This week in history
From the pages of the St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent.
100 years ago | 1909
July 29: "Visitors Easy": The city baseball team got 11 runs off the Port of Tampa boys in the first inning. About 30 people came over from Tampa. The game ended after six innings "as some of the Port Tampa players wanted to hurry home." There was no line score to report, as the Tampa scorekeeper tore up the card.
July 30: The new parish house of St. Peter's Episcopal Church held an open house. The addition provided a total floor space of 36 by 78 feet, which could be opened as one large hall or divided into three rooms. The parish house was the idea of St. Faith's Guild. Along with refreshments, Rev. Gray provided some "amusing readings."
75 years ago | 1934
July 28: Lots fronting the Gulf of Mexico were selling at a surprising rate not seen since the 1920s boom days. From Indian Rocks to Long Key, they were fetching $250 to $650. According to a local Realtor, waterfront lots on Pass-a-Grille that sold for $1,000 the previous year had jumped to $1,700.
50 years ago | 1959
July 28: The city's new expressway authority voted to ask other cities to join in petitioning for an extension of the interstate highway system from Miami through St. Petersburg. The city was now just outside the terminus of Interstate 4, which extended from the Third Bay Bridge (the Howard Frankland) to Daytona Beach.
July 29: Roy Terry McCall, a 10-year-old St. Petersburg Beach boy, had surrendered his two most prized possessions — whale teeth — in the interest of science. The boy's father, a commercial fisherman, had taken the teeth from a dead whale during a trip to Boca Grande. The 13-foot whale turned out to be the first adult male beaked whale of the Mesoplodon gervaisi species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Its skeleton, donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was completed with the addition of its teeth.
25 years ago | 1984
July 29: Fourth Street N had changed from the 1950s, when tourists coming over the Gandy Bridge were directed down the two-lane street — "the longest motel street in the world" — to downtown. The reason: "the coming of U.S. 19 (34th Street) and the Sunshine Skyway in 1954 and the later . . . the Howard Frankland Bridge and Interstate 275." It was hoped new development would polish the now six-lane street's image.
July 30: "A huge gantry collapsed 12 stories above Tampa Bay and crashed into the new Sunshine Skyway . . . sending a 240-ton roadway segment — and one construction worker — plummeting into the water below." The worker survived with only minor injuries.