Finding a Home in Safety Harbor, Florida
Safety Harbor is a city on the west shore of Tampa Bay in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It was settled in 1823 and incorporated in 1917. The population was 16,884 at the 2010 census.
The area has been inhabited since the Stone Age. In June 2008, a 6,000-year-old spearhead was found at Marshall Street Park. The inhabitants of the area at the time of Spanish exploration were the Tocobaga people, who lived in villages around Tampa Bay. The adaptation of this culture relied on wild resources. Safety Harbor sites have yielded pottery, and artifacts of copper, shell, and stone. The Tocobaga were known for constructing various ceremonial and communal mounds to bury the dead. Most of these mounds were destroyed in the early 1900s due to development. However, one of these ceremonial mounds is still visible in Safety Harbor’s Phillippe Park. Shells found in these mounds were used to pave city streets.
In 1528 Spanish explorer Pánfilo de Narváez landed in the area, followed by Hernando de Soto in 1539. Safety Harbor (formerly known as Worth’s Harbor and Green’s Springs) was first homesteaded by Count Odet Philippe, a French nobleman who is credited with introducing the grapefruit to Florida in 1823. The name Safety Harbor originated from the early 18th century, when pirates were a substantial influence in the area. Once ships reached this area of the bay, all threats from pirates were gone, and it was commonly referred to as a “Safe Harbor”.