Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Take a stroll through historic Oldsmar

OLDSMAR — A funny thing happened while Gabby McGee worked on a historic district designation for downtown Oldsmar.

"I fell in love with the history of the city," said the 27-year-old City Council member and owner of a 1918 Craftsman bungalow.

She's inviting the community to do the same.

On Sunday, McGee will narrate a walking tour to showcase the history and architecture of downtown Oldsmar. The tour begins at 10 a.m. at 101 State St., where the Oldsmar Historical Society and the City Council chambers are headquartered.

The recently restored structure, built in 1918, boasts an Italian white glazed brick façade. It's the only building in the state with such an exterior, according to McGee, and, "the oldest commercial building still standing in Oldsmar."

Inside, visitors will view an assortment of early artifacts, including a mammoth's molar found in Oldsmar. Old photos and renderings detail the city's early beginnings, when founding father and inventor of the Oldsmobile Ransom Eli Olds decided to turn the untamed land at the top of Tampa Bay into a community for the working man.

The tour is free, but donations are encouraged as this walk — one of several McGee leads during the cooler months — will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and the Oldsmar Historical Society. It will cover a four-block radius and is expected to last an hour and a half.

Walkers will pass homes that once sheltered the city's first mayor, one of the first teachers, the president of the Oldsmar Bank, and Louis London, brother of author Jack London (who wrote Call of the Wild).

One residence on Jefferson Avenue housed the city's original white grammar school; a 1918 frame vernacular building on Exeter Street is home to the Woman's Club of Oldsmar.

Tour participants will learn that Olds designed the wide city streets to be like the spokes of a wheel, leading from downtown to the bay, where a 1,000-foot pier stretched into the waters. A casino was a popular place back then.

Three homes will be open for viewing during Sunday's tour: two 1918 R.E. Olds Farms Company bungalows and the largest historical home in the city, a 1920s pink Mediterranean.

McGee has been working to get the area designated as a National Historic District for a couple of years now, filling out forms, taking photos of contributing structures, writing summaries and plotting out structures on a map.

It's a labor of love. She says a historic district will provide official recognition to the community, raise property values, and provide access to potential tax incentives and grants. Once a historic district nomination is sent to the State Preservation Office, it can take up to another year before it results in a final designation, she said.

>>if you go

Oldsmar's Historical Walk

When: Sunday 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Departs: Oldsmar Historical Society, 101 State St. W.

Cost: Free with a suggested donation of $20. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and the Oldsmar Historical Society.

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen. Snacks and beverages provided. Tour will be rescheduled if it rains.

For more information: Call the Oldsmar Historical Society at (727) 493-2706.

Take a stroll through historic Oldsmar 02/11/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 5:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.