The Pinellas County Heritage Village, in St Petersburg, Florida, is a unique park. When an old historic house or other building is donated, the city will disassemble the entire building piece by piece, then reassemble it here at the Heritage Village to preserve it. So far, over 20 historic buildings are preserved here, where they are open to the public. The park is also home to living history displays and cultural events throughout the year. Here are some photos from the park:
The McMullen House. Built in 1868 by Daniel McMullen, one of 7 McMullen brothers who settled in Pinellas County in the 1850's. Daniel worked as a hog and cattle farmer. McMullen family members lived in this house until 1992, when it was donated to the County.
From 1900 to 1920, the population of St Petersburg, FL, rocketed from just 1500 to over 14,000. This little general store opened in 1915 at the intersection of 5th Street and 6th Avenue South. It was operated by a succession of owners until 1950, when it lost business to new air-conditioned department stores and shopping malls. In 1988 it was sold to the city of St Pete, who moved it to the park and preserved it as it was in the 1920's . . .
. . . complete with a service/gas station and . . .
a 1925 Ford Model T.
Tampa Bay's population explosion in the 1910's was due to the arrival of the railroads, extended to Tampa and St Pete by Peter Demens and Henry Plant. This train station was built at Sulphur Springs in north Tampa in 1924 (it is the only building in the park that is not originally from Pinellas County).
The McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin. Built in 1852 by Captain James McMullen (another one of the McMullen brothers) in present-day Clearwater, it is the oldest existing building in Pinellas County. It was sold to Solomon Coachman in 1902, who modernized it with electricity and running water. After the cabin was donated to the county in 1977, it was restored to its 1852 condition.
The Harris School. Built in 1912 on Haines Road in St Petersburg by county school commissioner William "Uncle Bill" Harris, it was used as a one-room classroom until 1923, when it was torn down and replaced with a bigger school. This display is a recreation made in 1987 from original plans.
The Boyer Cottage. Built in 1878 on the Anclote River in what is now Tarpon Springs, it was built by Joshua Boyer for his honeymoon. Intended as just a temporary cottage, it never had electricity, but it survived to become the oldest building in Tarpon Springs. It was donated to the county in 1978.
The House of Seven Gables. Built in 1907 on the shore of Clearwater Bay by Illinois businessman David Starr. It has 13 rooms and is a very large house by Florida standards. For a time it was a church parsonage, then a roominghouse. In 1976 it was donated to the county, and was placed on a barge, intact, and floated down the intercostal waterway to the Heritage Village.
The Sponge Warehouse. By the 1920's, there was a large sponge-diving industry in the town of Tarpon Springs, in northern Pinellas County, fed particularly by a large population of immigrants from the Greek Islands. Tarpon Springs became "The Sponge Capitol of the World", providing natural sea sponges for industrial use as well as home bathrooms. This sponge warehouse was built in 1930. In 1955, a Philadelphia businessman named George Kouseleos bought it for the Gulf Of Mexico Sponge Company. The building was donated to the county in 2004.
The Safety Harbor Church. Built in 1917 in the town of Green Springs, later renamed Safety Harbor. It was destroyed twice by hurricanes and rebuilt. In 1960 the church built a bigger sanctuary and converted this one to a Sunday School building. It was donated in 1977.
The Church interior. The altar and railing are the originals from 1917, which survived the hurricanes.
The Greenwood House. Built on Clearwater Bay in 1888. By 1910, the railroads led to a population explosion in Clearwater, and as the price of waterfront property skyrocketed, developers moved smaller buildings away to make room for more expensive houses. The Greenwood house was moved about a mile inland, where it survived as part of a poor working-class neighborhood.
The Union Academy. Originally built in 1916 as a World War One training barracks, the building was moved in the 1920's to the Tarpon Springs school for use as a classroom. In 1942 it was moved again to the segregated "colored" school at Union Academy. Here it was used as a classroom and as a social center for Pinellas County's African-American population.
The interior of the one-room Union Academy.
The Moore House. Built in Clearwater in 1879 by George Washington Moore. Moore moved from Kentucky as part of the original Florida "land rush" when oranges became a cash crop and Florida orange groves were big money. This farmstead also produced pigs and cows.
The Outhouse. The Moore House, like most farmsteads of its time, lacked indoor plumbing.
The Turner Bungalow. Built as a roominghouse in 1915 on South Harrison Ave in the city of Clearwater. This building was just moved to the Heritage Village in January 2014, and is in the process of being rebuilt.