Historic Tarpon Springs

When I last posted, I told you a little about my recent book, The Lady of Tarpon Springs. I’m planning to build on that theme for several weeks so, like the gal on the cover, hang onto your hats. As I told you, in my previous post, the book is set in Tarpon Springs, Florida. While the Greeks who immigrated to the town have played a key role in the growth and expansion of the community, Tarpon Springs was settled and a small, yet thriving community when the Greek spongers arrived.

Like similar locations in the south, many of the Victorian northerners considered the town a winter retreat for the wealthy. The area that circles Spring Bayou is known as the “Golden Crescent” and there are some gorgeous Victorian homes. The home pictured on the left is just one example of the beautiful homes in the “Golden Crescent.”

Governor Safford Built a house in the Crescent for his family in 1883. His sister, Dr. Mary Jane Safford, was the first woman to practice medicine in Florida.

After both Governor Anson Safford and Mary Jane died in 1891, Anson’s widow sold the valuable waterfront property, but Safford House was moved to its present location at 23 Parkin Court. Governor Safford’s widow rented out rooms to boarders and added the wrap-around porch on the top floor after the house was moved. The City has now acquired and restored the house and opened it as a museum. I had the opportunity to visit the Safford House while I was in Tarpon Springs. If you’re in the area and enjoy history, you should be sure to take time for a visit. The picture to the right is Safford House.

If you visit the historic downtown area, you’ll soon discover street names such as: Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Banana and Lemon. Those street names led to the area being nicknamed the “Fruit Salad District” of Tarpon Springs.

In The Lady of Tarpon Springs, Lucy Penrose is the doctor in Tarpon Springs and the best friend of my female protagonist, Zanna Krykos who is a lawyer. They are both independent young ladies who were somewhat ahead of their time insofar as their professions. However, the fact that there was a female doctor in Tarpon Springs in the late 1890s validated my idea and made it even more fun to include Lucy in my cast of characters.

So what historic towns have you visited an enjoyed? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and places and visit and summer is the perfect time.

Many Blessings on your summer travels,

Judy

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