Tampa means “stick of fire” and is the name given to the area by the Caloosa Indians who roamed Southern Florida before the advent of the white man. Until about 1750, the Tampa Bay area was largely ignored by Spanish explorers because the Indians were “too difficult to conquer and too stubborn to convert.”
Settlement in Tampa began with the establishment of Fort Brooke in 1824. After the Second Seminole War, county officials were elected, a courthouse was constructed, a newspaper was published, banks opened and commerce began to prosper. In 1885, Henry B. Plant brought the railroad to Tampa, which spawned new industry.
In 1886, Cuban cigar makers moved their cigar manufacturing operations to Tampa. Industry flourished. and today, cigars are still produced and the lively Latin spirit still flourishes in Ybor City.
The massive Tampa Bay Hotel was constructed in the 1890’s and Hillsborough County became a fashionable winter resort area. Visitors came from all over the globe to stay in “the world’s most elegant hotel. The hotel’s Moorish architecture and 13 silver minarets are a landmark today. The building serves as the administration headquarters of the University of Tampa.
Cot. Teddy’ Roosevelt set up headquarters in the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1898, and 30,000 troops were encamped in Tampa for training during the Spanish American War. Tampa was the port of embarkation for Roosevelt’s Cuba bound troops.
The scheduled airline industry was born in the Tampa Bay area in January, 1914, when Tony Jannus made the first regularly scheduled commercial flights across the bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa in a Benoist airboat.
Tampa today is a city of more than 303,000 persons in a county with a population of over 1,150,000. As the industrial and vacation hub of the west coast of Florida, Tampa’s wide range of diversified industries. recreational facilities, and products. as well as its excellent transportation network, are maintaining a strong economy. Its beaches and attractions, its sporting facilities, and its climate add to the sound business environment to assure that Tampa is ‘Where the good life gets better every day.Hillsborough County is located midway down the west coast of Florida, on one of the finest protected harbours in the world. The county encompasses 1,037.8 square miles of land and 24.2 square miles of inland water area. Land elevation in Hillsborough County range from sea level to 179 feet above sea level.
Tampa's corporate limits cover 103.4 square miles within Hilisborough County. The city of Tampa is bordered on the south and west by the Upper and Old Tampa bays and is divided by the Hillsborough River, which originates northeast of the city.
Tampa offers an excellent climate, free from many of the extremes found in other parts of the country. The temperature ranges about 22 degrees, from a January mean of 60.0 degrees to an August mean of 82.0 degrees. Summer afternoons will reach into the 90's, with evenings in the 70's. During the winter, temperatures in Tampa occasionally drop into the 30's at night and climb back into the 50's and 60's during the afternoon.
Tampa's southern and western contours border on saltwater bays- a source of cooling breezes in the summer and a tempering influence in the winter months.
Summer temperatures in South Tampa are lower than in many other sections of the country. This is due to the summer thunderstorms which occur in the late afternoon during the months of June, July, August, and September. Some 30 inches of the annual total of 49 inches of rainfall occur during these summer months.
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