Pinellas Park History

The Start of Pinellas

F. A. Davis began a Delaware land development company called the Florida Association. Mr. Davis came to Pinellas in 1890 and  “saw the picture” in such color and perspective. He  bought 12, 800 acres of land on the Pinellas Peninsula of what was then West Hillsborough County (which became Pinellas County in 1913).

In 1909 or 1910 Mr. Davis and a group of developers sent P.J. McDevitt to Florida to establish a town near the City of St. Petersburg for the purpose of growing cane sugar.

The peninsula remained a part of Hillsborough County until 1913, but reference in testimonials referred to Pinellas Farms or the Pinellas Peninsula. Model Farm No. 1 (there would be two others) became the showplace for visitors or potential colonists.

Mr. Davis also built thfirst additione Colony House, at a point where 60th Street crosses Park Boulevard. This two-story structure housed affluent visitors who might wish to make investments, served meals and offered space for social gatherings. From the Colony House windows one could view a model farm and rows of tents on Pittsburgh Avenue where people camped until their modest homes were completed.

 

 First Addition to Pinellas Farms 1911PP Map 1911Colony House - Pinellas Park - March 28th,1911Colony House 1911

Despite hardships, the new arrivals were enthusiastic and civic-spirited. Their letters and postcards home drew more new arrivals, until the Colony Houses were full. The overflow moved into considerably less comfortable tent cities until permanent homes were completed.

Pinellas Park Enterprise - Volume 1 No. 1 - March 11th, 1915
This is the 1st article posted to the Pinellas Park Enterprise Newspaper

Pinellas Park has its own electric light and water plant, which is furnishing light and water to all the residents at a very moderate rate.

The town has a good fire department. It is a volunteer company. They own their own building and fire fighting equipment, composed of a chemical engine, with two 35-gallon tanks and a hook and ladder truck with numerous ladders and other equipment. It is the intention to have the town take over and provide for the department as soon as the new charter become effective.

Pinellas Park has a large and fine auditorium building, which is used for public gatherings and social events.

The largest cane syrup plant in Florida is located in Pinellas Park. The building and equipment cost in the neighborhood of $35,000. The capacity of this mill is 50 tons of cane in 24 hours. The season just closed has been very successful, the mill having ground over 1,000 tons of cane. There is a standard gauge railroad, approximately four miles long, with a full equipment of rolling stock, cars and locomotive, which brings the cane from the various fields to the mill. There are about 250 acres planted in sugar cane.

A new charter has been prepared for the town of Pinellas Park. This will be presented to the legislature when it convenes in April and as everyone is in favor of it, there is no reason why it should not be passed and put into effect. This charter provides for many new ideas - the recall among them. The government of the town will be composed of a mayor and five councilmen, a tax assessor, tax collector, town treasurer, town clerk and chief of police. The charter will give great power to the mayor and council. The whole destiny of the town will be in their hands. The new charter especially provides for the elimination of the cows and hogs - the greatest nuisance in the county at the present. It also provides for the paving and curbing of the streets and sidewalks, the parking of public parks, the planting of shade trees and shrubs along all the streets and avenues.

Work was started on Monday, March 8, on a new brick, four-room school building. This will be one of the best school buildings in the county. It will be located on Thirty-third street and Seventh avenue, on a plot of ground owned by the sub-school district.

The Pinellas Park drainage supervisors re arranging to start work within the next thirty days on a perfect system of drainage, which will include Pinellas Park and the outlying districts. This district comprises 14,000 acres and will eventually mean a canal cut through  Long Bayou from Boca Ciega to Tampa Bay. There will be numerous short canals which will be navigable for small boats, running in from the main canal, which will bring Pinellas Park close to navigation. All the requirements of the law have been complied with and the bonds are now in the hands of a lithographer for completion. The issue will be $100.000 in denominations of $100, $500 and $1,000 bearing 6 per cent interest, payable semi-annually in January and July.

Pinellas Park has numerous stores, which carry full stocks and they are right up-to-date. It has also good hotel facilities, a modern railroad station, telegraph office and post office, of course.

A garage and machine shop, in charge of a first-class mechanic, capable of doing any king of automobile work, is an important part of Pinellas Park’s commercial life.

There is a government weather station at Pinellas Park and daily records of the temperature have been kept for over three years.

The office of the Florida Association is located in the Court Apartments, a very handsome building containing four modern apartments, completely furnished, right up-up-to-the-minute, besides the various offices of the companies. The Pinellas Audit company, which is in charge of a very efficient manager with a corps of assistants, takes care of the accounts, acts as purchasing agent and does all the clerical work for the Florida Association, Tyrone - Pinellas company, Pinellas Development company, Pinellas Realty and Sugar Cane company, Pinellas Park Syrup company, Pinellas Park Drainage District, Pinellas Park Public Service company and the West Coast Railroad and Transportation company.

Development of Pinellas Park Train Station
Early 1900's before train station or trains in Pinellas Park          First Pinellas Park Train Station built 1912
train station 
Park Station built 2004

Park Station exterior with clock tower and flag poles
Pinellas is on the Map - January 4th,1915
60St76Ave001Pinellas Park City Hall

1st City HallFirst Town Hall2nd City Hall
2nd Town (City) Hall & Fire Department, used as Pinellas Park Public Library, Chamber of Commerce and Art Society. Torn down March 29th, 2002.

2ndCityHallFD_27-56City Hall Present
4th & Present City Hall built in 1975.

City Hall

Pinellas Park Fire Department
Volunteer Fire Department 1915Volunteer Fire Dept_1915
Volunteer Fire Department 1947Volunteer Fire Dept 1947 

Pinellas Park Police Department
On May 27th, 1915 the first Town Marshal, George W. Williams, Sr., was appointed. The Pinellas Park Police Department was now formally organized...and consisted of one man! There would be other Town Marshals until 1948.

July 5th, 1948 Pinellas Park’s new Police Force was inaugurated as part of a Fourth of July Celebration (St. Petersburg Times, Tuesday, July 6th, 1948).

(L - R) John Holton, Fred Walker, Stanley Moore, Milton Bryan, Bobby Paine, Chief of Police Louis Wagenblast and Mayor James R. Shoecraft

New Police Force 1948 Inauguration
(L) Officer Jim Barrett in Police Jeep.

Jim Barrett with Police Jeep PD Unknown date 
1969 Chevrolet Police Cruiser in back of Police Station

1969 Chevy Cruiser
Pinellas Park Library 

The 1st Library early 1920's
The first library service in Pinellas Park was given by the Sunshine Society, beginning in the 1920’s, disbanding in the 1940’s. Community library service revived with the organization of the Pinellas Park Public Library Association. The first home was in the City Water Department’s old pump house that stood in today’s Triangle Park. The librarian and all workers were volunteers until October 31st, 1959.

Public Works Water Station
Pinellas Park Library 1959
On March 14th, 1959 Open House in new library quarters, 5795 Park Boulevard. November 1st, the City paid for the first salaried librarian and the Library became  a Department of the City.

Library
Pinellas Park Library Present
Present, Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd Street at 78th Ave. Original Dedication March 2nd, 1969.

Library
Pinellas Park 1st School 1912

First School 
Pinellas Park 1st Graduating Class 1919

First Graduation-1
Pinellas Park Public School 1925
Built in 1915 and used for Elementary School until 1956 or 1957. Used as City Hall from 1959 - 1975 and Police Department from 1975 - 1979. Torn down February 12th, 1979.

Public School 1925-1
1925 Pinellas Park Bus Line  pinellas park bus linePP Bus Line 11x14Bus_Line_1925001