SAFETY HARBOR, FL
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.
Safety Harbor is located at (28.0047, –82.6953). The harbor or bay of the same name on which it is located is the nearly-landlocked far northwestern extension of Tampa Bay, and the city is located on the west side of that bay.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which is land and (2.57%) is water.
Safety Harbor's tree-lined streets and quaint, "small-town" appearance are unusual in heavily urbanized Pinellas County.
The CSX railroad branch line from Tampa to St. Petersburg bisects Safety Harbor. Passenger trains last used the line in 1984.
As of the census of 2010, there were 16,884 people, 7,084 households, and 4,845 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,498.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,350.0/km). There were 7,483 housing units at an average density of 1,521.7 per square mile (587.2/km). The racial makeup of the city was 92.23% White, 4.14% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.65% of the population.
There were 7,084 households, out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.85.
The age distribution of the population is: 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% age 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,378, and the median income for a family was $59,911. Males had a median income of $41,883 versus $31,165 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,632. About 3.6% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
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 (see photo). 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".
Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs, or "Springs of the Holy Spirit", a natural mineral spring. Its waters were given this name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who was supposedly searching for the mythical "Fountain of Youth". Prior to the Spanish exploration of Florida, the Tocobaga and Timuquan tribes are believed to have fished and bathed in the spring's waters.
In the twentieth century, Espiritu Santo water was bottled and sold commercially, and later a health spa and hotel were built over the springs. The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, as it is now known, continues to be a prominent visitor attraction in Pinellas County. In 1964, the site was designated a Historical Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior and, in 1997, a Florida Heritage Landmark.
Safety Harbor is governed by an elected Mayor and City Commission. City governmental departments are administered by a City Manager, who is appointed by the City Commission.
There are two public schools within the city: Safety Harbor Elementary School for grades 1–5 and Safety Harbor Middle School (Home of the Seahawks) for grades 6–8. The middle school was rebuilt in 2004 and now has five buildings surrounding a central courtyard, with adjacent sports fields and a regulation track field. As a joint project between the city of Safety Harbor and the school, the field and track facilities are open to the community. As of 2007, Safety Harbor Middle School has an enrollment of 1,370 students.
The nearest school for grades 9–12 is Countryside High School in Clearwater.
Founded in 1938, the Safety Harbor Public Library serves the constituents of Safety Harbor seven days a week. The original location of the Library was at the Community House at 2nd Street North. Mrs. Daisy Cahow was the first appointed librarian.
The library offers general circulating services of books, DVDs, Video Games, Manga, CDs, and a select number of VHS tapes as part of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative.
Children, teen, and young adult services are prioritized at the library, with regularly scheduled programming for the local community. Regularly scheduled activities and events for the adult population of Safety Harbor are also organized.
The library offers members a host of online book borrowing options, alongside access to a number of databases that would otherwise require a paid subscription.
Quiet study rooms are also available for free rentals.
Services are also offered for deaf, blind, and physically handicapped visitors to make the library accessible to all.
The Safety Harbor Public Library is an integral community cornerstone for the constituents of the City. Located within walking distance of both Safety Harbor Elementary and Safety Harbor Middle School, the library serves as a safe space for unsupervised youth to gather after school hours. Its close proximity to downtown Safety Harbor's restaurants and shops means that library visitors can easily spend a full day browsing the collections and partaking in events without going hungry or growing bored.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Safety Harbor, FL, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.