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Hillsborough County Information
Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834 from Alachua and Monroe counties. It was named for Wills Hill, Viscount Hillsborough of England. The county's boundaries of 1834 included the present-day counties of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.
History of Tampa Florida
The word "Tampa" is an American Indian word used to refer to the area when the first European explorers arrived in Florida. Its meaning, if any, has been lost to the ages, though it is sometimes claimed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe. Other historians claim the name refers to "The place to gather sticks". "Sticks of fire" may also relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months. The name first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), the author of which had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town.
Spanish conquistador Panfilo de Narvaez was the first European known to have visited the Tampa area, on April 8, 1528. Hernando de Soto arrived a year later to rescue the only remaining living member of de Narvaez's expedition. A peace treaty was conducted with the local Indians and a short-lived Spanish outpost was established, but this was abandoned when it became clear that there was no gold in the area, and that the local Indians were not interested in converting to Catholicism and were too skilled as warriors to easily conquer.
When England acquired Florida in 1763, the bay was named Hillsborough Bay, after Lord Hillsborough, Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Spain transferred Florida to the United States in 1821 (see Adams-Onis Treaty). An Indian reservation was established in what is now north Tampa. As part of efforts to firmly establish United States control over southern Florida, then a vast swampy wilderness with sparse Seminole Indian population, a military outpost ("Cantonment Brooke") was established at what is now the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa in 1823 by Colonels George Mercer Brooke and James Gadsden. In 1824, the post was renamed Fort Brooke. It was a vital military asset in the Seminole Wars. The village of Tampa began to grow up around the fort, which was decommissioned in 1883. Except for two cannons now on the University of Tampa campus, all traces of the fort are gone.
Tampa was incorporated on January 18, 1849 with 185 inhabitants (excluding military personnel stationed at Fort Brooke). The town's first census came in 1850 when Tampa-Fort Brooke accounted for 974 residents. Tampa was reincorporated as a town on December 15, 1855, and Judge Joseph B. Lancaster became the first Mayor in 1856. During the Civil War, Fort Brooke was occupied by Confederate troops, and martial law was declared in Tampa. In 1862, a Union gunboat shelled the city during the Battle of Tampa. Union forces took Fort Brooke in May of 1864, and occupied the town for the next year.
Phosphate was discovered in the Bone Valley region near Tampa in 1883. Tampa is now one of the world's leading phosphate exporters. Henry B. Plant's railroad reached the town shortly thereafter, enabling the commercial fishing industry to thrive.
In 1885, the Tampa Board of Trade persuaded Vincente M. Ybor to move his cigar manufacturing operations to Tampa from Key West. The Ybor City district was built to accommodate the factories and their workers. Tampa soon became a major cigar production center. Thousands of Italian (the majority coming from Alessandria Della Rocca and Santo Stefano, two small Sicilian towns which Tampa maintains strong ties with) and Cuban immigrants came to Tampa to work at the factories.
Henry Plant built a lavish luxury hotel in the city in 1883, which is now the campus of the University of Tampa.
Tampa was an embarkation center for American troops during the Spanish-American War. Lieutenant Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were part of the 30,000 troops stationed in Tampa for training.
In 1904, local civic association Ye Mystic Krewe "invaded" the city for the first time, establishing the yearly Gasparilla Pirate Festival.
Illegal bolita lotteries became very popular among the Tampa working classes, especially in Ybor City, where many gambling parlors sprang up. Profits from the bolita lotteries and Prohibition-era bootlegging led to the development of several organized crime factions in the city. The first boss of Tampa's organized crime world was Charlie Wall, but various power struggles culminated in consolidation of control by Sicilian mafioso Santo Trafficante, Sr. and his faction in the 1950s. After his death in 1954 from cancer, control passed to his son Santo Trafficante, Jr., who established alliances with families in New York and extended his power throughout Florida and into Batista-era Cuba.
The University of South Florida was established in 1956, sparking development in northern Tampa and nearby Temple Terrace.
The biggest development of the city was the development of New Tampa that started in 1988 when the city annexed a 24-square mile (mostly rural) area between I-275 and I-75. Today, the district boasts over 22,000 inhabitants.
With the advent of air conditioning, thousands of new residents have arrived in Tampa from the northern United States. The population continues to grow rapidly, and construction is proceeding rapidly on new housing developments around Tampa.
On January 5, 2002, just four months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 15-year-old amateur pilot Charles Bishop flew a Cessna plane into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa. Bishop died, but there were no other injuries (because the crash occurred on a Saturday, when few people were in the building). A suicide note found in the wreckage expressed support for Osama bin Laden. Bishop had been taking a prescription medicine for acne called Accutane that may have had the side effect of depression or severe psychosis. His family later sued Hoffman-La Roche, the company that makes Accutane, for $70 million; however, an autopsy found no traces of the drug in the teenager's system.
* Pasco County, Florida - north
* Polk County, Florida - east
* Hardee County, Florida - southeast corner
* Manatee County, Florida - south
* Pinellas County, Florida - west
Hillsborough Government websites
Hillsborough County Events:
02-08, Palatka, FL, Palatka Bluegrass Festival, Three day event on the banks of the St John River. , 706-864-7203
02-09, Fort Myers, FL, Florida Wildlife Art Show, Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium Friday and Saturday, 610-896-4776
02-10, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, Flamingo Gardens Benefit Flea Market, Benefit Flea Market at Flamingo Gardens from 9am to 2pm, 954-473-2955
02-10, Land O Lakes, FL, Wine Festival, Live music, arts and crafts, food, 813-996-2113
02-10, Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach Festival of the Arts, Free event features arts, crafts, music, theatre, food, kids activities and more., 305-865-4147
02-10, Stuart, FL, SailFish Arts, Artist Registry Show, Street Artists Show, Concerts, Children's Area, Community Organizations, 772-287-6676
02-17, Punta Gorda, FL, Punta Gorda Arts & Craft Festival, Annual downtown arts and crafts festival in Gilchrist Park along the Peace River, 239-530-8072
02-17, St. Petersburg, FL, Wine Festival, Wine Festival with vendors, live music and wine tastings, 813-526-2113
02-17, Punta Gorda, FL, Punta Gorda Arts & Crafts Festival, Located in beautiful Gilchrist Park in historic downtown along the Peace River, 239-530-8072
02-23, North Miami Beach, FL, Everglades Bluegrass Festival, Festival Under the Old Oak Trees - 305-358-1800 for more details., 305-358-1800
02-24, Orlando, FL, Orlando Downtown Art & Living Expo, Live music, great food and more than 100 Art and Downtown exhibitors will all be showcased during the s, 407-210-3970
02-24, Orlando, FL, Repticon, Reptile show at Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Dr. 10 am - 4 pm. , 407-230-7217
02-24, Cape Coral, FL, 3rd Annual Irish Festival, Best Irish Entertainment in SWFla includingStep Dancers & Bagpipers. Corned Beef, cabbage, & Irish beer, 239-540-2161
02-25, Hollywood, FL, Cool Rhythms Sunday, Popular Ongoing Music Festival on Hollywood Beach. Arts & Crafts, Small Business Vendor Space available., 954-822-1703
02-28, Zolfo Springs, FL, Pioneer Park Days, over 400 exhibits of antique tractors, steam engines and farm equipment. 491 flea market vendors, 863-773-2161
03-02, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Riverwalk Blues Festival, 20th Anniversary of the Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival located in downtown Ft Lauderdale, 954-449-1028
03-02, Orlando, FL, ESPN the Weekend, Live telecasts, interactive sports experiences, motorcades, ESPN talent and celebrities!, 407-566-6357
03-03, Leesburg, FL, 30th Leesburg Fine Arts Festival, 140 Artists accepted, $3000 best of show, , 352-365-0232
03-03, Ponce De Leon, FL, Tri-County Music Festival, There will be eight local bands performing from10am til 10pm along with a car and a bike show , 850-956-2985
03-09, Amelia Island, FL, Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, The Legends of Road Racing, 904-261-3248
03-09, St. Augustine, FL, Lions Seafood Festival, Quality Seafood, Bluegrass and Country music, Arts & Crafts Show.Contests and prizes. Parking Garage , 904-829-1753
03-10, Tampa, FL, WEDU Marche de Rue, Outdoor art, home and garden European-style street market in historic Hyde Park Village., 813-254-9338
03-10, Marathon, FL, Original Marathon Seafood Festival, Located in the beautiful Florida Keys, this annual event will be celebrating it's 35th year in existence., 305-743-5417
03-10, Saint James City, FL, Pine Island Breast Cancer Benefit, 5K walk and live concert to benefit Breast Cancer Charities on Pine Island, Florida, 239-281-8654
03-10, Arcadia, FL, Arcadia Arts and Crafts Festival, Arts & Crafts Festival 10a-4p in McSwain Park. Handmade goods - painting, woodcarving, jewely, metal art , 863-494-4033
03-16, Ocala, FL, Sleeping with the Trees, An evening with exciting & fun activities no camping experience needed, 352-401-3900
03-17, Lake Park, FL, Kelsey Irish Fest, Family Irish Fest - Free Admission, Free Rides, Irish Music & Fun! - 4pm - 10pm, 561-881-3338
03-17, Belle Glade, FL, Glades Festival of Afro Arts, Come and enjoy ethnic cuisines of the Glades area, we also have games set up for kids to enjoy!, 561-924-5126
03-17, Estero, FL, Estero Arts & Crafts Festival, Located on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University in an around the student union building., 239-530-8072
03-24, Longboat Key, FL, Longboat Key FineArts&CraftsFestival, A festival of fine arts and crafts with music, food, beverages, art demonstrations and children’s events, 941-383-2345
03-24, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, Flamingo Gardens Annual Spring Garden Event, Everything for your yard and patio. 9:30-4:30, $10 over age 11, $5 children (4-11), 954-473-2955
03-24, Miami Gardens, FL, Jazz in the Gardens, 2nd Annual Jazz In The Gardens With India Arie, Boney James, Wil Downing, Paquito D’Rivera & Luciano, 305-576-3790
03-24, Naples, FL, Naples Arts & Crafts Festival, Located at Gulf View Middle School in the prestigious, affluent community of historic old Naples, 239-530-8072
03-24, Largo, FL, Largo Central Park Artists' Market, 2-day outdoor fine art festival in beautiful 12 acre city park. Expect 5000 to 8000, 727-595-5311
03-25, Melbourne, FL, Chocolate Festival, Lots of Chocolate samples!, food & beverages, art & Music -one low ticket price $20 per person., 321-432-7095
03-29, Jacksonville, FL, World of Nations Celebration, Journey with us as we celebrate rich cultural traditions and unique heritage of from around the world! , 904-630-3690
03-30, DeLand, FL, West Volusia Wildflowers Festival, Plant sale, workshops, field trips, art, food, entertainment, conservation info, kids winning art display, 800-749-4350
03-30, Moore Haven, FL, Big ' O' Birding Festival, An annual birding festival including tours, presentations, arts&crafts, and kids events on Friday., 863-946-0300
03-30, Coral Gables, FL, Coral Gables Arts & Crafts Festival, Located in Merrick Park in the beautiful, affluent Coral Gables just south of Miami, 239-530-8072
04-05, Orlando, FL, Epcot Inter. Flower&Garden Festival, Blooming flowers and topiaries, horticulturists demonstrations and the Flower Power Concert Series!, 407-566-6357
04-07, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, Meet the Bunny, Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S Flamingo, Bring your your camera, 10-2, $10 over age 12, $5 children (4-11)., 954-473-2955
04-12, St. Augustine, FL, First Coast Birding and Nature Fest, Photography workshops presented by leading experts taking place during spring migration., 800-418-7529
04-13, Ocala, FL, Ocala Storytelling Festival, Storytellers Randel McGee, Bil Lett and many others, workshop, Tiny Tots Tales, and a Liar's Contest, 352-821-0298
04-13, Brooksville, FL, Stringbreak Music Festival, A fun filled weekend for the entire family!, 863-984-8445
04-13, Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Continue the tradition of Jazz in Jacksonville with a variety of jazz genres, , 904-630-3690
04-14, Tampa, FL, Tampa-Hillsborough Co. Storytelling, The 27th Annual Festival will feature internationally reknown teller, Donald Davis, & 500 youth tellers. , 813-931-2106
04-21, Cedar Key, FL, Celebration of the Arts/Cedar Key, 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM each day. Booths of fine arts and crafts line both sides of Cedar Key's main street, 352-543-5400
04-21, Starke, FL, Bradford County Strawberry Festival, Do you like fresh local strawberries, entertainment, arts and crafts? You need to come to the festival., 904-964-5278
04-21, Cedar Key, FL, Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, Juried Fine Art Festival with 150 Premium Booth spaces along Historic Downtown 2nd Street., 352-543-5400
04-21, Cape Coral, FL, SW FL Nautical Flea Mrkt & Boat Show, All Nautical Theme Show: fishing tackle, crafts, clothes, boats, food, prizes, free parking & admittance, 239-850-6467
04-28, Apopka, FL, Apopka Art and Foliage Festival, 46th Annual Apopka and Foliage festival featuring Art/craft, plants/flowers, local food, 407-884-6488
04-28, Ocala, FL, Arbor Day Festival, Celebrate Arbor Day with activities for all ages 10 am - 3 pm. Crafts, music, vendors and more., 352-401-3900
05-04, Dunnellon, FL, Cool Springs Ranch Balloon Classic, Our 2006 Ballonon classic was a great success.. we had 32 Hot air Balloons and 70 very happy vendors. , 352-382-1631
05-04, Ocala, FL, A Cultural Art Festival, A Cultural Art Festival featuring African/ African American Artwork, crafts, food vendors and Latin, 352-351-4732
05-04, Jacksonville, FL, Sail Jacksonville, Jacksonville’s downtown riverfront comes alive with the beauty of tall ships from around the world. , 904-630-3690
05-04, Dunnellon, FL, Dunnellons Cool Springs Balloon Clas, Hot air balloons, Hunter Jumpers, crafts, Food and entertainment, celtics, bag pipes, Muscle/antiquecars, 352-274-8467
05-05, Ruskin, FL, Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival, A celebration of our agricultural heritage; , 813-935-4996
05-05, Jacksonville, FL, Springfield Heritage Pageant, Step back in time to 1880-1920: a living history event in Springfield, Jacksonville's 1st neighborhood., 904-353-7727
05-06, Indian Harbour Beach, FL, Turtle Splash & Family Bash!, It's our 3rd annual FUNdraiser!, 321-726-6700
05-11, Port Orange, FL, Port Orange Arts & Crafts Show, Arts & Cratfs show., 386-756-8700
05-12, New Port Richey, FL, Cotee River Seafood Festival, Seafood Festival Boat Show and Blues Concert in a city park by the river , 727-842-8066
05-19, St. Augustine, FL, Riding Into History 2007, Premier motorcycle Concours d’Elegance, Between 300 and 400 antique, vintage and classic motorcycles, 904-730-9719
05-25, Zellwood, FL, Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival, 34th Annual Festival, Fun, Arts & Crafts, Antique Tractors, Great entertainment, Mid way for the Kids, 407-886-0014
05-30, Yulee, FL, Yulee Railroad Days, Annual festival in towns along the route of the historic cross-state Florida Railroad of 1861, 352-495-1044
06-01, Melrose, FL, Melrose Connection: Yulee RR Days, Food music arts&crafts museum tours clowns facepainting RRdisplays HistoricBuildings ArtGalleries, 352-475-9500
06-02, Orlando, FL, Orlando Home & Outdoor Living Show, Home and Outdoor Living products and services, 877-778-3976
07-04, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, 4th of July Bazaar, crafts, antiques, jewelry, art, photography and gifts, 954-473-2955
09-03, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, Season Preview Event, Season Preview features reptiles, crafts, jewelry, art, photography, gifts and plants at Flamingo Gardens, 954-473-2955
10-20, Kissimmee, FL, McDonald's Big Bass Splash, 1st Annual Amateur Bass Tournament. Guaranteed payback of $75,000. Hourly Cash Awards & Overall Prizes, 409-698-2591
10-27, Davie/Fort Lauderdale, FL, Halloween Haven & Haunted House, Costume parade 11:30, Good Witch noon, Haunted House for younger children, 954-473-2955
12-01, Gainesville, FL, Craft Festival 2007, Largest indoor craft festival in North Central Florida held on the University of Florida campus., 352-392-7238
12-01, Gainesville, FL, Craft Festival 2007, North Central Florida's largest indoor craft festival, located on the University of Florida campus., 352-392-7238
Hillsborough County News Sources
- Brandon Horizon Monthly
- Tampa Bay Business Journal
The latest in local business news.
- Tampa Tribune
Covering news, sports, business, entertainment, and events throughout Tampa Bay and West Central Florida.
- Weekly Planet
Arts, music, news, and entertainment calendar.
- World of Westchase
Newsletter for the Westchase community featuring articles, events, directories, and classifieds.
- College and University
- Bay News 9
News for the Tampa Bay area.
- WFTS 28
- WMOR 32
Local breaking news, weather, sports, and entertainment.
- WTVT 13
Hillsborough County Maps
Hillsborough Historical Maps