Some History ..
The earliest evidence of human habitation directly on the shores of Tampa Bay comes from the Manasota culture, a variant of the Weeden Island culture, who lived in the area beginning around 5,000–6,000 years ago, after sea levels had risen to near modern levels and the bay was connected to the Gulf of Mexico. This culture, which relied almost exclusively on the bay for food and other resources, was in turn replaced by the similar Safety Harbor culture by approximately 800 AD.
The Safety Harbor culture was dominant in the area at the time of first contact with Europeans in the mid-1500s. The Tocobaga, who built their principal town near today's Safety Harbor in the northwest corner of Old Tampa Bay, are the most documented group from that era because they had the most interactions with Spanish explorers. However, there were many other coastal villages organized into various small chiefdoms all around the bay.
Not finding gold or silver in the vicinity and unable to convert the native inhabitants to Christianity, the Spanish did not remain in the Tampa Bay area for long. However, diseases they introduced decimated the native population over the ensuing decades, leading to the near-total collapse of every established culture across peninsular Florida. Between this depopulation and the indifference of its colonial owners, the Tampa Bay region would be virtually uninhabited for almost 200 years.
Tampa Bay was given different names by early mapmakers. Spanish maps dated from 1584 identifies Tampa Bay as Baya de Spirito Santo ("Bay of the Holy Spirit"). A map dated 1695 identifies the area as Bahia Tampa. Later maps dated 1794 and 1800 show the bay divided with three different names, Tampa Bay west of the Interbay peninsula and Hillsboro Bayon the east with an overall name of Bay of Spiritu Santo.
The United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1819. The name Spirito Santo seems to have disappeared from maps of the region in favor of "Tampa Bay" (sometimes divided into Tampa and Hillsboro Bays) soon after the US established Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River in 1824.
For the next 100 years, many new communities were founded around the bay. Fort Brooke begat Tampa on the northeast shore, Fort Harrison (a minor military outpost on Florida's west coast) begat Clearwater, the trading post of "Braden's Town" developed into Bradenton on the south, and St. Petersburg grew quickly after its founding in the late 19th century, on the western bay shore opposite Tampa. By 2010, the Tampa Bay Area was home to over 4 million residents.
Places to see when visiting Louisville and surrounding areas ...
Tampa Bay, FL
The Tampa Bay, Florida British & Proud!!! Facebook group was started by somebody in 20xx
A few views of the City and surrounding area
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