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In 2008, one hundred years after the founding of Ruskin, Hillsborough Community College opened its fifth campus here, bring higher education back to a town whose very existence was predicated on the establishment of a college. A few years later, in 2013, Dr. Arthur “Mac” Miller, a retired college professor and grandson of the founder of the town of Ruskin, approached Hillsborough Community College with the idea of starting a project to formally document and preserve local history and to make it available to the public.
After careful consideration of the idea, the leadership at the SouthShore Campus of Hillsborough Community College made the decision to move forward with the project and to expand it to the local histories of all the communities in our service area. The initiative was named the Southern Hillsborough County Historical Connections Project and was tasked with the documentation of the local histories of the towns south of the Alafia River.
- Title: Apollo Beach Collection
- Description: The 5,500 acres tract of land that was to be known as Apollo Beach was first deeded to Paul Dickman in 1920 and used annually for farming and grazing pasture and considered uninhabitable. In the early 1950s, Dickman negotiated the sale of the land to three men from New York: Turner, Dean and Cla...
- Title: Gibsonton Collection
- Description: Gibsonton was a popular winter fishing destination for many carnival and sideshow workers in the 1940s according to Mark Caramanica. It was the only place in the U.S. where the former fire chief was over eight feet tall and the local police chief was a dwarf! Gibtown, as it’s called, was near...
- Title: Riverview Collection
- Description: Williams Park boat ramp and fishing pier on the Alafia River is one of Riverview’s recreation areas where visitors and residents alike can boat and/or fish. Riverview is also home to an ‘antenna farm’ which is a term to describe an area dedicated to television or radio telecommunications t...
- Title: Ruskin Collection
- Description: In its early days, Ruskin was isolated. Few roads and boat trips to Tampa and St. Petersburg took several hours each way. Local trees supplied timber for construction and resin for turpentine. An abandoned turpentine factory provided the means to make turpentine and buildings for temporary housin...
- Title: Small Towns and Ghost Towns Collection
- Description: Old Sun City (formerly Ross), Peru, Boyette, Ft. Lonesome, and Balm are some of the ghost towns of Southern Hillsborough County. Sun City street names still evoke the silent film era: Chaplin, Chaney, Fairbanks, Pickford. Gibsonton absorbed Adamsville, Garden City, Gardenville and Remlap. ...
- Title: Southern Hillsborough County - General Collection
- Description: In 2008, one hundred years after the founding of Ruskin, Hillsborough Community College opened its fifth campus here, bring higher education back to a town whose very existence was predicated on the establishment of a college. A few years later, in 2013, Dr. Arthur “Mac” Miller, a retired co...
- Abstract/Description: This collection includes items of more regional basis, not necessarily connected with a single community.
- Title: Sun City Center Collection
- Description: Del Webb (who was half owner of the New York Yankees) built the Kings Inn with a luxury restaurant and a 20 unit motel in just 30 days. Businessmen from Tampa and Sarasota would often fly in for lunch and a private place to talk. There was an airstrip across 674 from the Inn. The taxiway is now...
- Title: Wimauma Collection
- Description: According to Wikipedia, Captain C.H. Davis founded Wimauma in 1902. Which was located on a 55-mile railroad route from Durant to Manatee County and into Sarasota beginning in 1895. Wimauma has 6,500 year-round residents, and increases with the farming seasons to 11,000+. Wimauma is truly speci...