus floridanus)
Worm shell (Vermicularia spirata)
Egg cockle (Laevicardium serratum)
Florida lucina (Lucina floridana)
Purple or tulip mussel (Modiolus tulipus)
Spotted clam (Callista maculata)
Turkey's wing (Arca occidentalis)
Florida cardita (Cardita floridana)
Channeled labiosa (Labiosa lineata)
Noah's ark (Area umbonata)
Fighting conch (Strombus pugilis)
Auger shell (Terebra protexta)
Florida bubble (Bulla occidentalis)
Brown horn shell (Cerithium floridanum)
Paper fig shell (Fiscus papyratia)
Rice shell (Olivella mutica)
Lace murex (Murex rufus)
Chinese alphabet (Conus proteus)
Bleeding tooth (Nerita peleronta)


the sea to lay her eggs at the tidemark. These are very ancient creatures, com-
peting with the cockroach in the matter of early lineage. In fact, their classi-
fication in the animal kingdom is a matter of debate.
Altogether it had been a most satisfactory week. The quiet walks along
the beach and the thoughtful contemplative hours of lying on the sands had
given this newcomer a tranquility of spirit before unknown to him. "Truly,"
he thought, "Byron was right, when he said:
'There is rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar.'"
He knew beyond a doubt that life in this region is good and that he should
choose well of its gifts and make for himself a well-nigh perfect abode amidst
the trees and flowers and birds.








Pinellas County has grown rapidly, steadily, and soundly, combining
natural and man-made resources into one of the world's attractive resort centers.
For the most part, it is peopled today by men and women who like the
better things of life, who have, in many instances, contributed richly to the
cultural life of community, state, and nation, and who have attained to a
high standard of civic responsibility. A complete description of living in Pinellas
could not be presented in the short space of one chapter. However, an effort
is made to suggest some of the population characteristics and to cover briefly
types of homes and institutions which are conducive to an industrious, con-
tented, educated, healthy, and happy people. Perhaps the brief description
will stimulate others to study more fully the rich human resources of the county.


In 1945, 130,268 persons lived in Pinellas County. For over 100 years the
population of the region had increased steadily. Within the past quarter of a
century, the increase has been remarkable. And yet today Pinellas is not a
densely settled area; for in the main the great concentration of population is
in the urban centers, particularly in St. Petersburg in the lower part of the
peninsula. The flat pinelands are sparsely settled, and the very pattern of
settlement is, or can become, a source of problems for those who seek healthful
and happy living. A glance at the population map on page 54 will show where
the people live.
As a regional unit Pinellas County follows much. the same pattern as the
whole of Florida. Just as Florida divides itself physically, climatically, and
culturally into three divisions, so Pinellas may be divided. In like manner,
when Pinellas County is considered in relation to the Southeast, the striking
contrasts observed in such a comparison only highlight the strong bond be-
tween county and state, for the same contrasts are exemplified when Florida
is considered in relation to the Southeast. Two constant factors stand out in
the development of Florida. In all the changes that have come to the state,
these two factors have changed relatively little. One is the fact that Florida
is a region of great area and few people-the second state in land area east of
the Mississippi River. The second constant factor is the migratory character
of the people. The population has never become rooted; never has the natural
increase of population caught up with the influx of newcomers. Pinellas
County is a small area with sparsely settled patches and fairly dense popu-


lation in urban centers, but its population has not lost its migratory nature.
Two thirds of the total population is migratory.
Evidence of these two constant factors is shown in the very nature of the
line of development followed in Florida. Circumstances forced upon Florida
a pioneer pattern of development. The same circumstances set Florida apart
from the Southeast and allied the state with the western states in the pioneer
phase of the western expansion movement. Like the western states Florida
waxed strong in the golden age of railroad building and land booms. The
Pinellas region was swept along with the tide and gained and lost with the
rest of the state. So great was the influence of pioneer life that Florida and
Pinellas still enjoy the virility of pioneer fervor.
According to statistical records of 1890 the population of St. Petersburg
was 273.1 In 1945 the population of St. Petersburg was 86,164. In 1890 the
Van Bibber report to the American Medical Association was only five years
old; the tourist had not yet discovered Pinellas. In 1945 St. Petersburg was
only 21 hours from New York, and the tourist had possessed the city. In
1920 the entire population of Pinellas County numbered only 28,265. By
1945 the total population was five times that number.2 For other population
facts and characteristics, the reader should study the table on the population
l United States Census, 1890.
2 Cf. figures released by State Census Director as quoted in St. Petersburg Times, June 12, 1945.



309 sq. mi.

Density of Population
347.9 per sq. mi.






St. Petersburg

Tarpon Springs

Safety Harbor


Pinellas Park

1940 1945

10,136 15,051

1,758 2,647

1,581 3,443

1,031 1,335

60,812 86,164

3,402 4,716




Composition of Population

Male 4
Female 4

White 7
Negro 1

Urban 7
Nonfarm 7
Rural 1


Rural and towns
under 1,000

Total population
of county

14,713 14,549

91,852 130,268

Native white
Foreign born

Tourist population
(Est. 1940)







15,359 Income tax returns in 1942 or 171 per 1,000 population

*Sources: 16th Census of the United States, 1940.
Statistical Abstract of Florida Counties, May, 1944.
Pinellas County Airport, July, 1944.
State Census Director, 1945.



50 !frPLEl




In this chapter we shall explore briefly the ways the people of the various
communities live-the little things and the big things, the ordinary things and
the unusual things they do, as individuals and as groups, to shape their lives
and to seek happiness in living. All do not live alike. Families who live in
the same apartment house often have different modes of living. One's
neighbors may live quite differently from oneself. Those in one section of a
city or county may be almost foreign to those of another. This is due to such
factors as race, nationality, religious faith, development of the various com-
munities, and economic or social status.
The bulk of the population live in the cities and large towns. Interest-
ingly enough, practically 50 per cent of the urban population own their
homes.3 Many of the homes are small cottages or bungalows, with wide
verandas, which, screened and furnished, serve as an outdoor living room.
Where a house and garage are connected, the screened breezeway is often used
as a summer dining porch. Some homes savor of Spanish architecture, with
the patio, while more recent ones are modernistic with straight lines and steel
frame corner windows. A few are of block glass construction.
Electrical equipment and telephone service are in common use. In many
instances, fuel oil heaters have replaced old-fashioned wood stoves. Frequently
solar water systems utilize the sun's rays for convenience and economy. Home
owners have landscaped their yards with tropical and subtropical shrubs and
trees, some of which not only enhance the beauty but also provide fresh,
edible fruits. Rose gardens, flowering vines, and flower beds give touches of
color. In the suburbs small vegetable gardens and chicken yards are numerous.
A 15 to 30 minute ride, by bus or trolley from the shopping center, will
reach a great majority of the attractive homes'in St. Petersburg, while Clear-
water, Dunedin, and Tarpon Springs can be reached within an hour by auto
from St. Petersburg. Many householders are retired. Some have come with
physical handicaps or have arrived as hopeless invalids. They are now living
normal, active lives.
Rural families constitute a smaller but nonetheless important group of
citizens.4 All of us depend on the products of the soil. It follows that we are
then dependent on the farmer. In turn, the farmer depends on the city to
buy his produce. The interdependence of these groups necessitates a knowledge
by each of the problems and the life of the other. In general we who live in
cities know little of the rural life of Pinellas County. The difference between
living in a lively tourist city and on a quiet farm presents an interesting con-
In Pinellas cities people are moving about, shopping in the stores, browsing
St. Petersburg-the Important 40% of Tampa-St. Petersburg Markets. St. Petersburg Newspaper
Service, 1944.
Approximately 15 per cent of the population is rural. Cf. Table I in this chapter.


in the libraries, frequenting the recreation centers, and visiting on the green
benches. A continuous procession of automobiles with foreign license tags
reminds one of the number of states and even foreign countries represented.
Often long lines of people wait at cafeterias. Chambers of commerce, tourist
centers, hotels, stores, and shops bend their energies to accommodate the
tourists. On the other hand, the farmer, with his quiet daily routine, substi-
tutes crops and the varied duties of farm life for the business activities of the
Most rural families own their farms. The house, yard, and farm buildings
are not necessarily indicative of the financial status of the family. Farmers


live well-better than town people who have to buy all their food. They
raise food that is often most difficult to buy. Their pantries are well stocked
with all kinds of canned food-fish, chicken, beef, fruits, vegetables, marma-
lades, jellies, jams, and honey. Many a farmer's wife has taken state prizes
for her canning. If one stopped at a farm when honey was being extracted,
he would find everything sticky all over the place-everyone chewing a stick
of the comb-most delicious stuff. Honey may be used in icing, cookies, and
limeade. It is perfect as a topping for ice cream and fresh clabber.
Thrifty farmers derive a steady income from poultry. Some make money
from their gardens, especially those who raise green peas, little yellow squash,


spinach, watermelons, and tomatoes. Others supplement their incomes by fish-
ing. Most of them spend the additional money to improve their groves and to
help their children and grandchildren through school and college. The women
are interested in weaving. They use dyed feed bags for rugs and draperies.
Not all the rural families live as well as those described above. Many of
the farm homes are inadequate. They do not have the water supply, sewage
disposal, and modern conveniences of the towns and cities. County agencies
help these people utilize their resources. They also teach them first aid, canning,
and simple home nursing. Future Farmers of America and 4H clubs work
with boys and girls, and home demonstration and community clubs instruct


adults. Families who use these services are cooperative, and as a result, homes
in the rural areas are being greatly improved.
One of the interesting developments for Negroes is the Jordan Park Project
in St. Petersburg. It is under the local Housing Authority which is in no
sense an agency of the federal government. It is separate and distinct from
federal and state governments. It was created and organized by resolutions
passed by the city council of St. Petersburg.5
The project occupies 26 acres of land converted into a well-kept com-
munity, with beautiful lawns, flower beds, useful and ornamental trees,
f Cf. Sixth Annual Report, The Housing Authority of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida.


shrubbery, clean walks, and streets. It contains 63 dwelling units and one ad-
ministration building. It accommodates 446 families. A family seeking an
apartment must have an employer's cerrificate- and an income under a certain
ceiling. Normally rents range from $10 to $24 per month. Each family is
responsible for its own apartment and adjoining grounds. Included in the
project are playground equipment, a spray pool for children, and shuffleboard
and volley ball courts.
A Negro tenant aide on the management staff makes home visits, aiding
new and old tenants in standards of housekeeping; making note of repairs,
painting, or equipment needed; investigating complaints; and generally main-
taining liaison between management and tenant. The effect of better living
conditions is noticeable and far reaching. A nurse at a Negro clinic remarked
that patients from Jordan Park are clean and take advice readily.
The management reports a noticeable reduction in juvenile delinquency
since the opportunities for recreation were provided. Significant is the fact that
there has not been one conviction in the juvenile court from a resident of Jordan
Park in the past year. Emil Nordstrom, Executive Director of the Authority,
made the observation that the erection of Jordan Park has induced white owners
of Negro homes to remodel and improve their property.
This is the only housing project in Pinellas County. No one doubts that
slum areas are detrimental socially and economically to a community, costing
the community much more than the project. The conditions pointed out above
are sufficient proof of the advantages of such an enterprise.
The largest population group in the county is the tourist. It has been esti-
mated that, during 1944, 294,000 tourists visited Pinellas County. They were
attracted, in the main, by the climate and other resources.

Dwelling units 40,525
Per cent with electric lights 87.4
Dwelling units with radios 23,009
Per cent with radios 57.6
Hotels 265
Hotel rooms 10,650
Apartment buildings 1,097
Apartments 9,670
Trailer parks 27
Capacity (trailers) 2,047
Tourist courts 67
Cottages 1,060
*Sources: Statistical Abstract of Florida Counties, March, 1944.
Pinellas County Airport, July, 1944.


Hotels accommodate those who come for long or short periods of time and
who wish to live near restaurants, cafeterias, and recreation centers. Apart-
ment house occupants are seasonal tourists who desire to prepare at least part
of their meals. Many tourists capitalize on the region's sunshine by living in
camp and trailer parks, with their unrestricted outdoor freedom and recreational
Pinellas County has 67 tourist courts and 27 trailer parks, whose sites
vary in size from a few city lots to 240 acres. The former have over a 1,000
units; the latter have a capacity of more than 2,000. These camps operate
under rules and regulations of the State Hotel Commission and the State Board
of Health and must conform with certain sanitary standards.
There are cottages of only one room where one really camps and larger
cottages with all the conveniences ranging in price from $15 to $100 a month.
A local store, entertainment hall, and church service are features of some
parks. The most popular recreation is shuffleboard. Bingo, checkers, dancing,
pool, chess, and horseshoe pitching are a few of the leisure activities. One
of the larger camps maintains a club room for women, with writing desks and
sewing machines.
Many retired business men, with their families, patronize these camps, re-
turning season after season, while others remain only long enough to locate and
buy permanent homes. To the retired business man, living in moderate circum-
stances and seeking a warmer climate during cold northern winters, these
camps are a boon. To a family of growing youngsters needing training in the
quiet privacy of home life, where assuming responsibility is an integral part
of true living, these camps have little to offer.
Tarpon Springs, one of the most picturesque cities in Pinellas County,
has permanent residents and winter visitors. It also has a large percentage
of Greeks and is sometimes referred to as a melting pot for the Dodecanese
Islands. The population of the Greek colony is about 2,200. Included in
the colony are representatives from Rhodes, Karpathos, Chailki, Astypalia,
Tilos, Castelorizo, Nisyros, Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, and Palmos. Some
came from other islands in the Aegean Sea which have always belonged to
Greece, and others came from Athens and Sparta.
The Greek community is organized with a president, vice-president, secre-
tary, treasurer, and 10 members on a board of directors. On the board are eight
members from Tarpon Springs, one from Tampa, and one from St. Petersburg.
The board determines the religious and the school policies of the colony.
There is one Greek parochial school. After the Greek children have finished
the day in the public schools, they attend the parochial school and are taught
Greek grammar, composition, spelling, reading, history, and religion.
This community is one place in the western hemisphere where Hellenic
customs, habits, and traditions are practiced. Members of the Hellenic Ortho-
dox Community of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of ships and seafaring men,


work, live, love, and labor in an atmosphere characteristic of their ancestors.
The bell tolls the hour of prayer. As one tours through the Greek village, he
sees an array of odd sponge boats, divers' suits, coffeehouses, curio shops,
sponges, corals, and many oddly shaped objects of the sea. Here sturdy, sun-
browned, weather-beaten men, with sleeves and pants rolled up, heads and
feet bare, go about their daily tasks, conversing in a foreign tongue and un-
mindful of those looking on with curiosity.
Sponging is a hazardous and strenuous occupation and keeps the men away
from port for long periods of time. When they return, they lead a gay, carefree
life. It is not uncommon to see the coffeehouses thronged with sponge divers
sipping black coffee, playing cards, smoking, or reading the newspapers. The
coffeehouse is a distinctively Greek institution.
The Greeks eat highly seasoned foods. They like rich gravies, barbecued
lamb, fish, stews, and wines. In much of their cooking they use pure olive
oil, butter, and tomatoes.
Their homes are clean and well kept. Most of them are equipped with
modern conveniences and comforts. Their yards are landscaped with ornamental
and useful shrubs.
There are six outstanding Greek organizations. One is Philoptohos, a national
organization of the church. The purpose of this organization is to assist needy
people. This order built the Philoptohos Hall which is used for most social
functions. Another is Ahepa, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive
Association. Its purpose is to Americanize Greeks, promote cooperation, and
make them better citizens. The third is Daughter of Penelope, Women's
Auxiliary of Ahepa. During World War II both of these organizations con-
tributed much to the war effort. The other organizations are Kalymnian,
Chailki, and Symi Societies. They are basically relief societies.
On the sixth of January thousands of people of every faith and denomi-
nation visit Tarpon Springs to witness one of the most impressive services
conducted by the Archbishop of the Hellenic Orthodox Church. From the
tower of the church come the sounds of beautiful music. Priests, choir boys,
choir girls, members of the various Hellenic organizations in costumes repre-
senting their islands, officers of the American Army and Navy, civic officials,
and other persons of distinction march in a colorful procession. Solemnly, to
the chant of Byzantine intonations, they go to the great bayou where, in ac-
cordance with ancient tradition, the cross is thrown into the water; and young
men dive to recover it and bring it back to the Archbishop. Epiphany commemo-
rates the baptism of Christ by. John the aBaptist in the River Jordan. As the
cross.is thrown into the water, a dove is released, symbolizing the de-
scension of the Holy Ghost. By. this ceremony they believe the water is purged
and purified. The divers then set forth to harvest a new crop of sponges.
Another very colorful service of the church is celebrated at Easter. This
service begins during Lent, when special services are held each Friday night.


During Holy Week services are held every night. On Good Friday night the
sepulchre, beautifully decorated with white Easter lilies, calla lilies, and gar-
denias, is borne through the main street at midnight. The concluding service
is held on Saturday night. A few minutes before midnight the people assemble
on the steps in front of the church which is unlighted. They are dressed in
their best clothes and carry candles. The priest begins to read the service,
and at midnight the great bell in the tower rings 12 times. Suddenly the entire
church bursts into a brilliant light from many lighted candles, and the chimes
in the tower ring out "Christ Is Risen." As soon as the chimes have ceased,
the priest chants a blessing, and the entire congregation retires for the great feast.
They eat, drink, and rejoice throughout the remainder of the night. There is
no service in the church on Sunday.


As people live together in larger groups, they develop ways of meeting
their various needs as individuals and as groups. These ways are often re-
ferred to as institutions. For example, the school meets the need of education.
As time goes on, the institution takes on qualities that live longer than the
people themselves because of far-reaching effects on the community. The
effectiveness of an institution can be measured by the extent to which it
serves the people. Pinellas County is proud of the institutions which render
invaluable service to its citizens.
The religious life of Pinellas is evidenced by the many churches of numerous
denominations. St. Petersburg is often called the City of Churches. During
the tourist season double services are held on Sunday in some places to ac-
commodate the overflow of worshipers. The ministerial associations of the
various communities, although not embracing all faiths, include leading clergy-
men, who are working unitedly for the spiritual uplift of the region.
Pinellas County has provided educational facilities for its children compar-
able with the best in the United States. It is a significant fact that the school
program has been developed largely by superintendents who were in the
service of the system previous to their election and who have served for several
terms. The teaching personnel is selected on the basis of professional prep-
aration and successful experience in the educational field.
The county public school system has 48 white schools, nine colored schools,
and a vocational school. These figures include elementary, junior, and senior
high schools. They do not include the several nursery schools. All schools are
housed in modern buildings, equipped for the educational program, outfitted
with playgrounds, and provided with sanitary cafeterias where hot lunches are
served. A healthful school environment is provided for all children and in-
cludes physical as well as curricular aspects. A complete physical examination
is required of all teachers to assure a safe environment for the child. An up-
to-date fleet of school buses is operated to convey children to and from school.


The schools are accredited, and graduates are qualified to enter standard
colleges and universities.
The Tomlinson Vocational School, located in St. Petersburg, is outstanding.
The trade courses in carpentry, electricity, auto mechanics, radio, machine shop,
welding, printing, and mechanical drafting provide regular shop practice. Cosme-
tology courses which satisfy state and city license requirements; business courses
in typing, bookkeeping, secretarial work; home economics courses; hotel training
courses; and courses in the fields of selling are scheduled. Choices in trade
extension courses are offered in carpentry, estimating, blueprint reading, and
requested courses.
The Diversified Cooperative Training Program gives high school students
two years of actual trade experience under guidance while continuing their
high school studies. All credits earned in this manner are recognized. Gradu-
ating under this training, guidance prepares a pupil to enter the business
world immediately.
St. Petersburg Junior College gives a full two-year college program and is
accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
The Florida Military Academy and Farragut Naval Academy are in St. Peters-
burg. St. Paul's Parochial School, the Greek Orthodox School, business schools,
several private schools, and dance and art schools operate in the county.
Educational facilities are geared to serve all citizens.
S, There are several institutions whose purposes are to meet specific needs
of individuals. The Masonic Home cares for aged Masons and their widows
and orphans. The American Legion Hospital for Crippled Children renders
surgery and treatment to crippled children under the age of 20 years. The
Pinellas County Home provides a home or hospitalization for indigent white
and colored persons.
Largest of these special institutions is the Veterans Administration Facility
at Bay Pines. This government hospital includes 28 buildings located on 782
acres of land which is a peninsula extending into and tempered by the waters
of Boca Ciega Bay.
The principal buildings are a main hospital; two domiciliary barracks; a
spacious dining hall, with modernly equipped kitchen; a women's cottage in
which women veterans requiring domiciliary care are assigned individual
rooms; a recreational building, with library, pool parlors, patients' supply store,
and auditorium; and a home for nurses. Divine services are conducted each
Sunday in the auditorium.
Bathing facilities are provided at an additional reservation on the Gulf of
Mexico about two miles distant from the main grounds. In addition to salt
water bathing, regular classes in heliotherapy are conducted on the white
sand beach.
At the eastern end of the reservation is the veterans' cemetery of approxi-
mately 17 acres. The ground level has been raised about four feet above the


former level, and the cemetery has been completely drained by tile placed
well underground. The cemetery entrance is marked by a beautiful monument
of Georgia pink marble, centering a circular driveway bordered by appropriate
shrubbery. Each grave is provided with a flat, white marble marker showing
the name of the veteran, his rank and organization, the state in which he
enlisted, and the date of death.
At the present time there are 380 patients in the hospital and 805 members
in domiciliary status. Of the eight wards in the hospital one is set aside ex-
clusively for women veterans. Over 3,800 meals are served each day. The
medical staff consists of 26 physicians, 58 nurses, and 73 ward attendants.


The facility at Bay Pines also houses the regional office activities for the
state of Florida. A staff of trained personnel carries on the work incident to
adjudication of veterans' claims, of which there are 23,621 on file in this
office. The regional office was opened for business at Bay Pines on January
15, 1933, and the hospital was opened to patients on March 15, 1933.
One of the most important institutions in Pinellas County is the Health
Department. The growth and development of this agency demonstrates the
feeling of the people that health is a public responsibility. Public health work
originated through the efforts of the County Federation of Women's Clubs.
In 1918 they provided funds for the employment of a full time nurse to super-
vise and protect the health of the school population. Later they joined the


State Health Officer of Florida and invited the United States Public Health
Service to send its personnel into Pinellas County "for demonstration work
in the field of child hygiene."6 In November, 1921 the Pinellas County
Child Hygiene Unit was established and directed by Milton V. Veldee, Assistant
Surgeon, United States Public Health Service. Other personnel included a
nurse, clerk, microscopist, part-time dentist, dental hygienist, and nutrition
worker, all loaned by the Public Health Service. The local county school nurse
automatically became a part of the unit personnel. The county commissioners
provided office space in the court house; the women's clubs provided a Ford
touring car for transportation and took care of repairs; the Public Health
Service paid for gasoline, oil, and garage rent; and the State Board of Health
provided laboratory facilities and some of the office supplies.
The purpose of the demonstration was twofold: first, to comply with the
Sanitary Code of the State of Florida, Section 2020, which stated that all
children shall be examined as to their physical condition at least once during
the school year; and second, to demonstrate to the public the value of physical
examinations and preventive medicine as it applies to child and adult. Work
was largely confined to the schools. The unit closed in June, 1922.
As a result of this demonstration, the county commissioners employed two
school nurses to continue the work. Medical doctors in the region collaborated
with the nurses and assisted in the program by gratuitously immunizing all
school children against diphtheria and smallpox. In 1932 the county com-
missioners expanded the program through the establishment of a school dental
clinic. In the year 1936 the county commissioners appropriated a sum of
money for the establishment of a county health department. These funds
were augmented by the United States Public Health Service, Children's
Bureau, and the Florida State Board of Health. In July, 1936 the Pinellas
County Health Department was organized. The professional personnel con-
sisted of the director, a medical doctor specially trained in public health; five
qualified public health nurses; one public health dentist; and two qualified
sanitarians. At the present time the department receives financial support from
the same agencies but has an increased professional personnel who serve the
general public. Pinellas is one of 33 counties in the state which has an organized
health center.
During this period of 23 years a different program of school health has
evolved. The visiting personnel no longer plan the work and take it to the
schools. Health department and school cooperatively organize a program based
on the needs of individuals in the region. Teachers, parents, pupils, and public
health workers jointly administer the program. Emphasis has changed from
physical health to physical; mental, emotional, and social health.
Health education now occupies a prominent place in the program and in-
6 Veldee, Milton V. A Report of the Pinellas County Child Hygiene Unit, Pinellas County Feder-
ation of Women's Clubs, 1922, p. 1.


cludes individual health guidance as well as classroom teaching and community
education. Community education takes place through home visits, clinics,
newspaper articles, radio talks, films, posters, forums, discussion groups, and
the distribution of scientific and up-to-date printed material.
The public health program in the region has been expanded since its
inception in 1918. At present it includes service to mothers and infants, pre-
school and school children, and all groups suffering from illness. Health
education is an integral part of every service.

To a great extent man's manner of living is dependent upon his cultural
background. Our age is characterized by an unparalleled accumulation of
culture potentially capable of developing a finer life for all. Pinellas County
offers its residents numerous opportunities for improvement.
Every town in this locality has its public library. There are many private
lending libraries. Book shelves are common in the corner drug store. St.
Petersburg has a traveling library. Library facilities are increasing in the
public schools. St. Petersburg High School and St. Petersburg Junior College
have outstanding collections of books. Several churches have reading matter
available to members.
Foremost in art in the county are the paintings of George Inness, Jr.
Several may be viewed in the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tarpon Springs.
Several other artists have received national recognition for their skills. Various
art clubs offer members opportunities to develop their talents and to improve
their appreciation of art.
The extent to which music and drama are appreciated in Pinellas County
is evidenced by the organization of Carreno music clubs, civic music asso-
ciations, organist guilds, church choirs, school glee clubs and bands, and little
theaters. The civic music associations merit special applause for bringing to
their communities some of the finest talent in the United States.
Cultural advantages include more than literature, art, music, or drama.
Newspapers, museums, radio programs, and good movies contribute to finer
living. Excellent newspapers keep the region's people abreast of the times.
One may see interesting displays in the museums. Two radio stations transmit
national and international programs for the Pinellas area. Several schools
and numerous institutions have sound film projectors for use in educating
the public. For church use, religious films are available. By these and by
other means the populace improves.

Wholesome and satisfying recreation is necessary for the morale of any
group. Recreational habits of Pinellas people have undergone a great change


during recent years. The back yard is no longer the center of play activities.
There is a steady increase in the number of scout troops, youth centers,
summer camps, and supervised playgrounds. Through these mediums two
types of recreation are provided: first, the active sports, such as tennis, football,
basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, and boating; second, the less strenuous
type, such as handcraft, sewing, weaving, and basketry. Children are encouraged
to start some hobby that will hold their interest for a long time.
Pinellas offers an extensive program of recreation for adults and tourists.
Throughout the entire county are evidences of a varied program. Beautiful
golf courses are noted for their fine turf and velvety greens. There are table


games, bowling, shuffleboard, croquet, and horseshoe pitching. Ball games
are sponsored by business firms and organizations. Intercity games serve in
building a friendly and cooperative feeling among communities.
Several communities are financing extensive programs of recreation. Each
has a city playground project to keep children occupied in some gainful ac-
tivities during the summer months. Churches and civic organizations sponsor
varied forms of a play program. Churches conduct Bible schools; the Y. W. C. A.
and Y. M. C. A. have recreational programs. Camp Soule, the popular boy
scout camp, is located in the northern part of the county on a fresh water lake.
Throughout the year every boy scout looks forward to those weeks at Camp


Soule. The girl scouts have several summer day camps. The 4H Club girls
of the county have their camp at Indian Rocks Beach. There are two camps,
directed by the home demonstration agent, one for the younger girls and one
for the older girls.
Pinellas County is attempting to integrate the many social expressions and
to bring about a relatedness among the people of each neighborhood. Several
neighborhood clubs have been formed. These clubs provide wholesome and
satisfying recreation for old and young.
One of the characteristic forms of recreation is the family beach picnic.
On warm evenings the entire family don bathing suits and ride to the beach.
They swim, eat their supper, and relax on the cool sands.
Throughout the entire county one will find ample opportunities for both
salt and fresh water fishing. During the hunting season doves and quail are
plentiful in the woods of Pinellas.
For those interested in racing there is a dog track. Racing is carried on
during the winter months. During normal times a most common afternoon sport
is boat racing on the bays or the river at Tarpon Springs.
Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg have well-
equipped tourist centers. They provide bowling, checkers, chess, cards, and
other games. Some have dancing facilities. For sunny days the most popular
sport is shuffleboard.
Space permits mentioning only the types of recreation and relaxation dis-
cussed in the preceding paragraphs. Other forms of diversion are here; one
needs only to look for his favorite one. Opportunities for pleasant living in
Pinellas County are within the reach of all.





The land is our heritage. On it we build our houses, our villages, our towns,
and our cities. From it we derive our sustenance. Yet all too frequently we
waste our heritage. We must learn how to use the land wisely, how to add to
its productiveness, and how to leave it a richer resource than we found it. To
achieve this goal, we must increase our exact knowledge of the soils, the
climatic conditions, the crops, and the livestock. We need to understand
the significance of specialized, diversified, or part-time farming in a region.
We need to know or to know where to find the varieties of fruits and vege-
tables as well as grasses and trees best suited to the region. We need to culti-
vate the experimental attitude toward the introduction of new varieties, especially
varieties adapted to the climatic conditions of the region. We must know some-
thing of methods of distribution and marketing, of laws and community
practices, which affect the land and its use. We should know how to utilize
the county, state, or federal agencies which can assist us in developing wise
land uses. We must see Pinellas County in relation to the region of which it
is a part; that is, we must understand its relation to Florida, to.the Southeast,
to the country as a whole, and, so far as possible, to the world.
Obviously, it would be impossible to give within the limits of one brief
chapter so much as a glimpse into all the knowledge implied in the foregoing
analysis. It has taken numerous experts years to accumulate the scientific
data about land and its various uses now available in many state and federal
publications. It is possible, however, to present as one aspect of life in Pinellas
County brief descriptions of types of farming. It has seemed desirable, too, to
include examples of actual experiences in living from the land. These examples
offer many practical suggestions for improving the agricultural practices of
the region.


Within the county limits are approximately 275,200 acres.1 Excluding
the islands, the larger lakes, the marsh areas, and the beaches the area approxi-
mates 168,000 acres.2 Of this acreage 34,889 acres are in farms supporting
a population of 4,848; 3,942 are in timber; 5,153 are in cutover land; 10,477
are in pasture; 619 are in field crops; 475 are in truck crops; and 15,976 are
in groves.
Many factors affect land use. Among them are rainfall, temperature,
U. S. Census, 1940.
2Estimate by Dr. Earl D. Matthews, Soil Scientist, Soil Conservation Service, U. S. Department of


length of growing season, topography, fire control, reforestation, population,
communication facilities, transportation, marketing facilities, soils, and taxation
and land values.

As in most areas, soil types in Pinellas County vary widely. Moreover,
no hard and fast rules can be set up to determine exactly what crop can be
planted on a certain soil type. The individual can often by his ingenuity alter
conditions to meet his needs. Nevertheless, soils have been found suitable to
different uses, depending upon their fertility, drainage, and topography. An
attempt is made herein to classify broadly the Pinellas soils as to' their use.
Leon, Immokalee, and Bradenton fine sands predominate. These soils occupy
the poorly drained pine and palmetto flatwoods. They are not adapted to
most cultivated crops but in some cases can be economically used for pasture,
range, or truck. Blanton and Norfolk fine sands occupy the next largest area.
They are the best citrus soils of the county but are not suitable for truck crops.
Parkwood and Palmdale fine, sandy loams are adapted to grasses and hardy
truck crops. Muck soils, low and usually poorly drained during the rainy
season, meet the demands of hardy truck crops. Coastal beach sands of no
value for agricultural purposes, areas of swamp valued for their timber and
as cover for birds and game, and tidal marches suitable only for birds and game
are also found in this area. There are many other soil types in the county,
but most of these are of small extent.
In 1913 a map showing the soil types of Pinellas County was published
by the United States Bureau of Soils. The map is interesting not only because
of its record of the transportation development of the period but also because
it shows how numerous the lakes and ponds were at that time. In 1944 a new
soil survey of Pinellas County was begun by the United States Department of
Agriculture. The survey includes not only the soils but also the topography,
erosion conditions, and present land use of the entire county area. It should
form a basis for the best utilization of the land in the future. When this book
was being written, the expectation was that the survey would be completed
during 1945.3

Taxation and Land Values
The total value of taxable property in the county as of 1943 was $194,-
000,000. The total taxes assessed were $1,533,089.94 of which only $3,328.13
were uncollected. These uncollected taxes were on unimproved lands through-
out the county, pine and marsh lands, and unimproved lots in the towns. The
average rate of taxation in the districts of the county is approximately 13 mills
on taxable nonexempt property and approximately two mills on homestead
property. This does not include municipal taxes.
s When published, the survey will be made available to the public through the soil Conservation


The value of land varies from year to year. Lands of similar soil will be
valued at different prices because of their proximity to towns or because of
their distances from markets. The valuation of land per acre in this county
has a wide range, from five dollars to $500, which includes the poorest pine-
land or marshland in an undesirable location to the best improved citrus or
farm land.


Various parts of the county differ considerably from other parts in one
or more important land use characteristics. Figure 3 shows the county divided
into areas based: first, upon the uses of land for farms, forests, and grazing;
second, upon different types of farming and differences in soils; and third,
upon different recommended uses of the land. All areas marked E on the map
are now being used for farming, and it is recommended that they remain in
farms. All areas marked B are now in forest, grazing, swamp, or 'beach lands
and should not be used for arable farming. Areas marked D are now in forests
and are classified as being suitable for farming. Areas marked C are now in
farms, and it is questionable whether they should be so used. The following
descriptions give the distinctive features of each area.

Area B 4
Included in Area B is land which is not in farms and which should not
be used for arable farming. This type occupies a large section of the county
covering most of the territory in the northeastern part. The land in this section
is quite level, not well drained, and contains a number of ponds. Cypress
grows on the lower lands, and there is a fair stand of slash pine on the higher
ground. This area extends along the northeast border of Lake Butler where
the land is relatively higher. It is marked by low rolling hills sprinkled with
swamp lands. In the northwestern part of the county Area B is found along
the Anclote River and extends south along the gulf coast to Dunedin.
Through the central part of the county Area B is not in such large tracts
of land but is interspersed in smaller sections with other types of land. The
sections of Area B in this part of the county have varied topography, some
rolling and fairly well-drained land and some lower lands suitable for grazing.
The higher lands are suitable for suburban homes, fruit, and poultry.
From Largo eastward to Tampa Bay and southward to St. Petersburg, lies
a large tract of land included in Area B. Drainage is necessary in this area, but
the present system lowers the water level to such an extent that vegetation dies
during the dry seasons unless irrigated. Sections of Area B are found south of
Largo and west of Long Bayou. The sections along the coast are well drained,
while the remainder of the area is not well drained and contains a number
Cf. Map on following page. There is no area indicated as A.


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of swamps. At the extreme southern end of the county is found more of Area B.
It is slightly rolling and well drained.'
Area B includes a series of islands less than a mile wide and extending
about 20 miles along the gulf coast. The soil is almost entirely beach sand and
shell and bears but little native growth. Many expensive modern homes have
been built on the highlands and have been beautifully landscaped. Numerous
bathing beaches and other recreational grounds provide entertainment for
winter visitors. This area extends from two islands called Hog Island on the
north to and including the undeveloped keys on the south.

Area C
Included in Area C are lands which are being farmed but for which there
is doubt if farming should be continued. In this area are low, poorly drained
soils. Farmers living here now are engaged in trucking or poultry raising. As a
whole they have not been successful, and it is doubtful whether these areas
should continue in production unless measures can be taken to remedy the
present conditions.

Area D
Contained in Area D are lands not now in farms but which are suitable for
development into farms. The sections in this area are very similar except in
location. The soils are mostly Norfolk fine sands. The topography is flat to
slightly undulating, and drainage is good. Most of this land is covered with
pine and scrub oak and would need to be cleared if used for arable farming.
A part of each section is now being cultivated successfully.
A section of Area D is located between Lake Butler and the gulf. It con-
tains about 3,000 acres of land covered thinly with pines and scrub oak so
that the expense of clearing would not be great. It is probably adapted to the
production of citrus fruits and poultry. In the extreme northern part of the
county another section of Area D will be found. It contains about 1,000 acres
and has a thick growth of trees, principally oak. This section, too, is adapted
to the production of citrus fruits and poultry. Other spots of Area D are
sprinkled throughout the county: a small section southeast of Wall Springs,
two others in the central part of the county, and about 100 acres located within
the city limits of St. Petersburg.

Area E
Land in farms which should remain in farms is found in Area E. Thet
largest enterprise in this area is the production of grapefruit, oranges, and
tangerines. Crops are grown on Norfolk and Blanton fine sands, which occur
in areas of various shapes and sizes, scattered throughout the county. Soils are
well drained, from undulating to rolling pine and blackjack oak lands. The
surface is a gray, fine sand six to eight inches deep, covering a layer of yellow,


fine sand three or more feet in depth. Within a given area the soils are not
uniform; the better soils are interspersed with patches of poorer soil. Pines,
scrub oaks, palmettos, and pasture grasses grow on these poorer soils, supplying
firewood for home and grove. The land has possibilities of limited grazing
for cattle.


Many agencies are available to help the individual who wishes to raise his
level of living. Among these agencies are the following:
Agricultural Adjustment Administration
County Agricultural Agent, Extension Service
Board of County Commissioners
Board of Public Instruction
Chambers of Commerce
Civic Clubs
Daily and Weekly Newspapers
Florida State Planning Board
Garden Clubs
Home Demonstration Agent, Extension Service
National Farm Loan Association
Parent Teacher Association
Pinellas Soil Conservation District
Soil Conservation Service
State Livestock Sanitary Board


Diversified farming is an agricultural endeavor which combines the pro-
duction of food for family use with two or more farm enterprises; It is geared to
offset evils of the one-crop system. The one-crop system of agriculture in the
Southeast has probably been the greatest single factor causing low standard of
living. It has been the practice of farmers for generations to produce one crop
for market and to buy all supplies from the sale of this product. This practice
has done much to hasten soil depiction.
The United States Department of Agriculture long ago realized the ad-
vantages of diversified farming and started encouraging farmers to plant a variety
of crops. In years of adverse growing seasons or glutted markets the one-crop
farmer has suffered. During prosperous years he has spent much of his profit
purchasing at high prices produce that could have been raised at home.
To supply necessary and ample food for the family table should be the first
consideration of every farmer and rural inhabitant. After this contribution is
made, the family should center its productive ability toward the development
of a cash income to supplement the income for family living. All crops and live-


stock that can be profitably grown in the community should be considered, and
the ones should be selected which are best adapted to the type of soil, family
labor supply, and available marketing facilities. Manures from livestock can
be utilized in the development of pastures and production of crops. It is strongly
urged that the people of this community give full consideration to the possi-
bilities of following these approved practices. Many of the leading farmers in
the county have found this an advantageous undertaking.

Rural Life

A Florida family, living on what is known as the Ridge Road near Seminole,
is an outstanding example of what successful, wholesome, and charming rural
life in Pinellas County may be. When first married, they lived in a garage
apartment which later was remodeled into a beautiful house. This spacious
two-story country home, modern in every detail, is the gathering place for
friends of the adults, as well as those of the three children. It is set in the
edge of an 85-acre grove and is surrounded by a number of tropical fruit trees.
They have several large, bearing pecan and avacado trees.
In the barn mechanized equipment is housed. Gasoline pumps have been
replaced by electric pumps, and these are run continuously for grove irrigation
during periods of severe drought.
Forty head of beef cattle graze on a 50-acre improved pasture. Twenty ad-
ditional acres for pasture are being cleared. The remaining 45 acres are in wood-
land. The cattle are native crossed with the Brahma. Three Guernsey cows
produce milk for family use.
One of the outstanding features of the home is a screened outdoor general
utility room. Here are found ample cupboard and shelf space and hot and cold
running water. Fruits, vegetables, and meats are prepared here for canning
and storing.
The freezing unit, adjoining the utility room, is composed of two sections,
each six by eight feet in size. The first section is the chilling room kept at
a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees, where fresh fruit, vegetables, milk,
bread, and meat are stored. When an animal is butchered, the meat is hung
in this room to cure before cutting and keeping in the freezing room, the second
section. The freezing room temperature is kept at zero; here are stored turkeys,
chickens, steaks, ground meats, vegetables, and fruit juices.
A well-rounded program of recreation and entertainment is provided to
coordinate the social life of the family group and friends. In connection with
the utility room, there is a barbecue grill for parties. Near by are tennis and
croquet courts. In the loft of the barn are a ping-pong table and a shuffleboard
court. Saddle horses stand by to carry riders on a friendly chase through the
woodlands. Pleasure activities, as well as work, are features of everyday living
on this farm.


An Ambition Realized
Some thirty years ago a farmer boy of Osceola County came to Pinellas to
make his home. He worked in the citrus industry until he earned enough
money to buy a 30-acre tract of land suitable for farming. Fifteen acres are
now in citrus, which produces approximately 6,000 boxes of fruit annually.
Citrus is not the only means of livelihood for this family. There are two
different soil types on the tract. By experimentation the owner has found
that muck lands produce larger yields per acre but that the products are not as
tasteful as those grown on pinelands. Rapid growth is the explanation for this.
Three crops have been produced on the muck soil within a year-in the spring,
Irish potatoes; in the early fall, turnips; and in the winter, cabbage. A ready
sale is found for potatoes, corn, watermelons, tomatoes, cabbage, and other
garden products raised on this farm.
The owner raises chickens for meat and eggs, hogs for pork, and keeps a
cow to supply milk, cream, and butter for home use. Methods for disposing
of surplus products are canning for home use and direct consumer sales.
This farm family has reared six children, of whom three boys are now in
the armed services. The father attributes his success to a relentless ambition
and much hard labor.

Having More at Home
A Palm Harbor resident believes in the plan of having more at home by
means of diversified production and subsistence farming. He was born in
Pinellas County and has raised his grove of 15 acres from seed to mature trees.
Grapefruit and oranges constitute the grove. A smaller number of plums,
avocados, loquats, guavas, calamondins, and tangerines are grown. The re-
mainder of the 30-acre farm has a vegetable garden that includes enough corn
to feed cow and pigs. The hogs are raised for home consumption. Forty hives
of bees produce honey.
This farmer is renowned in the county for his variety and tasteful dis-
play of fruits and vegetables at the county fair. While he has produced these
varied products, his wife has been busy canning hundreds of jars of fruits
and vegetables which have always brought home blue ribbons from the fair.
In her spare time she has woven rugs, dresser scarves, and handbags on her loom.
She makes mats from palmetto fans to be sold to tourists. This typifies what
can be done to develop home industry and, at the same time, to utilize leisure.

Part-time farming is one way to supplement the earned income. There is a
wide field of opportunity for persons living on a small salary or on a fixed annuity
to supplement their incomes by producing the necessary fruit, vegetables, poultry,
eggs, milk, butter, and cheese for family use. The surplus may be canned
or a ready sale found for it at the farmers' markets and in local stores. These


extras enable the family to have better living conditions and to afford oppor-
tunities for healthful and recreational activities. Many profitable hours of
leisure may be spent in this manner. With a growing season of 365 days a
year, the region offers every incentive for engaging in this type of farming.
Most cities and towns have ordinances prohibiting the keeping of chickens,
hogs, cows, and other animals within their territorial limits. Therefore, it
would be wise for anyone contemplating raising or keeping animals within the
boundary of a municipality to inform himself on the ordinances governing same.
By so doing, trouble and financial loss may be avoided.

A Veteran Returns

In 1919, after two years of service overseas, a veteran married and came to
Pinellas County as a civilian, seeking a job and a home. He found both.
When he and his wife received their first check from teaching, they realized
that the combined income was less than half of the amount he had received in
the army. They both knew that the salaries were not sufficient to take care
of a family. They moved to a place large enough for a garden and chickens.
Fertilizer and seed men gave helpful advice regarding soil and insect troubles.
A cow was purchased to provide the milk and butter necessary for the grow-
ing children. Calves and pigs were raised to provide part of the family's meat.
Citrus and tropical fruit trees were planted to supplement those already
growing on the place. At this time oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons,
limes, calamondins, mangoes, surinam cherries, pecans, and avocados provide
fruit for the family during all seasons.
Guava trees now bear bountifully, and the fruit is used for jellies and
preserves. Normally 40 pints of jelly and 40 quarts of guavas are canned and
preserved. The strawberry guava is especially attractive for canning, and the
cattley guava is best for making jelly.
At the present time a variety of vegetables is grown on a space small
enough to be kept properly weeded. The garden is watered from a surface well
when rainfall is insufficient. Chickens and the cow furnish manure for part
of the necessary fertilizer. Vegetables usually produced include cauliflower,
broccoli, iceberg lettuce, green beans, lima beans, turnips, onions, rutabagas,
squash, Irish potatoes, carrots, beets, collards, cabbage, and early sweet corn.
Surplus vegetables are canned for out-of-season use. In addition to those used
for the table, 40 quarts of green beans were put up in one year.
Cane, millet, peas, and velvet beans are grown for forage and cover crops.
Peanuts for the pigs and family are never overlooked. From year to year other
plants and trees have been successfully grown, such as the Australian black-
berry, strawberry, banana, peach, and papaya.
An electric incubator and a brooder raise young chicks. A flock of 30


hens produces enough eggs for family use. The sale of surplus eggs has paid
the feed bill for the entire flock of chicks and hens. The chickens are fed
surplus sour milk, which increases egg production and helps the young chicks
grow faster.
Flowers are grown as successfully as vegetables. Gladioli, calendulas, snap-
dragons, sweet peas, and nasturtiums thrive in the sandy soil.
This is an example of what can be accomplished on one acre of St. Peters-
burg's sandy soil. Many benefits are derived from this cooperative, family
venture. It provides wholesome work for the children and keeps them off the
streets. The outdoor work and the healthful food reduce doctor and dental


Profitable Use of Leisure
Several years ago a man and his wife, dissatisfied with living on a small
lot in the city, purchased five suburban acres where their dream of country-city
living would pay dividends. The husband spent his spare time clearing the
land. He drilled a well and installed an electric pump. Soon 150 trees, con-
sisting mostly of grapefruit, orange, lime, avocado, and calamondin, were
planted. During the first year a garden produced enough vegetables for the
wife to can 100 cans of tomatoes, 20 cans of carrots, 25 cans of beans, and 10
cans of beets.
Because of the large amount of milk which they give, several purebred
Guernsey cows were purchased. In order to have more food for the home


table, chickens were raised. By slaughtering the bull calves other meat for home
use was obtained.
This couple has carried on an interesting experiment in raising clover.
The clover pasture furnishes good food for cattle during the winter months.
At present the plan is to clear 20 more acres for pasture land.
This happy couple enjoys caring for their tract of land, which has served
them so well. Since they produce their fruit, vegetables, beef, eggs, poultry,
milk, and butter at home, this family does not often go to the city market.

In Pinellas County agriculture is second in importance to the tourist business.
The majority of farms are limited to small acreages, although there are some
large holdings of grazing lands. Important agricultural enterprises include citrus
farming, dairying, poultry raising, stock farming, hog raising, raising flowers
and nursery stock, and beekeeping.
The agriculture of the county is highly specialized, with about 75 per cent
of the income being from fruits, principally oranges and grapefruit, and other
citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, and tangerines.
The citrus groves occupy 15,976 acres in the county.5 These groves range
in size from five to 100 acres. Production of grapefruit is the outstanding citrus
enterprise in the county. For the year, 1943-1944, Pinellas ranked fifth among
the counties of Florida in amount of grapefruit grown and eleventh in the number
of oranges produced.6

Valuable to the county agricultural wealth is the dairy industry. There are
now in the area 60 commercial dairymen, with approximately 3,000 head of
cattle. Guernsey and Jersey breeds are predominant. Modern high class dairies
are maintained, with fine cattle well cared for and producing quality milk, rich
in butterfat.
The first public purebred Guernsey cattle auction in the state was held by
the Florida Guernsey Breeders Association in 1939 at Largo and has been con-
tinued annually. The work of Pinellas County Herd Improvement Association
has been responsible for much of the improvement in herd production through
improved methods in feeding and by development of better pastures.
In order to produce more and better milk and butter at a lower cost, improved
pastures are essential. Roughage, which is so vitally needed by the dairy cow
as a raw product in the manufacture of her milk, can be obtained from this
source at less expense than from any other method of feeding in this area.
Our long growing season makes it possible to have year-round pastures. Ber-
muda, carpet, centipede, Dallis, and Bahia grasses will supply ample grazing
5 No special story about citrus raising will be given, because the growing of citrus is mentioned in
many parts of this chapter.
6 Scruggs, Annual Fruit and Vegetable Report, p. 2.





for eight to nine months of the year. During the winter, clover, oats, and rye
have proved very successful. Proper preparation of the land, seeding, and
fertilization for the various grasses have been determined; and this information
may be secured from any of the agricultural agencies located in the county.

Our Foster Mothers
The dairy cow, our foster mother, who supplies us with nourishment from
youth to old age, is deserving of the kindest and best attention. Too often
this developer of strong bones, sound teeth, and a well-developed body is
not fully appreciated. This is not true of the dairymen of Pinellas County.
A dairyman of north St. Petersburg, who owns and operates a modern
dairy, started his business in 1921, when he inherited 60 Jersey and Guernsey
cows and 61 acres of land from his father. The dairy has grown until at
present 100 cows are milked daily. Pastures have been enlarged by renting
360 acres of land.
To operate a successful dairy requires many long hours and much hard
work. Modern laborsaving devices have eliminated much drudgery and lessened
the time required for many routine jobs. Milking machines are used in the
home milk plant where both raw and pasteurized milk are bottled. In this
family three sons and a daughter are valuable help. Milk from the dairy is
retailed in St. Petersburg. This adds more work than production for wholesale
trade but, at the same time, lends individuality to the marketing of milk.
The owner believes that a man must love livestock in order to enjoy work-
ing with them 365 days each year. He recognizes that cows which give the
most milk for food consumed and labor involved are essential to success in
dairying. He laughingly adds that rotation of properly cultivated and fertil-
ized pastures pays off in the milk pail.

Poultry Raising
Supplying local markets with eggs and dressed poultry has becQme the
major source of income for some farmers. Many producers place emphasis on
production for meat. In such cases the New Hampshire Red, Rhode Island
Red, White Rock, Barred Rock, and several crosses are popular. Local
hatcheries and those in near-by areas are able to supply a good selection of
chicks during most of the year. The influx of tourists during the winter season
causes an increased demand for poultry and creates considerable activity in
the business during this period. White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, New
Hampshire Reds, Barred Rocks, and White Rocks are the most popular breeds
for egg production. As in the case of meat, the demand for eggs is heaviest
during the winter season.

A Pioneer in the Poultry Business
One individual has successfully engaged in the poultry business in St.


Petersburg for the past 29 years. His location is in a flatwoods sandy
section of land which ordinarily would not be recommended as suitable for
poultry. With adequate drainage and careful management, this handicap has
been minimized.
Rotation of ranges is practiced in order to maintain green feed and to
control diseases and insect pests. The practice of raising fryers and laying hens
in flocks of 100 birds prevents overcrowding and spreading of contagious dis-
eases to the entire flock. It enables quick growing green feeds to be planted
and kept available in the various pens at all times throughout the year. This
adds much to the health of the flock and lowers the feed costs.
The disinfection of poultry houses periodically is a requirement at this


poultry farm. Prepared disinfectants and a kerosene torch are used in each
poultry house after flock rotations. In warm temperate zones this is a necessary
An average flock of 2,000 hens, with a normal efficiency of 75 per cent,
is kept for egg production. Usually 1,500 chickens are produced for meat
each year.
If necessary care is practiced in handling the flock, poultry raising on a
commercial basis is a full-sized job. If this detail is disregarded, financial diffi-
culties will be encountered. This poultryman recommends that any person
contemplating entering the poultry business secure advice from local poultry-
men about the problems encountered. The new producer should start in a
small way and grow into the business so that any financial losses caused by
inexperience will not be too costly.


Stock Farming
Beef Cattle

A few Pinellas County farmers are now specializing in the raising of beef
cattle. According to the opinion of two successful cattle men, the Brahma
breed, crossed with other breeds, gives satisfactory results in our region. The
Brahma is an excellent forager and has the ability to stay fat on a poor pasture.
Other outstanding characteristics of Brahmas, which make them especially
suitable for Pinellas County, are their ability to withstand heat and to resist
diseases and insect pests. Largely for these reasons Brahma bulls are being used
exclusively for breeding purposes.


Much attention is being given to improving Pinellas pastures by fertilizing
with lime and by planting new and better pasture. This is highly important
for successful production of beef cattle. Some of the best and most commonly
used pasture grasses and legumes suitable to our climate and soil are carpet,
Bermuda, Bahia, and clover.
Securing ample acreage for pastures is a problem. Land values and taxes
are high. Moreover, it is very difficult to secure large tracts since much of
the land has been divided into small tracts, with many owners.

A Cattle Ranch
A few miles south of Largo is an interesting cattle ranch established by
two men in 1924. The ranch includes approximately 525 acres of land on
which are 100 head of fine beef cattle.

r- -- ---- -- ------


The old prairie, where the owners started, contained rush grass, saw grass,
sea myrtles, willows, and buttonwoods of no value for cattle grazing. They
gradually eliminated these and introduced pasture grasses of suitable types,
such as carpet, Bermuda, Dallis, and Bahia grasses. They still consider some
of the native grasses quite helpful in feeding cattle, especially the young
tender wire grass. Controlled burning of wire grass pasturage gives young
tender grass for six or eight weeks after each burning. It takes nine or 10
acres of native pasturage to feed the same number of cattle that are fed by one
acre of an improved pasture.
As supplemental feed, these men grow corn, sorghum, and Texas ribbon
cane, which is made into ensilage in concrete trench silos. During the winter
months, when the improved pastures are idle, the breeding cows are fed one
pound of supplemental food every day. The breeding bulls are taken from the
herd about the middle of September and returned the middle of April. For
about 100 days prior to being placed with the herd again for breeding pur-
poses, supplemental feed is given them. Minerals, salt, and steamed bone
meal are accessible to the cattle at all times.
The ranch first started with native Florida cattle and used Angus, Shorthorn,
and Hereford breeding bulls, in the order named, to improve the native cattle.
In 1929 the owners secured their first Brahma bull for breeding purposes. The
ranchers feel that, for best results in beef cattle production in Pinellas County,
at least 50 per cent of each animal should be of Brahma blood. Cattle from
this ranch are sold for breeding purposes only.


Because hogs are prolific and mature early, they grow into money quickly
and assure a quicker turnover of invested capital than any other livestock.
Hogs require less capital, less equipment, and less labor and make greater gains
for food consumed and money invested than any other animal.
The farm location, climatic conditions, and general market demands should
govern the choice of the breed to be raised. It is wise to choose the breed most
common to the region. While choice of breed is largely a matter of personal
preference, the selection of individual sows and boars for the breeding herd is
most important. Since there are as many differences within the breeds as there
are among the breeds, good judgment must be exercised in breeding for type
and efficiency. Selection of sows and boars on the basis of weight attained at a
given age, under similar systems of feeding, is a rather dependable method.
This factor indicates the rate of gain that may be expected in the offspring.
From the standpoint of low production costs, the number of pigs in litters,
the uniformity of litter size, and the percentage of pigs weaned and fattened
must be considered.
To produce hogs on a large scale requires a big and continuous source of


economical feed. Whether or not a producer raises a few or many hogs profit-
ably will be governed by the size of his economical feed supply. Since hogs
are scavengers, they may be fed refuse from kitchens, dairies, gardens, and
fields. In Pinellas County the hog raisers have recently been trying to produce
more of their feed through improved pastures. This trend should be extended.

An Ambition Satisfied
A hog farmer of Largo is now doing what he has wanted to do all of his life.
He is raising hogs and making a good living for his family. A few years ago
he purchased well-drained land in Lake Largo. Starting with three sows, this


farmer has increased his stock to approximately 400 head of hogs. With one
extra man, he can take care of 200 to 450 hogs. For this number sufficient
swill is collected from hotels and other eating places to feed the stock. Unless
an inexpensive type of food can be secured, he thinks hog production would
not be profitable in this community.
Pigs are prolific. On this farm a notable litter of 18 was produced. Twelve
of them were raised for marketing. All hogs from this farm are wholesaled to
a near-by packing company.

Raising Flowers and Nursery Stock
In this land of tropical and subtropical growth, ornamentals and flowers
add much to the refinement of living and accentuate the architecture of homes,


public buildings, and recreational areas. The urge to propagate new and
different plants has created hobbies for many residents and has led some into
the nursery business. There are 10 commercial nurseries in the county and
numerous backyard nurserymen. Many small nurserymen started with a hobby
and have expanded plant cultivation into a paying business.
The occupation affords pleasant outdoor work, is not necessarily strenuous,
and may be limited to the needs of the individual. With the future growth
and development of this area, there are many opportunities in this field of


Landscaping as a Business

In 1935 an ambitious young man acquired sufficient and suitable land
to start a nursery in the Seminole community. This operator owns 160 acres,
of which 40 acres are devoted to the propagation and growing of several hundred
kinds of plants and untold varieties. Two acres are under glass or slats. The
remaining acres are in pasture for 31 head of cattle.
This nursery specializes in landscaping and 95 per cent of the profit is earned
from this source. It is believed that the proper method of planting and placing
plants in their best environment is essential to maintaining satisfied customers.
By being responsible for these factors, the nurseryman is able to guarantee all
plants to live and grow. The inaccessibility of the nursery to city trade limits
the separate item sales.


The practice of growing all plants adapted to this area, instead of limiting
the collection to the more popular plants, enables this nursery to supply the
needs for all types of planting. Demand for plants varies from one community
to another. In this region azaleas, ligustrum, hibiscus, bougainvilleas, and
palms lead in sales. In addition to ornamentals, a full line of citrus stock is
maintained in the nursery.

Tropical and Subtropical Fruits

In the Pinellas agricultural picture, the cultivation of tropical and sub-
tropical fruits is rapidly growing in importance. Producers and agricultural
experts are enthusiastic about the future for this kind of activity. Some of the
fruits already have proved to be very profitable; others are potential money-
makers. Many of them may be classed as dual purpose fruit trees, in that
they may be grown for their ornamental effects as well as for their edible fruits.
The urban home owner, the large and small farmer, and the large agri-
cultural specialist will all want to plant tropical fruits for home use, if not
for commercial purposes. Aside from the large quantities of citrus fruits grown
in Pinellas County, different varieties of papayas, guavas, mangoes, and avocados
are commonly grown. All of these need well-drained soils and must have
sufficient moisture. Some figs, bananas, persimmons, and loquats are also
grown, largely for home use.
The papaya is a giant soft-stemmed annual bearing plant producing a
fruit melonlike in appearance. It is referred to as the canteloupe that grows
on a tree. Trees will produce fruit for seven or eight years. Many tempting
recipes for use of the papaya fruit have been devised. It is becoming com-
mercially important and is being used in medicines.
The guava is well adapted to our region because of its certainty to sprout
up after being cut down by frost and of its ability to bear after one frostless
winter. It is very valuable for cooking, canning, preserving, and jelly making.
It may be eaten fresh with sugar and cream. The Cattley (red and yellow)
varieties are hardier and withstand cold. They are especially good for jellies,
and the plants make ornamental hedges.
The mango is an important fruit for Pinellas County. Every home should
have one or more trees. The improved mango is excellent for table use, bearing
early and abundantly. Mangoes may be preserved, canned, or made into
marmalade. There are a number of improved varieties. The Haden is con-
sidered one of the very best, is prolific,.has a fine flavor, and is of a high color.
The hardier types of avocados are suitable to Pinellas County. This fruit
is very popular and highly nutritious. The Mexican and Guatemalan varieties
are more cold resistant than the South American varieties.


In Search of New Fruits
A Clearwater lawyer, while working on the citrus laws for the state, be-
came interested in tropical and subtropical fruits. For the past 10 years he has
been carrying on a very interesting and promising experiment with new and
unusual tropical and subtropical fruit trees.
He has assembled, principally by introduction from foreign countries,
several hundred species and varieties of tropical and subtropical fruit bearing
trees and plants. The object of his experiments is to determine the feasibility of
commercial development of the trees and plants in Florida and particularly in
Pinellas County. A number of odd and unusual fruit trees and plants have
already shown great promise for commercial use in this region. Among the trees
and plants that have proved most adaptable are the Chinese litchi fruit tree,
several varieties of fiberless mangoes, the downy myrtle, and the mountain
At this time there are about 700 litchi trees that have almost reached bearing
size and three larger trees that have produced a crop of fruit each year during
the past several years. The fruit is about one inch in diameter and about one
and one half inch in length. It has a delicious subacid flavor, and when ripe,
is colored a deep rose. The fruit may have a single small seed or may be
seedlesss. One tree has borne 330 pounds of fruit in one season. The fruit is
highly imperishable, being edible after having been picked for months and
years. These trees require a moderately acid soil, of which there is plenty in
Pinellas County.
In the experiment on fiberless mangoes, 56 varieties have been tested.
Several of the varieties have proved more cold resistant than others. Two groups
of our finest varieties of mangoes have their origin in widely separated parts
of the tropics. One group originated in China and the South Seas, and the
other group originated in India, where they have been cultivated and improved
over a period of more than a thousand years. The former group has proved
more prolific in bearing and freer from fungus diseases.
The downy myrtle is a very ornamental flowering shrub that should be
in every yard or garden in South Florida. Two annual flowering seasons are
followed by heavy crops of delicious blue berries that taste similar to, but are
larger and sweeter than, our native blueberry.
The mountain annona is a relative of the famous soursop of Cuba from
which the Cubans make a very fine soft drink. Each fruit weighs two to six
pounds, is formed of small sections, and has a tasty subacid flavor. Both the
soursop and the mountain annona are related to the sugar apple that is grown
at Miami and on the Florida Keys.
The hobbyist produces his plants in a slat house at his home. When they
are large enough to transplant to their final locations, he moves them to his
various properties in and around Clearwater. He plans to make a 10-acre


commercial planting of litchi trees within the next year. When he retires
from active law practice, he will devote his full time to this very interesting
hobby of tropical and subtropical fruits. While this man's project and ex-
periments are his own, he exchanges information and plants with other men
in the state who are interested in the same type of experimental work.

The beekeeping industry in Florida began during pioneer days when
swarms of bees were found in hollow trees. The early farmers robbed trees
for the honey and captured the bees. They took the bees home and housed


them in permanent hives. From these beginnings a few beekeepers have
accumulated enough colonies of bees to become commercial beekeepers.
Scattered throughout the county may be seen groups of 15 to 20 hives in
desirable locations, near citrus groves, dense palmetto woods, and other flower-
ing shrubs.
Colonies of bees, in addition to producing delicious honey, serve the farmer
well. They transmit pollen from flower to flower, causing necessary cross-

A Third Generation Beekeeper
In St. Petersburg lives a young beekeeper who represents the third gener-
ation in his family to pursue that occupation. He owns 125 colonies of bees


distributed in various parts of Pinellas County, which are transferred to differ-
ent locations in order that the bees may be near nectar-bearing blossoms at all
times during the year.
The nectar determines the quality of honey. Citrus bloom makes light
and light amber-colored honey. The palmetto bloom makes an amber-colored
product, and the cabbage palm and black mangrove result in light-amber and
amber-colored honey. A yearly average of 60 to 75 pounds is produced by
one colony of bees.
For the beginner this beekeeper recommends two colonies. They may be
purchased locally or from a bee supply house. If purchased locally, they
should be inspected by the State Bee Inspector to know that they are free from
disease. Italian or Caucasian bees are recommended for Florida. Bees pur-
chased should be in hives of eight or 10 frames. With this type hive, the
keeper can easily remove the frame without disturbing the honey in the comb.
The hives should be set up on a stand one foot high to keep out red ants and
moths which are pests of the colony. The location should be thinly but not
densely shaded overhead. A dense shade will cause the hives to be damp at
times, especially during rainy weather. Dampness is detrimental to the bees
and causes the hives to decay more rapidly. The ground around the hives
should be kept free of litter and vegetation.
The success of this beekeeper is attributed to his aptitude in handling bees.
Other persons who have a natural liking for this kind of work will find Pinellas
County, with its many flowering plants, an ideal spot for pursuing beekeeping
as a hobby or as an industry.

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