2525 Philippe Parkway
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
It’s a beautiful fall day in Florida with low humidity and blue skies that seem to go forever. Today let’s go visit a local park south of me. The oldest park in Pinellas County Florida is Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. The land in the park was once part of a large plantation built by Count Odet Philippe, one of the more colorful figures in Pinellas County’s past. Odet was the first non-native, permanent settler on the Pinellas peninsula. He owned a 160-acre plantation and introduced citrus growing to the area in 1842. (Pinellas County is a peninsula on a peninsula. Fun Fact)
The original inhabitants were a people known as the Tocobaga Indians of Tampa Bay. The Tocobaga lived in small villages at the northern end of Tampa Bay from 900 to the 1500s. In approximately 1528, Pánfilo de Narváez, a Spanish explorer, arrived in the Tampa Bay area. He and his men discovered the Tocobaga. Like many other indigenous people, the arrival of Europeans brought disease and violence to the tribe’s peaceful existence. The Tocobaga were hunters not warriors. As a result, the Tocobaga Indians became extinct within the next 100 years.
In the park, there is a Temple Mound that was built by the Tocobaga. It is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region and is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The mound was made of alternating layers of shell and sand. Remains of posts indicate there was at least one structure on top, possibly used for ceremonial purposes or the chief’s dwelling. Archaeologists believe the ramp led to a “town plaza” at the base of the mound. For more information, click here.
The park has 8 shelters, a playground, fishing, a boat ramp, a softball field, and a mile of Tampa Bay shoreline.
I personally like sitting and watching the bay. It’s a lovely place to spend some quiet time.
Majestic shade trees welcome visitors.
It’s also a great place to watch a Florida sunset.
You really can’t do better than that.
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