Place:St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States

Watchers


NameSt. Petersburg
Alt namesSaint Petersburgsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
St. Petesource: Wikipedia
TypeCity
Coordinates27.782°N 82.667°W
Located inPinellas, Florida, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2015 census estimate, the population was 257,083,[1] making it the fifth-most populous city in Florida and the largest in the state that is not a county seat (the city of Clearwater is the seat of Pinellas County).

St. Petersburg is the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, after Tampa. Together with Clearwater, these cities comprise the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, the second-largest in Florida with a population of around 2.8 million. St. Petersburg is located on the Pinellas peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and is connected to mainland Florida to the north.

St. Petersburg was founded in 1888 by John C. Williams, who purchased the land, and by Peter Demens, who brought the railroad industry into the area. As a part of a coin toss bet, the winner, Peter Demens, named the land after Saint Petersburg, Russia, while Williams opted to name the first hotel built which was named the Detroit Hotel, both named after their home towns respectively. St. Petersburg was incorporated as a town on February 29, 1892 and re-incorporated as a city on June 6, 1903.[2]

The city is often referred to by locals as St. Pete. Neighboring St. Pete Beach formally shortened its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents. St. Petersburg is governed by a mayor and city council.

With an average of some 361 days of sunshine each year, and a Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days), it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City".[3] Due to its good weather and low cost of living, the city has long been a popular retirement destination, although in recent years the population has moved in a much more youthful direction. American Style magazine ranked St. Petersburg its top mid-size city in 2011, citing its "vibrant" arts scene.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early settlement: 18751899

The city was co-founded by John C. Williams, formerly of Detroit, who purchased the land in 1875, and by Peter Demens who was instrumental in bringing the terminus of the Orange Belt Railway there in 1888.[2] The first major newspaper to debut in Tampa Bay was the St. Petersburg Times which established in 1884. St. Petersburg was incorporated as a town on February 29, 1892, when it had a population of only some 300 people.[4]

A local legend says that John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would have the honor of naming the city.[5] When Demens won the coin toss the city was named after Saint Petersburg, Russia, where Peter Demens had spent half of his youth, while John C. Williams named the first hotel after his birthplace, Detroit (a hotel built by Demens).[2] The Detroit Hotel still exists downtown, but has been turned into a condominium. The oldest running hotels are the historic Pier Hotel, built in 1921, formally Hotel Cordova and The Heritage Hotel (now named Hotel Indigo), built in 1926.

Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis turned on St. Petersburg's first electrical service in 1897. The city's first major industry was born in 1899 when Henry W. Hibbs (1862–1942), a native of Newport, North Carolina, established his wholesale fish business at the end of the railroad pier, which extended out to the shipping channel. Within a year, Hibbs Fish Company was shipping more than of fish each day.

Early 20th-century development: 19001949

St. Petersburg was incorporated as a city in June 1903.[2] With this transition, the development of the downtown waterfront had dredging of a deeper shipping channel from 1906 to 1908 which opened St. Petersburg to larger shipping. Further dredging improved the port facilities through the 1910s. By then the city's population had quadrupled to a population of 4,127 citizens. F. A. Davis was instrumental to bringing the first trolley service in 1904.[6]

In 1914, the Tampa Bay area was one of the first Floridian cities that fell in love with baseball tracing its roots from Tampa and St. Petersburg. The former mayor of St. Petersburg, Al Lang, had invited the St. Louis Browns to move their spring training into the city.

St. Petersburg's first library opened on December 1, 1915 which still operates till this day as the Mirror Lake Library.[2]

In 1914 an airplane service across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa and back was initiated, generally considered the first scheduled commercial airline flight. The company name was the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, and the pilot was Tony Jannus, flying a Benoist XIV flying boat. The Tony Jannus Award is presented annually for outstanding achievement in the airline industry.

The 1920s in St. Petersburg was big due to its major growth brought by tourists. Tourists came from all over by automobile, yacht, and railroad. Travel time from across the bay was cut due to the Gandy Bridge's opening in 1924, helping St. Petersburg increase in tourist numbers and helped grow it into the largest city in Pinellas County. The city also adopted the Mediterranean-style architecture brought by Snell Isles founder Perry Snell.[2] An attraction that brought on a great number of tourists and citizens was the Million Dollar Pier which was built in 1926.

Tourists declined by the late 1920s and early 1930s due to the Great Depression. Shortly after near the end of the Great Depression, the city recovered due to the help of the Public Works Administration with a $10 million investment plan which helped build the St. Petersburg City Hall.[2]

By the 1940s the city received a large population growth due to World War II. St. Petersburg was a training ground area for the U.S. Coast Guard who had a training base and used the city's Bayboro Harbor,[7] and for the Army Air Force who was selected by the War Department to use the city as their technical service training station. With both stations occupying the city, more than 100,000 troops occupied all hotels in St. Petersburg. After the war, most troops who were stationed in St. Petersburg returned as residents or tourists.[2]

Modern expansion: 1950present

In the 1950s, St. Petersburg experienced another population increase with residents. The development of transportation was important with the increase of tourists, more automobiles were used in the city and subsequently the public street cars were removed.[2] In 1954 the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge opened its first span to link St. Petersburg with Manatee County. A year later in 1955, Highway 19 opened in the city creating a large influx of traffic. By the end of the 1950s, tourists and retirees increased in the area.

The development of major transportation continued into the 1960s with the completion of the Howard Frankland Bridge in 1960, creating another connection between St. Petersburg and Tampa.[8] St. Petersburg also received its first stadium named the Bayfront Center which hosted the first professional hockey league in Tampa Bay. A new municipal marina and the Museum of Fine Arts were also built downtown.[2] St. Petersburg is home to one of the world's largest reclaimed water systems that was built in the 1970s which flows 37 million gallons of water per day to provide for customers located throughout the city.

From May to August 1968, 211 of the city's sanitation workers struck for higher wages. The strike began approximately one month after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee while supporting that city's sanitation workers strike.

In 1984, a full-scale flying replica of the Benoist XIV flying boat was constructed by Florida Aviation Historical Society for the 70th anniversary of the flight. This aircraft is now on loan to the St. Petersburg Museum of History in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Development of the first Major League Baseball team to be located in the Tampa Bay area began in St. Petersburg throughout the 1970s. The city tried to encourage numerous teams through the United States to make St. Petersburg their new tenant.[2] With the need of a major league baseball team, designs for a ballpark were first presented in 1983 and construction for a permanent dome stadium began in 1986. The stadium opened in 1990 as the Florida Suncoast Dome, later named the Thunderdome in 1993. After many attempts to attract tenants to the new stadium, Major League Baseball gave St. Petersburg a franchise in 1995. In 1996, the dome was renamed a third time to Tropicana Field after naming rights were established with Tropicana Dole Beverages. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays was then established in 1998 after the stadium's renovation and the new team played their first game on March 31, 1998, giving the Tampa Bay area their first professional baseball team.

The city population continued to multiply during the 20th century, booming in the 1940s and 1950s and through the 1970s as the town became a popular retirement destination for Americans from midwestern cities, reaching 238,647 in the 1980 census. By that time, however, the population had leveled off, and has grown by only 10,000 since then. In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the population of the city dropped by approximately 4000 residents, while in the same period the population of Florida increased by over two and a half million residents.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at St. Petersburg, Florida. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.