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


NameSt. Petersburg
Alt namesSaint Petersburgsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
St. Petesource: Wikipedia
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 2020 census, the population was 258,308, making it the fifth-most populous city in Florida and the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, after Tampa. It is the largest city in the state that is not a county seat (the city of Clearwater is the seat of Pinellas County). Along with Clearwater, these cities are part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, the second-largest in Florida with a population of around 2.8 million. St. Petersburg is on the Pinellas peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and is connected to mainland Florida to the north.

Locals often refer to the city 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 361 days of sunshine annually, and a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days between 1967 and 1969), it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City."[1] Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the average water temperature is typically around . 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.



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

Early Spanish exploration

The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition landed on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay at the Jungle Prada Site on April 14, 1528. It was the first inland exploration of North America. Of 300 men on the expedition only four survived. One of the survivors of the expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, wrote the first book describing the peoples, wildlife, flora and fauna of inland North America in his Relacion, published in Spain in 1542.

Nineteenth century

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. St. Petersburg was incorporated as a town on February 29, 1892, when it had a population of 300 people.

Local lore claims John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would have the honor of naming the city. 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 on Central Ave, but has been turned into a condominium.

The oldest opearting hotels are the Pier Hotel (formally Hotel Cordova), built in 1921, and The Exchange Hotel (formalley The Heritage Hotel), built in 1926.

The first major newspaper to debut in Tampa Bay was the St. Petersburg Times which established in 1884. 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.

Twentieth century

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.[3]

In 1914, Al Lang invited the St. Louis Browns to move their spring training into the city, then worked tirelessly to make Grapefruit League training in and around St. Petersburg the destination for baseball teams and their fans by the 1920s. Lang eventually became mayor and ambassador for the city, and helped its permanent population grow tenfold in just a decade.

St. Petersburg's first library opened on December 1, 1915 which still operates to 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 flight took former mayor Abe Pheil to Tampa. 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 city and its tourism industry burgeoned in the 1920s, with up to a quarter million visitors annually coming from Canada, the North and the Midwest by automobile, yacht, and railroad. The city was the principal Gulf Coast destination for long distance trains of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's Southland (from Chicago and Cincinnati) and Gulf Coast Limited (from New York, succeeded by the West Coast Champion), and Seaboard Air Line Railroad trains such as the Southern States Special (from New York, succeeded by the Silver Meteor). Travel time from across the bay was cut due to the Gandy Bridge's opening in 1924, allowing direct access to Tampa and the rest of central Florida.

The city took on a Mediterranean flair, with Old Spanish Trail style architecture promoted by Snell Isle founder Perry Snell, whose new country club island homes adopted many elements of Moorish design. Those same elements[2] were echoed in the city's new Vinoy, Jungle Country Club, Don Cesar and other fine hotels, as well as in Snell's new skyscraper office building downtown.The 1926 opening of the Million Dollar Pier marked the peak of the boom, adding an attraction that brought both tourists and townspeople together to enjoy fishing, amusements, trolley access and even a local radio station.

The St. Petersburg flag was created in 1927 and was designed by Mayor C.J. Maurer along with a committee of other public officials. It featured an array of colors symbolic of St. Pete's culture including the sunshine, water and land. The idea came after officials called for a new logo which later became the design for the flag. The pelican featured in the center became a symbol for the "Feed the Pelican Fund" which has supported the birds during the winter months.

Tourism declined by the late 1920s and early 1930s due to the Great Depression. The city recovered later in the 1930s with the help of the Public Works Administration, including a $10 million investment plan in 1939 which helped build the St. Petersburg City Hall.[2] The second World War brought renewed growth, as the city's Bayboro Harbor became a training base for the U.S. Coast Guard[4] and the Army Air Force chose the city as their technical service training station. The hotels filled for the first time in years, as up to 100,000 troops came to St. Petersburg. After the war, many of those troops who were stationed in St. Petersburg returned as residents or tourists.[2] In the 1950s, St. Petersburg experienced another population boom, with the return of retiree resettlement to the city. In 1954 the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge opened its first span to link St. Petersburg with Manatee County, connecting the next year to U.S. Route 19 in the city. With a large influx of car traffic, it was decided to remove the city's streetcar lines.

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.[5] 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.

Contemporary history

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 home.[2] 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, renamed 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 through the 1970s as a popular retirement destination for Americans from midwestern cities, reaching 238,647 in the 1980 census. Serious urban problems and destruction of historic structures stymied growth in the subsequent decade and a half, but renewed interest in urban living by family aged residents and the expansion of the downtown university and related services has renewed its growth.

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