Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Tarpon's historic train depot holds glimpses of yesteryear

 

TARPON SPRINGS
About seven decades ago, when he was just a teen, Pat Carey would board the passenger train at the Tarpon Springs depot and head to Clearwater for a few dances and a few chances to meet some pretty girls.


“Tickets were 17 cents” to Clearwater’s dance pavilion, Carey said, but it was always a one-way trip for him.


“I had to hitchhike back because I didn’t have money for a (return) ticket, I didn’t have a car, and I didn’t have a job,” said Carey, who is now 84 and lives in South Florida. “But that’s the way things were back then.”


People interested in how things were “back then” will find the restored Railroad Depot Museum, operated by the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society, a pleasurable way to while away a summer afternoon.


And you can’t beat the ticket price: Admission is free.


The station, at the intersection of Tarpon Avenue and the Pinellas Trail in downtown Tarpon Springs, was built in 1909, when the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad opened a new brick depot to replace the wooden one destroyed in a 1908 fire. It served passengers until 1971 and continued as a stop for freight trains until 1984.


A $900,000 restoration effort, completed in 2005, was made possible through the city’s efforts to obtain grant funding from the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program.


Modern conveniences like air-conditioning were added and today the train depot looks much like the original, with white brick walls, forest green trim, and original heart of pine flooring. Even the red clay tile roof was matched to the original.


Visitors will note the main lobby area contains two ticket windows with iron bars, two waiting areas and two bathroom areas. These visible signs of the once-segregated South, with larger and superior facilities for whites, were retained for historical purposes, said Cyndi Tarapani, president of the historical society.


“It was important that it looked and felt like the original and that people could see that it operated as a segregated train station,” she said.
The museum is laden with antique artifacts: a cast iron potbelly stove, telegraph transmission and reception equipment, an early cash register and an oversized trainmaster’s desk.


The well-worn steamer trunks and luggage of renowned Tarpon Springs landscape artist George Inness Jr. and his wife are on display, provoking thoughts of early travel and adventure.


Youngsters may be surprised to learn that phones once had cords and rotary dials. Or that typewriters were once considered cutting-edge technology.


Beyond the restored waiting room and the station manager’s office is the freight warehouse, which showcases numerous vignettes of yesteryear.


Check out the antique baby stroller sporting all the modern conveniences of its day: a padded bed and a parasol on a swinging arm to shade the baby from the Florida sun.

And imagine what it would be like to sit in the old dental chair with its attached spit bowl and have a tooth pulled before the days of anesthetics.


A new display in the warehouse chronicles the 50th anniversary of integration in Tarpon Springs public schools through photos and written accounts. The schools were segregated until 1963, when three African-American students gained permission from the School Board to transfer to an all-white school.


“We’re hoping to get a school curriculum together and start inviting schools here for field trips,” said Phyllis Kolianos, vice president of the historical society. “I think the children would really benefit from going through the museum.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification:
The historic Tarpon Springs Train Depot was restored through the city’s efforts to obtain grant funding from the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program and is operated as a museum by the Tarpon Springs Historical Society.

??
 
Comments
He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

GULFPORT ó An 18-year-old man, wearing an ankle bracelet, was arrested Thursday after he was accused of breaking into 13 cars in a one-block radius over the last week.Benjamin Langkamp Jr. faces 13 charges of vehicle burglary ó each of which occurred...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

TAMPA ó Hillsborough County deputies have identified the suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in January.Deputies are searching for 23-year-old Javon Rakeem Turner, who is wanted in the death of 22-year-old Elijah Moore on Jan. 17.According to depu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with ďa lot to be excited aboutí

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with ďa lot to be excited aboutí

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the Capitals.Ge...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hurricane hunters to investigate potential tropical system that could drench Tampa Bay

Hurricane hunters to investigate potential tropical system that could drench Tampa Bay

TAMPAó A hurricane hunter plane will investigate the area of low pressure in the Caribbean this afternoon as the likelihood increased that it will become the hurricane seasonís first tropical system.The reconnaissance plane will fly over the area to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Fatal pedestrian crash closes SB lanes on U.S. 19 in Hudson

PORT RICHEYó The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian at U.S. 19 and New York Avenue, in Hudson. Troopers said a vehicle hit an unidentified pedestrian. One person has died, according to troopers.According to b...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

MADEIRA BEACH ó Two men were arrested Thursday after a carjacking during a test drive led to a crash on Gulf Boulevard less than an hour later, according to the Pinellas County Sheriffís Office. According to deputies, 30-year-old Robert Gajate went t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Tampa's Carlie Yent was at a racing banquet a few years ago when someone asked her to name the driver who influenced her the most.The answer was easy and obvious: Danica Patrick."She was someone I could look up to," Yent said, "and she was the most i...
Updated: 3 hours ago
After Danica Patrick, why arenít there more women in auto racing?

After Danica Patrick, why arenít there more women in auto racing?

If you assumed Danica Patrick's success would lead to a tidal wave of female drivers into racing's top series, you're not alone."I kind of thought the Danica thing would bring out a lot of people, honestly," said Tampa's Megan Rae Meyer, a 21-year-ol...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Latest on potential tropical system; taking action along dangerous Bayshore Boulevard; Denis Philips talks hurricanes and beer; Memorial Day things to do

The Daystarter: Latest on potential tropical system; taking action along dangerous Bayshore Boulevard; Denis Philips talks hurricanes and beer; Memorial Day things to do

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē Todayís forecast calls for warm and humid weather up until lunch time. Then in the late afternoon thereís an up to 80 percent chance of thundershowers and the rain wonít let up until ...
Updated: 4 hours ago