This Week in History
From the pages of the St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent.
100 years ago - 1909
JAN. 23: In a snapshot of small city life, the Independent published a long list of what St. Petersburg had at the time:
Two banks, a garage, four dairies, wood yards, "two theatres," a public park, 20 hotels, one art store, grocery stores, three bakeries, an ice factory, a steam laundry, two newspapers, four restaurants, four shoe stores, 4,000 inhabitants. ...
Eight attorneys, three drugstores, one bicycle shop, a modern hospital, two livery stables, a barrel factory, four meat markets, one military band, two jewelry stores, three barber shops, a sewerage system, "one Catholic church," three cigar factories, "only two undertakers." ...
Forty boarding houses, three hardware stores, two resident opticians, one resident architect, three furniture stores, two bathing (swimming) pavilions, a paid fire department, three millinery stores, eight dry goods stores, a kindergarten school, 10 building contractors, a wholesale fish house, "one symphony orchestra," four photograph galleries. ...
Fourteen real estate firms, four fertilizer factories, Co. G Florida State troops, "eight churches (Protestant)," 16 doctors and dentists, two electrical supply houses, eight miles of electric railway, "three artificial stone companies."
One machine shop and foundry, a building and loan association, an electric light and power plant, three blacksmiths and wagon shops, a free reading room and public library, two boat-building yards and dry docks for small boats, a telephone system, "vitrified brick-paved streets" and miles of asphalt and cement sidewalks, and "the only daily newspaper on the West Coast - the Evening Independent."
50 years ago - 1959
JAN. 20: In a dinner meeting of the Committee of 100 at the Soreno hotel, Mayor John Burroughs presented Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College) with a deed for 140 acres on south Boca Ciega Bay that would be the nucleus for the 260-acre campus. College president William Kadel said , "While this is the day in which great emphasis has been placed upon technology ... it is to the liberal arts colleges we ... look for great leadership." A local fund drive to raise $2.5-million toward construction of the campus would begin the following day.
25 years ago - 1984
JAN. 22: The Los Angeles Raiders forcefully evicted the defending champion Washington Redskins in a 38-9 victory in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium. The 68-degree weather was perfect and a sell-out crowd of 72,920 watched the most lopsided victory in the 18-year history of the game (a record later broken).
JAN. 24: St. Petersburg city administrators turned down a request by Vinoy Park Hotel developer B.B. Anderson to close traffic on Fifth Avenue NE in front of the hotel. They also said that he should not be allowed to erect cabanas along public beach across from the hotel. They agreed with plans for a hotel marina in Vinoy Basin.