Saturday, December 16, 2017
Home and Garden

Neighborhood Profile: Boot Ranch in Palm Harbor, Pinellas County

PALM HARBOR

After chiropractor Dr. Mark Lipkin moved from Philadelphia and got a job in Seminole, he rented a nearby apartment until he figured out the best place to live.

He asked his patients, his friends, all kinds of people what they thought.

"The most common response was Countryside," he said.

And then he found Boot Ranch, not far from Countryside, in Palm Harbor, which was relatively unknown at the time. It was a new development off then-two-lane East Lake Road that was being built on an old cattle ranch of the same name. So few people were buying houses (the economy was in a slump in the late '80s) that the builder told Lipkin he could get his custom-built house in 45 days — good news that scared him a bit.

He said he kept a close watch on the builder's progress to make sure he didn't get short shrift from a fast build.

But all went well, and he and his wife, Debbie, loved the split-plan one-story home, where they raised five children.

When Lipkin opened a practice in the Shoppes of Cloverplace on Tampa Road, the location became even more convenient.

He said he watched not only his own neighborhood grow around him, but the entire area as it changed from farmland to suburbia, as two-lane roads became four- or six-lane highways and shopping centers sprung up.

There are three neighborhoods in the 375-acre Boot Ranch: Eagle Ridge, where the Lipkins live, Eagle Trace and the gated Eagle Watch. Each village is walled and has a separate entrance to give it a sense of identity.

The ranch has quite a colorful history. According to palmharbormuseum.com, Al Boyd and father Jess acquired the entire East Lake area in the 1930s and 1940s, Eventually, his father owned 10,000 acres; he owned 6,000. Cattle grazed over land, some of which they leased to other farmers.

Boyd sold much of the land in the 1950s and 1960s, keeping about 1,200 acres — which he named Boot Ranch — to raise the cattle his father had given him.

Boot Ranch's prized cattle were shipped worldwide during its heyday. Through the mid-1960s, Boyd entertained cattle traders, merchants and celebrities — like Lana Turner — from all over the world in the party house on the property. They posed for pictures in front of a 17-foot-tall concrete boot, and scrawled notes about the magnificence of the ranch in the guest book.

The facility was also used, according to the museum, as a private meeting place for Pinellas County officials.

In 1972, Boyd sold everything but a 9-acre patch for himself off East Lake Road. He died in 1998, the only remainder of his former empire — the giant concrete boot — now sitting in the Shoppes of Boot Ranch parking lot after being moved from the ranch.

Patti Ewald can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You ...
Published: 12/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 12/13/17
Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant speciesPlants make great gifts to give and receive. But .?.?. beware invasive species lurking in local garden centers or nurseries. Many invasive species are still commonly sold and if you plant them in your...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-...
Published: 12/08/17
Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Lights, ribbons, tinsel, flowers — how do you get that perfect look? We asked designer Ken Neddo of Classic Florals in St. Petersburg to help with this yearly decorating event.   * What do you see as the general trends in Christmas tree deco...
Published: 12/05/17
Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Get holiday plants: trees, poinsettias and cactiLiving Christmas trees are a fun, lasting way to celebrate the holiday season that can then be planted to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Unfortunately a commonly sold plant for this is the Norfolk Isl...
Published: 12/01/17
Updated: 12/05/17
5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

Thinking about buying your first home? Before you can unlock the door to homeownership, you have to take some important first steps. From finding the perfect location to financing your purchase, shopping for your first home has challenges that go bey...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

If I had to choose just one garden tool to be shipwrecked with on an uninhabited island, it would be my Felco 2 pruners. They clip anything up to about a half-inch diameter — even thicker when I push it, which I do.Even my daughter marveled when I qu...
Updated one month ago