Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Pinellas





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Pinellas

RHEBA SUTTON WHITE CHAPEL
Location:1190 Georgia Avenue
County: Pinellas
City: Palm Harbor
Description: The Florida Methodist Conference College, now Florida Southern College, relocated its campus to present-day Palm Harbor in 1902 after purchasing the San Marino Hotel, located at Florida Avenue and Omaha Street. In 1904, the college built an administration building adjacent to the hotel, which included a 700-seat chapel used for religious services. A devastating fire destroyed the main school and administration buildings in 1921. Volunteers hauled the hand-made bricks from the ruins of the administration building to this site, where they were cleaned by hand. Using those salvaged bricks, the first Palm Harbor United Methodist Church was built in 1924. The bell in the church steeple was also rescued from the college. In the 1970s, the Methodists built a larger sanctuary in Palm Harbor, but the former church building continued to serve the community, becoming its first library and later a community food pantry. Pinellas County purchased the property in 1999, restored the church, and built the adjacent Harbor Hall. In 2005, this historic building was rededicated to Rheba Sutton, a life-long Palm Harbor resident who twice fought to stop demolition of the chapel.
CLEARWATER POST OFFICE
Location:S.R. 60.
County: Pinellas
City: Clearwater
Description: On October 9, 1933 Clearwater's first government post office building was dedicated on this site with Postmaster General James A. Farley officiating. The local postmaster at the time was Charles R. Lee. This Mediterranean-Revival style building was designed by Clearwater architect Theodore Skinner, and built by the Palm Beach construction firm of Walt and Sinclair of Florida. It is representative of the 1930's federal works projects which reflected regional design influence and commissioned local professionals and industries. The exterior finish of the building is oolitic limestone quarried in the Florida Keys. The post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Sponsors: Sponsored by the Clearwater Historical Society in cooperation with the Department of State
DEMENS LANDING
Location:Bayshore Dr. SE & Demens Landing SE
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: This city park is located on the site of the first railroad pier in St. Petersburg, built by Peter Demens in 1889. Peter Demens (pronounced de-MENS) was a Russian nobleman, Pyotr Dementyev, who left Russia in 1881, came to Florida, and changed his name to Demens. He became an entrepreneur, investing in a sawmill and a construction company in Longwood, Florida. Later he took control of the Orange Belt Railroad, which he extended from Sanford, Florida to the west coast of Florida in 1888, to a town he had named St. Petersburg, in honor of the capital city of Imperial Russia. Demens also built the first hotel, The Detroit, and the first railroad depot in St. Petersburg in 1888, and is considered one of the founders of the city. Demens Landing was dedicated as a city park to honor Demens in 1977.
GANDY BRIDGE
Location:U.S. 92 - Gandy Bridge
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: Constructed as a toll bridge for auto and street car traffic by George S. Gandy, a pioneer West Coast developer, it was begun in 1922 and opened in 1924. The structure consisted of 3, miles of causeways and 2+ miles of bridge, and at its completion was one of the world's longest bridges. It cut the distance from St. Petersburg to Tampa in half and played a prominent part in the development of the Bay area.
HARBOR OAKS HISTORIC DISTRICT
Location:At Bay Avenue and Druid Road W.
County: Pinellas
City: Clearwater
Description: Harbor Oaks was Clearwater's first planned residential development. Dean Alvord, a major developer in New York State, opened Harbor Oaks in 1914. Bringing modern planning concepts to the Pinellas County area, the development offered innovative features such as underground utilities, paved streets, curbs and sidewalks, a sewer system, and tree lined parkways. Deed restrictions ensured a rich architectural mix of mostly two story homes including fine examples of Mediterranean Revival, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Mission and Bungalow styles. Local newspapers called Harbor Oaks "the Riviera of the Sunny South" and "the finest shore development on the West coast of Florida". The development was essentially completed by 1930. Harbor Oaks has been the home of such prominent persons as author Rex Beach, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbett, inventor Donald Roebling, industrialist Robert Ingersoll, and members of the Studebaker and Proctor and Gamble families. The Harbor Oaks Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Sponsors: The Clearwater Historical Society in Cooperation with the Florida Department of State
MIRANDA HOME
Location:4th Street South and Oakdale South
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: In this vicinity stood the home of Abel Miranda, Seminole War veteran, who moved to the Pinellas Peninsula in the late 1850's. In February, 1862, the Union blockading squadron off Egmont Key sailed into Big Bayou and attacked the home. It was burned, the animals killed, and the gardens destroyed. The Miranda family fled during the action and no one was injured. This was the only armed conflict in Pinellas County during the War Between theStates.
ROSE CEMETERY
Location:Jasmine Ave.
County: Pinellas
City: Tarpon Springs
Description: Rose Cemetery, also known as Rose Hill Cemetery, established in the early 1900s as a segregated cemetery, is the oldest African-American cemetery in Pinellas County. Located on approximately five acres of land, the cemetery reflects the social history and cultural traditions associated with Christianity and early African-American customs. Many of the African-Americans buried here were of Bahamian descent, and some of their graves are marked by large conch shells. Although the earliest grave marked states 1904, there are strong indications of earlier burials. Rose Hill Cemetery Association was first incorporated on November 22, 1916, when the Lake Butler Villa Company gave the African-American board members a 99-year lease. The following year, in 1917, the property was deeded to the Association. Through the 1950s Rose Cemetery served other black communities throughout the county. Many difficulties through those years, including destroyed records, haphazard burials, and limited funding, resulted in many unmarked and misplaced graves. Significant burials included the founders of the local African-American churches started in the 1890s, and an African American Confederate Civil War veteran, Richard Quarls (1830-1925).
Sponsors: THE ROSE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION, INC. AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S CHURCH
Location:3747 34th St. S.
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: Oldest church in Pinellas County, it was organized April 20, 1887. It was constructed in the summer of 1887 by a handful of pioneers equipped with crude tools. Built of unturpentined pine, Church records indicate the first building cost $673. Dr. John B.Abercrombie donated an acre of land for the church April 28, 1887. The original Church building has since been enlarged and is still used for regular services.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with St. Bartholomew's Memorial Committee
STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
Location:1401 61st St. So.
County: Pinellas
City: Gulfport
Description: Florida’s First Law School - Built as the Hotel Rolyat in 1925, these Mediterranean Revival buildings originally were designed by Paul Reed of the Miami architectural firm of Kiehnel & Elliot for developer Jack Taylor. In 1929, after the collapse of the Florida land boom, the hotel was purchased by the Mendels brothers from New York. They operated the hotel until 1932, when they purchased the Florida Military Academy and relocated it to the site. Dr. John Forbes, the first President of Stetson University, recognized a need for a law school, and in 1900, Stetson University opened Florida’s first law school in DeLand. When the College of Law needed larger facilities in a metropolitan area, Stetson University purchased this property in 1953 and relocated the law school to Gulfport. Classes began on this site on September 20, 1954.
Sponsors: THE STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
TARPON SPRINGS SPONGE INDUSTRY
Location:Dodecanese Blvd. at Docks across from Sponge Exchange
County: Pinellas
City: Tarpon Springs
Description: Side 1: The Gulf waters off the west coast of Florida north of Tampa Bay comprise one of the few areas of the world where the species of natural sponges suitable for commercial use are found. The natural sponge industry in Tarpon Springs dates from about 1890 when John K. Cheyney launched his first sponge-fishing boat. Sponges were retrieved by hooking until the technique of diving for sponges was introduced in 1905 by John Cocoris, a recent immigrant from Greece, where the practice of sponge diving was common. Within a few years, many Greeks had arrived in the area to work in the sponging industry. Side 2: The Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange was incorporated in 1908 as a shareholding organization to provide for the storage and sale of sponges. The peak of prosperity for the Tarpon Springs sponge industry came in the 1930's. In 1939 the sponge beds in the area suffered from a disease which substantially reduced the crop of healthy sponges for several years. In spite of the decline in the sponge industry, the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange has continued to serve as a focal point for the Greek Community.
Sponsors: Sponsored by City of Tarpon Springs, Florida In Cooperation With Department of State
THE DON CE SAR HOTEL
Location:S.R. 699 near Passe-a-Grille Beach
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: In the late 1920's and the 1930's, the Don Ce Sar Hotel was a renowned luxury resort which counted many notables among its guests. Thomas J. Rowe, a land developer, conceived of the establishment in the mid-20's at the height of the land sales boom then attracting flocks of tourists and investors to Florida. The "Boom" ended before the Don Ce Sar was completed in 1928, but it remained open throughout the Depression of the 1930's. During World War II, many Florida hotels suffering from the decline of tourism were converted to wartime uses. In 1942, the Don was purchased by the U.S. Government for use as a rest and rehabilitation center. From 1945 to 1967, the Don served as a federal office building. It was then vacated. Soon a committee of local citizens began to work for its preservation. In 1972, with their encouragement and community support, hotel developer William Bowman, Jr. purchased the property. He rehabilitated the Don, restoring it to its original function and elegance, and reopened it in 1973. Restoration was completed in 1975. In that year, the Don Ce Sar Hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The massive edifice of stuccoed Belgian concrete remains a symbol of the colorful, exciting "Boom" period of Florida's history.
Sponsors: Sponsored by William Bowman, jr. in cooperation with department of state
TIERRA VERDE MOUND
Location:S.R. 679 on Cabbage Key
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: A Large Indian burial mound was built on this spot about 1500 A.D. It was used for some years by the inhabitants of a nearby Safety Harbor culture village, Indians who were among the ancestors of the later Timucua tribe. Excavation in 1961 by State agencies added to our knowledge of these people.
WORLD'S FIRST REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMMERCIAL AIRLINE
Location:on grounds of Albert Whitted Municipal Airport,
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: Within a decade after the famous Wright Brothers' 1903 flight, aviation history was being made in Florida. The first transcontinental flight landed at Jacksonville in 1912, a naval air training center opened at Pensacola in 1913, and the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, the world's first regularly scheduled commercial airline, began service in 1914. Tom Benoist, a pioneer airboat (seaplane) manufacturer from St. Louis, started this cargo and passenger airline as well as a flying school on Tampa Bay. Backed by members of the St. Petersburg Board of Trade, he built hangars on the north edge of the yacht basin. Anthony "Tony" Jannus, Benoist's head pilot, took the airline's first passenger, former mayor A. C. Pheil, across the bay in a biplane on January 1, 1914. Pheil's high bid of $400 at an auction held before the flight brought him this honor. The twenty mile maiden flight of the new service took twenty-three minutes to complete. A few days later, a light cargo was for the first time flown across the bay. The activities of this airline demonstrated that air travel was practical although services were discontinued after only a few months due to financial and technical difficulties.
Sponsors: sponsored by the st. petersburg arts commission in cooperation with department of state
ZEPHANIAH PHILLIPS’ HOMESTEAD SITE/RANCHO DE JUAQUIN
Location:Corner of Pass-a-Grille Way and 7th Ave
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: In 1783, while updating Gulf Coast navigational charts, Jose Antonio de Evia (b.1740), a Spanish naval officer, visited a Spanish fishing camp located on this site. He called it “Rancho de Juaquin.” Artifacts from the 18th and early 19th centuries, now in the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum in St. Pete Beach, indicate fishermen used this camp and its water well until the 1840s. In 1918, when digging the house foundation at 612 Pass-a-Grille Way, a complete Spanish olive jar was discovered. It was donated to the St. Petersburg Museum of History in 1951, but was authenticated as being from this site in 1999. Zephaniah Phillips (1837-1903) was a Union Army veteran who with his family became the barrier islands’ first permanent settlers when they homesteaded here in 1886. The Phillips’ home built that year was moved from 612 to 608 Pass-a-Grille Way in 1918. It was Pass-a-Grille’s first home and one of the first built on Pinellas’s Gulf Beaches.
Sponsors: FLORIDA STATE QUESTERS AND TREASURED MEMORIES #1096 AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SERENO HOTEL
Location:1st Ave. NW between Beach Dr. & 1st St. NE
County: Pinellas
City: St. Petersburg
Description: In 1923 construction began on Soren Lund's "Million Dollar" Mediterranean Revival hotel. Prominent features were its clay-tiled roof, rough textured stucco, baroque-type arched entrance and sqraffito decorations. It encompassed the north half of the 100 block of Beach Drive. Noted regional architect Geoffrey Lloyd Preacher designed the Hotel. The Soreno, named for Lund's only son, was finished, and the majority of its rooms leased prior to the opening of the 1924 tourist season. Its completion established a new elegance on the downtown waterfront. The Soreno was the first of ten grand hotels built between 1923 and 1926, which defined St. Petersburg as a winter tourist destination, and was the climax of the Florida land boom in the 1920s. The unusual addition of a seventh floor was completed in 1929, bringing the total number of rooms to 300. Lund's lifelong experience and reputation in the hotel industry kept the hotel full throughout his ownership. During World War II, the Soreno was occupied by servicemen, then operated as a winter season hotel until it was closed in 1984. It was demolished in 1992.
Sponsors: St. Petersburg Heritage Trust, JMC Communities, and the Florida Department of State
ESPIRITU SANTO SPRINGS
Location:105 North Bayshore Dr.
County: Pinellas
City: Safety Harbor
Description: On May 18, 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the shores of what is now Tampa Bay, landing near these mineral springs used by the native population for nearly 10,000 years. Believing he had found the legendary Fountain of Youth somehow missed by Ponce de Leon, de Soto established a camp here, naming the crystal clear waters Espiritu Santa Springs - "Springs of the Holy Spirit." Each of the five springs located on this site was identified and said to cure certain ailments, a claim drawing thousands of visits yearly to the "Health Giving City" of Safety Harbor. The Safety Harbor Sanitorium opened its doors here in 1926, offering porcelain bath tubs and a large swimming pool for "taking the waters". In 1945 the springs and sanitorium were sold to Dr. Salem H. Baranoff, who opened the facility as a health spa. Today the springs continue to attract health-conscious travelers.
Sponsors: The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Florida Department of State
DUNEDIN ISLES GOLF CLUB
Location:1050 Palm Boulevard
County: Pinellas
City: Dunedin
Description: At the peak of the 1920s “land boom,” Dunedin Isles Golf Club was built to attract new residents to the City of Dunedin. Scotsman Donald Ross, one of the world’s foremost golf course architects, visited the site and designed the golf course which opened on January 1, 1927. During the Great Depression, the Club fell on hard times and in 1938, the course was deeded to the City with the stipulation that it be used for “recreational purposes.” The City was able to renovate the course with proceeds from the sale of Dunedin Isles residential lots. On July 1, 1945, the Club officially became the PGA (Professional Golf Association) National Golf Club, first home course of PGA of America. The PGA held its Senior Tour Championship here from 1945-1962 during which time golfers competed for the historic Teacher’s Trophy and the inaugural PGA Merchandise Show was held here in 1954. Many legendary PGA and LPGA professionals played here, including Tommy Armour, Patty Berg, Bobby Cruickshank, Jimmy Demaret, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Sam Snead, Louise Suggs, Cyril Walker, Al Watrous and Babe Zaharias. Other players include golfing great Bobby Jones and baseball legend Babe Ruth.
Sponsors: SPONSORED BY THE CITY OF DUNEDIN AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
CLEARWATER ATHLETIC FIELD
Location:900 N. Nartin Luther King Jr. Avenue
County: Pinellas
City: Clearwater
Description: In 1922, the Brooklyn Dodgers agreed to hold their spring training in Clearwater with the provision that the city would create an appropriate venue. The city broke ground on the Clearwater Athletic Field in December 1922 following the City Council’s decision to issue $25,000 in bonds to construct the field and a 2,000-seat wooden grandstand. Home plate was located at what is now the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and Seminole St., left field ran parallel to Palmetto St., and right field ran parallel to N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Players dressed in a wooden clubhouse off the third-base line, stayed downtown at the New Fort Harrison Hotel, and walked to and from practice. Professional and minor league teams that made the field their training home included the Brooklyn Dodgers (1923-32; 1936-41), Clearwater Pelicans (1924), Newark Bears (1933-35), Cleveland Indians (1942 and 1946), Clearwater Bombers professional softball (1945-54), Philadelphia Phillies (1947-54) and the Negro League Clearwater Black Sox (1952). The athletic field grandstand was destroyed by fire in 1956, but this remaining field was sometimes used for team practice and as a parking lot for games at nearby Jack Russell Stadium.
Sponsors: City of Clearwater, The Philadelphia Phillies
OLD PINELLAS COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Location:315 Court Street
County: Pinellas
City: Clearwater
Description: Formed in 1912, Pinellas County quickly outgrew its original courthouse and in 1916 the Board of County Commissioners voted in favor of a $160,000 bond issue to finance the construction of a new courthouse and jail. Well-known architect Francis J. Kennard was chosen for the design, and the land was purchased for $5,000 on January 19, 1917. Contracts totaling $119,823 were awarded to Bates, Hudnall, & Jetton and G.A. Miller & Company for the construction of the courthouse and jail, respectively. The building was completed on time and within budget in 1918. The first floor contained the county's business records and commissioners' offices. The second floor housed one large courtroom, judges' offices, and jury and grand jury rooms. The courthouse is an excellent example of Neo-Classical Revival architecture, similar to other early 20th century public buildings in Florida. The Old Pinellas County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance as the first permanent building in Pinellas County erected as the seat of county government. It was designated a local historic landmark by the City of Clearwater in partnership with the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board in 2015.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board
OZONA VILLAGE HALL
Location:341 Bay Street
County: Pinellas
City: Palm Habor
Description: In 1895, Dr. Susan K. Whitford and other local women founded the Ozona Ladies Improvement Society, which focused on community development initiatives. Early meetings were held in members’ homes, and it was quickly decided that a permanent meeting hall was needed. Members used bake sales, ice cream socials, and seafood dinners to raise funds to cover construction costs. They also secured commitments for donated materials and labor. In 1900, the Ozona Village Improvement Society (OVIS) incorporated to take over the hall’s ownership and operation. The hall served as a polling place, library, town hall, dance hall, theatre, church, and meeting place for local clubs and organizations. It survived hurricanes in 1918 and 1921, and was nearly burned down in 1933. OVIS transferred ownership to the Ozona Recreation Club in 1935 because of its younger, more active members, but regained ownership in 1999 due to the club’s declining membership. The hall is one of the oldest structures in continual community ownership in Pinellas County, and was designated a Historic Local Landmark by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners on November 10, 2015, due to its significance in the county’s history and culture.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board
HISTORIC ANDREWS MEMORIAL CHAPEL
Location:1899 San Mateo Drive
County: Pinellas
City: Dunedin
Description: Early Dunedin homesteader B. M. Brown and the Emerson family donated land for the construction of a church in 1876. Before it was built, John G. Andrews lost his brother William, who was killed while riding a horse during a violent storm. Andrews pledged $200 towards the church’s construction, provided that it be named Andrews Memorial Presbyterian Church in memory of his late brother. The original church site is the present location of the Dunedin Cemetery. As the Dunedin population shifted toward downtown in the late 1880s, the original church was dismantled and a new church was built on the corner of Scotland Street and Highland Avenue. Keeping the same name, the new church was designed in the Gothic style, and featured heart pine construction with a hand-carved beamed ceiling and pews. It was renamed Andrews Memorial Chapel when it moved south on Highland Avenue in 1926 to make room for a new Presbyterian church. The Dunedin Historical Society saved the chapel by relocating it to Hammock Park in 1970. During the relocation, the building was cut in half and later restored. The chapel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and is notable as one of the oldest buildings in the area.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board
TARPON SPRINGS HISTORIC DISTRICT
Location:Read Street on the north, Boyer Street on the south, Levis Avenue on the east, and Canal Street on the west
County: Pinellas
City: Tarpon Springs
Description: Side One: The Tarpon Springs Historic District is comprised of two historic elements, the early winter resort and the downtown commercial district. Tarpon Springs’ original plan was laid out by Mathew Marks, a business associate of landowner Hamilton Disston. Envisioning Tarpon Springs as a winter destination for wealthy northerners, Disston and his associates invested in the town’s development, and by the late 1800s, it became the largest town on the Pinellas Peninsula. The focal point of the booming resort town was Spring Bayou. The unique, elevated topography along the bayou’s banks allowed for the construction of large Victorian-era homes, which created an elegant residential district and earned it the nickname the “Golden Crescent.” Many houses along the bayou had ornately designed boathouses, all of which are gone. Notable among the residences is a large shingle-style house built by New Yorker George Clemson, and a number of well-maintained Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Frame Vernacular style homes. The waters of Spring Bayou have been the focus of various events, ranging from boat races and dramatic entertainment on floating stages to the celebration of the Epiphany. Side Two: As the Spring Bayou area grew as a residential destination, the downtown commercial district, originally situated along Tarpon Avenue between the city dock and the railroad station, also expanded. The Orange Belt Railroad Station was built in 1888, but burned down in 1908. The Atlantic Coast Line Depot was built in 1909 at the corner of Tarpon and Safford avenues and later became the home of the Tarpon Springs Historical Society. The population in Tarpon Springs exploded in the early 1900s, particularly due to the influx of Greek immigrants tied to the growing sponge industry. Many buildings constructed from the 1910s to the 1920s remain. Exceptional examples include the G.W. Fernald Building, the Old Tarpon Springs City Hall (now the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center), the Meres Building, and the Shaw Arcade. The Greek presence likewise influenced the character of the downtown. The district’s largest and most architecturally significant building is the Byzantine Revival style St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1943. The Tarpon Springs Historic District was designated as a local historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board
GULF SHORE PARK
Location:Gulf Drive running from Ohio Avenue to Georgia Avenue, and land to the west
County: Pinellas
City: Crystal Beach
Description: Crystal Beach is one of the original communities in Pinellas County. The first settlers came to the area and began homesteading around 1850. In 1912, land developers Dr. J.D. Hanby and A.D. Powers of the Crystal Beach Development Co. platted the community and laid out a gridded street system. Included in that plat was a park along the Gulf of Mexico. Named Gulf Shore Park, this area was described in marketing materials produced by the company in 1927 as a “narrow strip of land entirely along the west of Gulf Drive from the north end of the drive to the south end of the property.” It is comprised of a shell path and paved portions of Gulf Drive running from Georgia Avenue to Ohio Avenue. Powers and Hanby intended the park land to be forever held as a public amenity, and wrote, “This park is for all the people all the time. It is the front yard of Crystal Beach, and you are always welcome to come and enjoy the sunsets and cooling breezes.” The company clearly believed they were building a special community and saw the Gulf Shore Park as a focal point in preserving access to the beautiful waterfront for everyone, and part of the foundational character of Crystal Beach.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board
SOUTH WARD SCHOOL SITE
Location:610 South Fort Harrison Street
County: Pinellas
City: Clearwater
Description: In 1873, the first school under public administration in present-day Pinellas County was established in a log structure originally built for the Midway Baptist Church in the area of what is now the Clearwater Municipal Cemetery. In 1884, the school relocated to a one-room, wood-framed structure built on this site. Named the Clear Water School, the building expanded in 1888, and had 90 students in attendance by 1902. A larger, two-story masonry schoolhouse was constructed in 1906 and the wooden structure was demolished. The school expanded again in 1912 with the construction of the first Clearwater High School on this site. The high school’s principal, Dixie M. Hollins, became Pinellas County’s first school superintendent later that year. In 1915, the campus was renamed the South Ward School. Beginning in 1951, the final school building on this site, which included a kindergarten classroom, was built behind the high school. The South Ward School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Though it ceased operations in 2008, the school remains an important part of Pinellas County’s cultural heritage.
Sponsors: Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board