The History of Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city which has its convenient location in the Hillsborough County right on the famous West Coast in Florida – a state known for its sunny days and pristine beaches. Interestingly enough, Tampa is one of the cities with the richest and oldest history in the country. It could be traced back thousands of years ago and it is most certainly one of the most enchanting things you can read of and there so many amazing things to do there.
With this in mind, let’s have a quick course and run through the interesting checkpoints which took place throughout time for Tampa to become the city that it is today.
Early history and European exploration
As you may know, a lot of our continent was initially discovered by European exploratory campaigns. However, when it comes to Tampa, different archeological evidence and in-depth research shows that the shores of the Tampa Bay have been prominently inhabited for thousands of years. Yes, you read it right – thousands, not hundreds. Artifact findings suggest that the early inhabitants of this particular area relied on the sea as a main source of different necessities. That’s not much of a surprise, isn’t it? Obviously, the vast majority of the inhabited sites we scattered on or particularly near the shoreline.
Now, when the Europeans came in contact in the area in the early 16th century, the Safety Harbor culture was what dominated the lands. Indigenous people were organized rather loosely in three or, perhaps four, chiefdoms located on the shores of the bay.
Obvious, this played a major role in the overall development of the region. In April, back in 1528, Spanish expedition landed where current Tampa is located. They had the intention to start a colony at the location. However, they were thoroughly informed of the wealthier nations and cultures to the north which led them to abandon their camp only approximately about a week after they made it. Of course, the riches they were searching for didn’t exist. There was a treaty placed between the Tocobaga tribe and Hernando De Soto, a Spanish explorer, and a Spanish outpost was conveniently established but didn’t last for long.
Interestingly enough, the indigenous people at the time never got conquered by gun. What they managed to survive were quite a few different attempts of colonization and they did so very successfully. However, diseases introduced by the European would quickly decimate the population in the next few decades, leading to an almost utter collapse in the culture which was established throughout the entire peninsula of Florida.
The birth of what used to be a pioneer town: Fort Brooke
Back in 1823, The US manage to require the leaders of the Seminoles to go ahead and sign a specific document. This was intended to create a substantial Indian reservation in the interior parts of the state of Florida. This is known as the Treaty of Moultrie Creek and it was followed by the construction of multiple forts as well as trading posts scattered throughout the entire territory.
Obviously, the idea was to enforce the provisions of this treaty upon the indigenous people. As part of this particular effort, on the 10th of January, 1824, Fort Brooke was established by Colonels George Mercer Brooke as well as James Gadsden. This was a small establishment on the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The Tampa Bay managed to provide it with conveniently opportunities for trading.
However, the growth of this area was rather slow, especially in comparison to others. The reason was quite simple – the pioneer conditions were rather difficult and there was a constant and underlying fear of attacks on behalf of the Seminole population.
Incorporating an early-day township
Now, a strong hurrican in the end of September back in 1848 managed to wash away what was a fairly significant growth of buildings and establishments. Basically every single construction in Tampa was either demolished and destroyed or significantly damaged. Fort Brooke was significantly damaged. A lot of the population remained with a hope to rebuild what was possible but there was also a lot of lobbying in the D.C. to re-do a plan to abandon the fort and all of the troop garrisons.
By the late 1845, Florida’s population had grown pretty much. In fact, it was enough for the area to be considered the 27th American State. The settlement of Tampa managed to get recovered by the late months of 1848 and it was incorporated as the “Village of Tampa”. This took place bacin on the 18th of January in 1849. In 1850, Tampa-Fort Brooke actually had almost 1000 residents and this led to the incorporation of the town of Tampa already.
Of course, as soon as this took place, there was a substantial population as well as community growth. There are clear evidences that this took place as there are a lot of churches which actually appeared back at the time – this is something very important.
If you are wondering about the things which led to the staggering growth of Tampa – it all began back in 1883. Not long after Tampa was officially recognized as a town, the discovery of phosphate in the Bone Valley region which is southeast of the tow, the population began growing significantly. This is a very important compound which is critical for the proper development of a range of industries and, hence, the demand sky-rocketed quicker than expected. This opened up a lot of new work opportunities and the town began to develop quicker than imagined.
In any case, the city of Tampa has quite a lot to show for. It’s a beautifully tucked town in the heart of Florida, characterized by long summers and endless hot days. Interestingly enough, it has some of the richest histories in the States and there is information for it dating back thousands of years, which is absolutely significant, given the comparatively short history of the USA.. There are a lot of museums and interesting sites to explore in Tampa and it’s a great destination.