Copyright 2005 by Steve Rajtar
Pass-A-Grille Historical Trail
2: At its end, click on "rules" to see a copy of the trail rules, print it, and then click where indicated at the end of the 3-page rules and patch order form to get back to the list of Florida trails.
3: If you want a hand-drawn map showing the locations of all of the sites, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Steve Rajtar, 1614 Bimini Dr., Orlando, FL 32806.
4: Hike the trail and order whatever patches you like (optional).
WARNING - This trail may pass through one or more neighborhoods which, although full of history, may now be unsafe for individuals on foot, or which may make you feel unsafe there. Hikers have been approached by individuals who have asked for handouts or who have inquired (not always in a friendly manner) why the hikers are in their neighborhood. Drugs and other inappropriate items have been found by hikers in some neighborhoods. It is suggested that you drive the hike routes first to see if you will feel comfortable walking them and, if you don't think it's a good place for you walk, you might want to consider (1) traveling with a large group, (2) doing the route on bicycles, or (3) choosing another hike route. The degree of comfort will vary with the individual and with the time and season of the hike, so you need to make the determination using your best judgment. If you hike the trail, you accept all risks involved. Pass-A-Grille Historical Trail
(Note: Be sure to bring plenty of quarters with you. The only available parking is with meters that only accept quarters. Also, the Pinellas Bayway is a toll road.)
Directions: (From Interstate 275, drive west on Pinellas Bayway (SR 682) and north on Gulf Blvd. past 45th Ave. to the beach access and parking area across from Dolphin Village Shopping Center.)(0.0 mile so far) Gulf Blvd., between 45th and 60th Aves.
1....Site of Calkins Homestead John S. Calkins received a deed to 160 acres here on July 17, 1880. The following year, he sold it to George Washington Bennett for $200. (Walk south on the west side of Gulf Blvd. to the intersection with 44th Ave.)(0.2) East side of Gulf Blvd., between 37th and 44th Aves.
2....Site of McPherson Homestead Elias McPherson in 1886 built the second house on Long Key, near the head of the water to the east, known as Big McPherson Bayou. His cabin on his 168-acre homestead was used as a refuge for those fleeing the 1887 yellow fever epidemic. (Continue south on Gulf Blvd. past the Pinellas Bayway, and cross Gulf Blvd. using the pedestrian walkway over the traffic.)(0.8) Southwest corner of Gulf Blvd. and the Pinellas Bayway (3400 Gulf Blvd.)
3....Don Ce-Sar Hotel This large hotel was conceived by Thomas J. Rowe at the height of the Florida land boom. Rowe had bought a portion of Perry Snell's 80-acre tract between 30th and 35th Aves. Rowe's real estate agent, Walter Fuller, tried to talk Rowe out of buying it, because the island lacked good access. Rowe bought it anyway for $100,000, and on subdivided lots built Spanish-style homes.
It was designed by Henry DuPont, who moved his architect office from Indianapolis to St. Petersburg. Contractor Carlton Beard devised a floating pad of concrete and pyramided footings, the same type used in constructing Mexico City over a lake. The original plans called for a $450,000 T-shaped six-story building with 110 rooms. After construction began, Rowe changed it to 220 rooms in ten stories, increasing the cost to $650,000.
The costs continued to increase, to $1,250,000. Rowe borrowed money from Warren Webster, a New Jersey industrialist. The hotel officially opened in January of 1928.
Rowe could not make his mortgage and bond payments during the Depression, and the hotel was placed into receivership. Rowe was appointed as the receiver and banked $84,000 by the end of the 1930 season. Unfortunately, the bank failed and he lost the money.
The New York Yankees leased the hotel for three years, and the hotel did well. During World War II, the army condemned the property and bought it for $450,000. After $200,000 in modifications, it opened as a hospital in December of 1942. In 1944, it became the Air Force Convalescent Center, which was phased out the following year.
It became the Veteran's Administration Regional Office in March of 1945. Several other federal agencies also moved in during 1952. By 1969, the hotel was abandoned and was a target for vandals. The General Services Administration assumed that the stucco covered flimsy wood, and proposed to tear it down. Concerned citizens produced photographs taken during construction to prove that all exterior walls were instead made of much stronger hollow tile.
William Bowman, Jr. bought the building in 1972, remodeled it, and opened for business once again as a luxury hotel on November 24, 1973.
It is built of Belgian concrete and stucco painted pink, giving it the name "Pink Palace". Rowe named it after Don Caesar De Bazan, the hero of Vincent Wallace's opera "Maritana". It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 3, 1975. Today, there are 277 rooms and baths, including 50 balcony suites, four restaurants, three lounges, a shopping hall, meeting and conference facilities for 500, a health club, tennis courts, a heated pool with jacuzzi, and a spacious beach.
(Continue south on Gulf Blvd. (becomes Pass-A-Grille Way) 140 feet past 29th Ave.)(1.3)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 29th and 28th Aves. (2812 Pass-A-Grille Way)
4....Ross House This was the home of Sir Charles Henry August Fred Lockhart Ross, ninth baronet of Ross-shire, who was one of the largest landowners in the British Isles. He served as a captain during the Boer War, designed the Ross rifle used by the Canadian army during World War I, and worked with Gen. John T. Thompson in perfecting the Thompson submachine gun (the "tommy gun"). He also experimented with an early version of the PT boat.
Ross first came to Pass-A-Grille to recover from surgery in 1925, and returned for the next 16 winters. The home was later purchased and remodeled by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Buns.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 23rd Ave. and look east across the street.)(1.6)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 24th and 23rd Aves. (2301 Pass-A-Grille Way)
5....Yacht Club The yacht club was organized in 1934 and built a clubhouse at this site. It was replaced in 1960 by a more modern structure.
(Cross to the southwest corner.)(1.7)
Southwest corner of 23rd Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (100 23rd Ave.)
6....Russell M. Mr. and Mrs. Russell M. Church named this apartment building after their son, Lt. Russell M. Church, Jr., who was killed on December 16, 1941, in the Philippines. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 22nd Ave. and look across the street to the east.)(1.7)
Northeast corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 22nd Ave. (2201 Pass-A-Grille Way)
7....Woman's Clubhouse The Pass-A-Grille Woman's Club organized in 1922. This clubhouse was built in 1938.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way 100 feet past 19th Ave. and look across the street to the east.)(1.9)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 19th and 18th Aves. (1805 Pass-A-Grille Way)
8....Talmage House This home built in the late 1920s was owned by actress Norma Talmage and her husband. It had the first picture window on the beach.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 17th Ave.)(1.9)
Northeast corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 17th Ave. (1701 Pass-A-Grille way)
9....Site of Goodwin House Here during the 1920s was the home of Verne Goodwin, a fishing guide. When it was built in 1916, it was the first one located north of 13th Ave. and was considered to be "out in the country". His first neighbor arrived in 1921, when Joseph A. Saunders built his fish house at 16th Ave.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 16th Ave.)(2.0)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 15th and 16th Aves.
10....Col. Frank T. Hurley Memorial Park In 1918, Billy Mitchell was the town's first real estate broker. He and wife, Beatrice, rented a home from Will McPherson at the intersection of Pass-A-Grille Way and 4th Ave., and in it opened an office. In 1935, they moved to 26th Ave. near the old steamboat landing. Beatrice continued the business after Billy's death in 1935, and sold it to George C. Roughgarden and his wife, Nita, in 1940. After World War II, they sold the business to Frank T. Hurley.
Hurley was active in civic and commercial activities of the town and also served as president, chairman, commander, and commodore of numerous organizations. This park was named after him in 1966.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way 150 feet past 13th Ave.)(2.2)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 13th and 12th Aves. (1202 Pass-A-Grille Way)
11....McPherson House Harold and Carolyn McPherson built their frame cottage here in 1914. He was the assistant engineer for the town's lighting system, and later worked for the Florida Power Corporation and served as commissioner, vice mayor, and mayor.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 12th Ave.)(2.2)
Northwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 12th Ave.
12....Site of Loafer Lodge Mr. and Mrs. William L. Straub built their summer home and weekend retreat here in 1911, and it burned down on Easter morning in 1959. Mr. Straub was an influential editor, and served as postmaster of St. Petersburg from 1916 to 1922.
(Continue south 200 feet and look across the street to the east.)(2.2)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 12th and 11th Aves.
13....Site of Boatyard Prior to 1919, Ben Welson operated a boatyard here and was available as a fishing guide. That year, he relocated to Little McPherson Bayou at 20th Ave. Tourists in 1920 desiring gambling could board his speedboat, which would take them to the Monte Carlo, a run-down cruise ship anchored three miles off the coast of Treasure Island. After six weeks, the Monte Carlo sailed away.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 11th Ave.)(2.3)
Intersection of Pass-A-Grille Way and 11th Ave.
14....Site of Filling Station The first service station and garage in Pass-A-Grille was that of Duncan E. Tillery, located at this intersection.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 10th Ave.)(2.3)
Northwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 10th Ave. (1000 Pass-A-Grille Way)
15....Thayer House The home and art studio used by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph McKoy is a portion of the two-story house built here in 1906 for Alphonso L. Thayer, a dealer in Florida shells and curios.
Thayer's son Al, a taxidermist, had his first workshop in a dugout under the Bonhomie. Owner George Henri Lizotte ordered him to move when the odor of formaldehyde became too strong.
On the corner was the two-story Oleander Restaurant. It was torn down in 1955.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 9th Ave.)(2.4)
Southwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 9th Ave. (808 Pass-A-Grille Way)
16....Schwerdtfeger House Judge L.S. Schwerdtfeger, president of the German-American Bank of Lincoln, Illinois, was one of the two interim commissioners appointed when the town was officially created in 1911. The home has also been known as Jewett Villa. This home with three dormers was erected for him in 1908.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 8th Ave.)(2.4)
Intersection of Pass-A-Grille Way and 8th Ave.
17....Site of Merry's Store The first store on the Gulf Beaches was opened here in 1902 by Joseph E. Merry. He started with bait, tools, and rented boats, and in 1903 added groceries. Merry, Roy Hanna and Henri Lizotte built a dock here.
Merry had come to Tampa to decorate the Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1890s, and moved to Pass-A-Grille with his two-year-old son after his wife died in 1900. He remarried and was a storekeeper at 107 8th Ave. and served as a ticket agent for the Favorite Line Boats until he died in 1917.
(Cross to the southwest corner and look across to the southeast corner.)(2.4)
Southeast corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 8th Ave.
18....Site of Holloway Hotel In 1911, Sylvester D. Hollenbeck built the Holloway Hotel here, creating its name from a portion of his and that of the manager, Warren W. Hathaway. Hollenbeck already owned a summer resort in Chardon, Ohio, and the Hollenbeck Hotel in St. Petersburg. The Holloway burned down in May of 1922 and was not rebuilt.
The site was bought by H.L. Ott for construction of a tennis court. Part of it became a parking lot for the Marine Apartments.
(Continue south 140 feet on Pass-A-Grille Way.)(2.4)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 8th and 7th Aves. (702 Pass-A-Grille Way)
19....Site of Spanish Well Near this spot was the Spanish Well, walled with conch shells. It served the 60-foot square campground that was used by Spanish fishermen at least as early as the 1840s, and perhaps closer to 1800.
The well was filled in with sand by the 1848 hurricane. About nine years later, it was remembered by pirate John Gomez, who cleaned it out. For two years, Zephaniah Phillips and his family lived here in a tent, until he formally homesteaded 79 acres here. The water in the well became brackish and was filled in in about 1908.
In 1925, H.L. Ott built his home here. He bought the Mason House hotel from Capt. Mason's widow, plus the site of the Holloway Hotel.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 7th Ave.)(2.4)
Northwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 7th Ave. (700 Pass-A-Grile Way)
20....Outlands House This was the home of poet V.K. Outlands, known locally as the "Cat Woman" or the "Cat Lady". The house was built in 1917.
(Cross to the southwest corner and continue south 70 feet on Pass-A-Grille Way.)(2.5)
Southwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 7th Ave. (612 Pass-A-Grille Way)
21....Williams House St. Petersburg real estate developer M.H. Kinyon bought this lot in March of 1901 built a home and substantial dock for his launch. The home was likely dismantled before World War I and rebuilt by 1919. Workmen building it found a Spanish jar dating to the 1500s, the only authenticated Spanish artifact found in Pass-A-Grille.
This was the residence of Amelia Williams, built in 1919.
(Continue south 30 feet on Pass-A-Grille Way.)(2.5)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 7th and 6th Aves. (608 Pass-A-Grille Way)
22....Portion of Phillips Cabin Civil War veteran Zephaniah Phillips saw the island in 1884, when he came to Disston City to install machinery in a new sawmill at nearby Mule Branch. He later returned on his schooner, the "Silver Moon", and built a cabin out of lumber he brought on his boat. The cabin was located a few feet south of today's 612 Pass-A-Grille Way, and a portion of that cabin was incorporated into a duplex at this location.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way 100 feet past 6th Ave. and look across the street to the east.)(2.5)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 6th and 5th Aves.
23....Site of Floating Palace Roy S. Hanna sold ten lots for $50 each to James H. Forquer, manager of the Detroit Hotel in St. Petersburg, so that he could dock the 16-room Floating Palace. Forquer built a dock, laundry and storehouse here for what was the island's first hotel.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way 150 feet past 5th Ave.)(2.6)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 5th and 4th Aves. (402 Pass-A-Grille Way)
24....Prince House This home was constructed in 1919 by William R. Bell for Mr. Prince. The house that had previously sat on this lot was moved next door to 404 Pass-A-Grille Way.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 4th Ave.)(2.6)
Northwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 4th Ave. (400 Pass-A-Grille Way)
25....Waldron House Built in 1910, this house features a stone fence and cement yard.
(Cross to the southwest corner.)(2.6)
Southwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 4th Ave. (308 Pass-A-Grille Way)
26....McPherson House This house was built in 1903 and was once a fish camp. It once was the residence of Harold McPherson. Later owners include Perry J. Assenheimer.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way 100 feet past 3rd Ave.)(2.7)
West side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 3rd and 2nd Aves. (204 Pass-A-Grille Way)
27....Bathelemy House This house was built in about 1910. It was later owned by Victor Barthelemy, who was born in it.
(Continue south on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 2nd Ave.)(2.7)
Northwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 2nd Ave. (202 Pass-A-Grille Way)
28....Residence This two and one-half story frame house was built in the early 1920s.
(Cross to the southwest corner and continue south 40 feet on Pass-A-Grille Way.)(2.7)
Southwest corner of Pass-A-Grille Way and 2nd Ave. (108 Pass-A-Grille Way)
29....Sea Call This was the site of Edwin H. Tomlinson's house, built in about 1902. It was the most pretentious home in the area, and included a tall radio tower built to assist radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi with experiments between the U.S. and Latin America. Tomlinson also had towers at his homes in Tampa and on Pine Key. Marconi never visited, and the home was known as the "House Where Marconi Almost Stayed". Before the tower came down as a result of storms and termites, Henri Lizotte used it to watch for boats.
During World War II, this house was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Crawley, who were forced to vacate when the military made this the battery headquarters.
(Continue south to the end of Pass-A-Grille Way and look across the street to the south.)(2.7)
South end of Pass-A-Grille Way (1 Pass-A-Grille Way)
30....Island's End The southern half of this block is under water, and what is dry was a compound of five cottages and two houses that date from the 1940s.
The channel to the south was designated on an 1841 survey as "Passe aux Grilleurs", meaning the passageway of the gilllers. This may have referred to the grilled fish eaten by the area's Spanish fishermen.
(Walk west 180 feet on 1st Ave. and look across the street to the south.)(2.8)
South side of 1st Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (200 1st Ave.)
31....Site of Anti-Aircraft Guns During World War II, anti-aircraft guns were placed here. There were two observation towers and tents for the gun crews.
(Continue west on 1st Ave., then walk north 100 feet on Gulf Ave. and look across the street to the west.)(2.8)
West side of Gulf Ave., between 1st and 2nd Aves.
32....Site of Military Encampment A military police detachment from the Don Ce-Sar Convalescent Hospital camped on this part of the beach during World War II.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east 100 feet on the south side of 3rd Ave.)(2.9)
South side of 3rd Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (110 3rd Ave.)
33....Watson House This home was built in 1908. Thomas H. Watson spent his winters here from 1916 to 1934, painting local landscapes. He is more famous for his work with Alexander Graham Bell in the invention of the telephone. Watson is credited with the invention of the telephone booth.
During World War II, the 252nd Coast Artillery Battery, a unit of the Tampa Harbor Defense System, took over all of the dwellings on this side of the street and south to the end of the island, except for this one. They did not want to oust the 85-year-old Mrs. Watson, so they strung barbed wire to separate the sides and back of her house from the military base, occupied until June of 1945.
(Continue east 150 feet on 3rd Ave.)(2.9)
South side of 3rd Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (104 3rd Ave.)
34....Site of Melville House Ship's doctor Edmund Melville lived here in a 1903 house that was moved from the point at the south end of the island to make room for apartments. While it was on the point, it was nearly washed away by the waves.
(Walk west on 3rd Ave., north on Gulf Ave. and east 150 feet on the south side of 4th Ave.)(3.1)
South side of 4th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (112 4th Ave.)
35....Blocker House This cracker cottage with cement sides was built in 1913 and was the home of J.C. Blocker, who served as mayor. He personally supervised the mixing of the concrete for the blocks.
(Continue east 160 feet and cross to the north side of the street.)(3.1)
North side of 4th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (105 4th Ave.)
36....School From 1912 to 1915, Miss Lownet Glass taught school in this building. She had 17 pupils in six grades.
(Walk west 150 feet on 4th Ave.)(3.2)
North side of 4th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (111 4th Ave.)
37....Site of Straub House A house was built here in about 1912 for W.L. and Sarah Straub. It was sold in 1912 to Abigail Michael and torn down in about 2000.
(Continue west on 4th Ave. to the intersection with Gulf Ave.)(3.2)
Northeast corner of Gulf and 4th Aves. (401 Gulf Ave.)
38....Castle Hotel The front portion of this establishment was built in about 1906.
(Walk north 150 feet on Gulf Ave. and look west across the street.)(3.2)
West side of Gulf Ave., between 4th and 5th Aves. (408 Gulf Ave.)
39....Site of Singlehurst Josephus Singlehurst, a grove owner from St. Petersburg, built a hotel here in 1912, with 12 rooms upstairs and a dance hall and dining room downstairs. The following year, mayor J.J. Duffy and a group leased it and turned it into the Yacht and Anglers Club with Duffy as commodore. Later, it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Clark from Iowa and reconverted into a hotel named the Anchor Inn. It was later known as the Gulf Palms, condemned and torn down.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east 140 feet on the south side of 5th Ave.)(3.3)
South side of 5th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (108 5th Ave.)
40....Simmons House In 1911, former New York congressman James S. Simmons had homes built at the southeast corner of Gulf and 5th Aves. and at this site. He lived here, and the other was used by his partner in his real estate ventures. A prominent yachtsman, Simmons was once commodore of Pass-A-Grille's Yacht and Anglers' Club. During the 1920s, his 60-foot "Niagara", named after his home town, was considered one of Tampa Bay's most beautiful boats.
(Continue east 135 feet on 5th Ave.)(3.3)
South side of 5th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (102 5th Ave.)
41....Miles Cottage Capt. Ransom Miles, one of the Morey Beach investors, had a cottage at 702 Pass-A-Grille Way, built in 1900. It was later moved to this lot.
(Cross 5th Ave. to the north and walk west 150 feet.)(3.3)
North side of 5th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (109 5th Ave.)
42....Site of The Darkinel A home was built here after November of 1908 for Jennie Darnell and Elizabeth Kincaid of Tennessee, facing west. It was abandoned for more than 25 years when it was torn down in 1988. It had a cathedral ceiling and a bed suspended from chains.
(Continue west on 5th Ave., then walk north on Gulf Ave. 100 feet past 6th Ave.)(3.4)
East side of Gulf Ave., between 6th and 7th Aves. (605 Gulf Ave.)
43....Barnard House Tampa businessman Calvin Barnard had the island's first concrete block structure built here in 1908-09. The blocks were cast on the site by a hermit who pitched his tent nearby.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east 150 feet on the south side of 7th Ave.)(3.5)
South side of 7th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (102 7th Ave.)
44....Granger House George S. Granger, a railroad man from Waldo, Florida, built this house in 1905. Its pilings raise it to only 18 inches above the ground, but that was enough for it to survive the hurricane of 1921.
(Walk west 100 feet on 7th Ave.)(3.5)
South side of 7th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (106 7th Ave.)
45....Granger House This house also belonged to Greorge S. Granger, and was built in 1902. It is on pilings six feet off the ground to allow the Gulf to flow under it in the event of a major storm.
(Continue west on 7th Ave., then walk north on Gulf Ave., and east 100 feet on the south side of 8th Ave.)(3.6)
South side of 8th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way
46....Site of Bonhomie Before moving to this area, George Henri Lizotte studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, was a Nile River tour guide, was a guide at the Taj Mahal, and moved to London to organize guided tours of the U.S. for the Thomas Cook and Son Travel Agency. One of those tours in 1898 led him to Port Tampa, and Lizotte returned here the following year.
Lizotte bought three of Roy Hanna's lots here, plus Scepter Patrick's house, remodeled it into a ten-room hotel, and named it the Bonhomie. Room and board for a week was only $7.50, but the drinking water was last summer's rainwater, yellow and full of wigglers. Guests bathed in the Gulf of Mexico.
On March 17, 1901, Edwin H. Tomlinson of Tampa caught what may have been the first tarpon taken off the Gulf beaches with a rod and reel, weighing 82 pounds. The area received much attention, and Lizotte acquired ten rowboats for tarpon fishing. He guaranteed that guests would catch a tarpon, or they would not have to pay for their stay at the Bonhomie. Lizotte billed the Bonhomie as the "hotel that made Pass-A-Grille famous".
The first post office on the Gulf Beaches opened in the Bonhomie lobby on August 10, 1905, with Lizotte as the first postmaster. Lizotte tore down the Bonhomie in 1910, and replaced it with the Hotel Lizotte, with 60 rooms and a dining room with seating for 300. It burned down on March 10, 1918. Lizotte blamed the fire on German sympathizers who did not like anti-German articles authored by Lizotte.
(Continue east 100 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.6)
South side of 8th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (110 8th Ave.)
47....Site of Patrick House This is the site of the first lot sold in the area (after the ten bought for the Floating Palace). In April of 1896, St. Petersburg house painter Scepter Patrick bought it and built a cottage six feet above the ground on pilings.
(Continue east 45 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.6)
South side of 8th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (106 8th Ave.)
48....Duffy Grocery This building was erected in 1913 and housed the grocery store owned by the first mayor, J.J. Duffy from West Virginia. Joseph E. Girard built a pool hall next door in 1908, and sold it in about 1910.
(Continue east 35 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.6)
South side of 8th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (104 8th Ave.)
49....Site of Drug Store Mayor Edward W. Jewett, Jr. once had a drug store here. It was built before 1919 and later housed a sandwich shop.
(Continue east 50 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.6)
South side of 8th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (102 8th Ave.)
50....Site of Mason Hotel On December 25, 1907, Pass-A-Grille's third hotel opened here. It was owned by Capt. and Mrs. James A. Mason, who found innkeeping pleasurable when they ran the Bonhomie during 1907.
Room rates were $2.50 per day, $10 per week. Shore dinners cost 50 cents. The hotel burned down in May of 1922. The Masons rebuilt it with one story in 1923, and added a second floor later. After Capt. Mason died in 1925, his widow sold it to H.L. Ott.
A portion of the present apartments were once the Marine Hotel, which began as the home of Capt. and Mrs. Mason.
(Cross 8th Ave. and walk west 20 feet.)(3.7)
North side of 8th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (105 8th Ave.)
51....Merry Store This store opened in 1902 at the end of the 8th Ave. dock. Joseph Merry had it moved here in 1912.
(Continue west 25 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.7)
North side of 8th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (107 8th Ave.)
52....Bait Shop This building, constructed in 1911, housed the bait shop of Joseph Merry. It was later the home of Montcastle International Trading Co., Ltd.
(Continue west 50 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.7)
North side of 8th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (109 8th Ave.)
53....Site of Buckeye Hotel John Wesley "Uncle Ben" Benfield built the Buckeye Hotel in 1912, and gave it the nickname of his home state of Ohio. He sold it in 1920 to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. George. After World War II, it was renamed the General Patton Hotel, and was torn down during the 1960s to make room for the expansion of the adjacent beer garden.
(Continue west 75 feet on 8th Ave.)(3.7)
North side of 8th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (113 8th Ave.)
54....Site of Girard's Store A building was erected here in about 1910 by Joseph E. Girard, having a general store and pool hall downstairs and apartments upstairs. After he died in 1916, his widow and brother operated the store as Girard Bros. It was sold to F.A. Brown in the 1920s, and later was owned by Capt. Wilson Hubbard. He operated a nearby fishing pier and commercial boat center, and renamed this the Hubbard House.
(Continue west on 8th Ave., then walk north 100 feet on Gulf Ave. and look west across the street.)(3.7)
West side of Gulf Ave., between 8th and 9th Aves. (809 Gulf Ave.)
55....Site of Page's Pavilion Mr. Page had a bathhouse with 80 dressing rooms, a few sleeping rooms, and 1,400 square feet of porch, originally located on a rented lot at the southeast corner of Gulf and 8th Aves. After a year or two, Page moved to the western end of the park between 9th and 10th Aves., and in 1912 was evicted from there. He moved here, and about the same time Elizabeth Kincaid became the second postmaster and moved the post office into the pavilion.
The building was sold by Page in 1920. It was called the Casa Bonita Hotel and bar before it was razed in the mid-1960s.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave. to the intersection with 9th Ave., and look across the street to the west.)(3.8)
Southwest corner of Gulf Ave. and 9th Ave.
56....Site of Davis House |Sisters Ellen and Cinthiana Davis from Connersville, Indiana, had the first beachfront home at this site in 1902. The front faced the south to take advantage of prevailing summer breezes and winter warmth, rather than westward toward the water. It had to be moved once after a storm undercut its foundation, and it was moved again in 1911 by new owner Fred Lesher about 50 feet south to 807 Gulf Ave. It was torn down in June of 1968.
(Cross 9th Ave. and continue north 50 feet on Gulf Ave., and look across the street to the west.)(3.8)
West side of Gulf Ave., between 9th and 10th Aves.
57....Site of Casino The town leased land here to the Pass-A-Grille Casino and Amusement Company beginning in 1920 for a bathhouse and snack bar. It was built in 1921, and later additions included a second floor, dance hall, restaurant, and hotel rooms. After the Pass-A-Grille Hotel burned in 1922, the structure here inherited its name, added "Beach" to it, and became the Pass-A-Grille Beach Hotel. It was later owned by Irene and R. Vernon Eckert, burned down on September 2, 1967, and was replaced by a concession stand.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east on the north side of 10th Ave. to the intersection with Old Church Ln.)(3.8)
Northeast corner of 10th Ave. and Old Church Ln. (115 10th Ave.)
58....Union Church On April 9, 1917, the Union Church opened here on a $500 lot bought from Lydia Miles, the widow of Capt. Ransom Miles. At the first service, John Wanamaker was so impressed, he offered to endow the church if it became Presbyterian. The offer was refused by Pastor Rev. Milam B. Williams, so it continued as a non-denominational church until the members voted to join the Congregational Churches in 1949.
In 1937, a steeple and bell were added. The bell, donated by Fred Clark of Indian Rocks as a memorial to his mother, doubled as the town's fire bell. The church closed in 1959 and was bought in 1961 by Joan Haley, who spent eight years restoring it as a home.
The building now houses the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum.
(Continue east 300 feet on 10th Ave.)(3.9)
North side of 10th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (103 10th Ave.)
59....Kittridge House In 1903, E.G. and Laura Kittridge, who had made their fortune in the granite business in Barre, Vermont, built two cottages on 12 lots on 8th Ave., following a successful day of fishing and stay at the Bonhomie. One house was moved here during the 1920s or 1930s. The other was moved to 1803 Pass-A-Grille Way and was torn down in about 1970.
The building next door at 105 was built in 1936, and formerly housed the Kay Metz store.
(Walk west 40 feet on 10th Ave.)(3.9)
North side of 10th Ave., between Pass-A-Grille Way and Gulf Ave. (105 10th Ave.)
60....School In 1915, the school classes previously held on 4th Ave. were moved to a concrete block building at this site. There was usually one teacher and about 15 children, until the school closed in 1925. The building also became the first home of the Woman's Club and later a meeting room for Bible classes.
(Continue west on 10th Ave., then walk north 100 feet on Gulf Ave.)(4.0)
East side of Gulf Ave., between 10th and 11th Aves. (1005 Gulf Ave.)
61....Bell House The island's first brick house was built here in 1908 by Cincinnati contractor William R. Bell. Mr. and Mrs. Bell retired here after spending two previous winters on the island as tourists.
(Continue north 40 feet on Gulf Ave.)(4.0)
East side of Gulf Ave., between 10th and 11th Aves. (1007 Gulf Ave.)
62....Smith House In about 1910, Paul Smith had a house built here with a widow's walk overlooking the Gulf. In 1913, it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. G.M. Fisher of Chicago. After Mr. Fisher died in 1925, the family moved out and, later, the widow's walk was converted into a room. This later became the Quebec Apartments, owned by Jeanne Crepeau.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east on the north side of 11th Ave. 125 feet past Old Church Ln.)(4.0)
North side of 11th Ave., between Old Church Ln. and Pass-A-Grille Way (109 11th Ave.)
63....Staten Island Cottage This was built in 1921 and was the home of "Pa" and "Ma" Beinert. He built footstools.
(Walk west on 11th Ave. and north on Gulf Ave. to the intersection with 13th Ave., and cross to the northeast corner.)(4.2)
Northeast corner of Gulf and 13th Aves. (1301 Gulf Ave.)
64....Site of Webster House Here was the winter home of Warren Webster, a New Jersey industrialist who in 1913 bought half of H. Walter Fuller's Long Key Development Company. He was one of the principals in the Pass-A-Grille Bridge Company, which acquired McAdoo's Bridge in 1920, and once owned the Pass-A-Grille Casino.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave. to the intersection with 14th Ave.)(4.2)
East side of Gulf Ave., between 13th and 14th Aves. (1307 Gulf Ave.)
65....Fulton House This home was built in 1922 for Mr. Fulton of Tennessee, who invented automobile thermostats. This building was converted to the Sea Spray Motel, and was later renamed the Gulf Way Inn.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave. 100 feet past 15th Ave.)(4.3)
East side of Gulf Ave., between 15th and 16th Aves.
66....Morey Beach For $800, Zephaniah Phillips sold 45 acres in 1895 to Dr. Gustave P. Gehring, who proposed to build a sanitarium. He changed his mind and sold the property for $1,000 to Roy S. Hanna. His partners, George Haines and Ransom Miles, persuaded Selwyn Morey, a Tampa cigar manufacturer, to invest $400 in the development on the condition that it would be named Morey Beach.
They had R.E. Bettis plat Morey Beach with 12 1/2 blocks of lots, with Florida Ave. (now called Pass-A-Grille Way) running north-south. On the plat, the numbered streets began with 1st Ave. (now called 12th Ave.), and increased in number southward to 12th Ave. (now called 1st Ave.). Morey believed he could sell lots to Spanish people by providing a free excursion, fish fry and land auction. He was not successful.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east 175 feet on the north side of 16th Ave.)(4.4)
North side of 16th Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way (107 16th Ave.)
67....Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church After the Union Church affiliated with the Congregational Churches, they also sought a new location for their sanctuary. This 200-foot long tract was bought in 1957, and the realtor who arranged the sale started the building fund by donating his commission check.
Winfield Lott designed the church as a U-shape in three sections, a church and chapel sanctuary seating 450, a fellowship hall with a 175-person capacity, and a two-story 15-room education unit to accommodate 400 Sunday school students. The cost of the 15,000 square foot building was $211,000. It was dedicated on March 8, 1959.
(Walk west on 16th Ave. and north on Gulf Ave. to the intersection with 18th Ave.)(4.5)
Northeast corner of Gulf Ave. and 18th Ave. (1801 Gulf Ave.)
68....Cameo Apartments This was opened in October of 1940 by Mr. and Mrs. J. Spencer Lucas of Philadelphia. It was later renamed Camelot By the Sea.
(Continue north on Gulf Ave., then walk east 30 feet on the north side of 22nd Ave.)(4.8)
North side of 22nd Ave., between Gulf Ave. and Sunset Way (115 22nd Ave.)
69....Site of Neville House A large brick home with a brick fence was built here in 1937 for Keith Neville, governor of Nebraska. It was torn down in about 2000 to make room for more modern construction.
(Continue east on 22nd Ave., then walk north on Sunset Way to the intersection with 23rd Ave.)(4.8)
Northeast corner of Sunset Way and 23rd Ave. (2323 Sunset Way)
70....Site of Sunshine School In 1926, the Sunshine School opened with teachers holding classes outdoors under palm-thatched shelters. They used portable blackboards, tables and benches. They ate at the "Sunshine Filling Station", the school cafeteria. They spent at least 45 minutes a day on the beach, and classes included swimming and small boat handling. The school closed in 1975, and was razed in 1983.
(Continue north on Sunset Way to the intersection with 24th Ave.)(4.8)
West side of Sunset Way, across from 24th Ave.
71....Site of Pass-A-Grille Casino The hurricane which hit on October 25, 1921, raised the level of water in Tampa Bay by ten feet. Waves demolished the old Casino and carried the wreckage out to sea, but the incoming tide piled most of it on the front veranda of the Pass-A-Grille Beach Hotel, the damage permanently closing that hotel.
(Walk east on 24th Ave. to the intersection with Pass-A-Grille Way, and look east across the street.)(4.9)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, between 23rd and 25th Aves.
72....Site of Hotel La Plaza Zephaniah Phillips obtained title to this property, extending from south of present-day 23rd Ave. to the middle of 31st Ave., including the tip of the Don Ce-Sar Peninsula, in October of 1902. His cost was $1.52 per acre. He died on January 21, 1903, and title to this land passed to his daughter, Anna C. Hartley. In 1906, she built the Hotel La Plaza on a 400 foot strip of land overlooking the Little McPherson Bayou.
Until the Don Ce-Sar was built over two decades later, the La Plaza was the best on the beaches. The square frame building was surrounded with covered verandas, and showed a few Victorian curlicues. It was linked by a boardwalk to quarters for the hotel employees and the servants of guests, a two-story building at the corner of 26th Ave. About seven cottages were located in between.
The property was sold in 1913 for $35,000 to H. Walter Fuller's St. Petersburg Land Company. It was renamed the Pass-A-Grille Hotel, and Fuller constructed a tropical garden between the boat dock and the hotel. The two alligators who lived in a concrete tank escaped during the hurricane of 1921.
The hotel burned down on September 28, 1922, just a week after the town's new fire pumper truck had arrived. Before they could unroll the new hoses, the hotel was engulfed in flames.
The alligator tank was removed in 1959 during the construction of the Petite Apartments.
(Walk north on Pass-A-Grille Way to the intersection with 26th Ave. and look east across the street.)(5.0)
East side of Pass-A-Grille Way, across from 26th Ave. (2507 Pass-A-Grille Way)
73....Patterson Apartments This hard yellow pine building was the home of the employees and guest servants of the Pass-A-Grille Hotel, the only hotel building to survive the 1922 fire. Emma Patterson bought it from the Fullers and converted it into eight apartments. Harry Butler bought it in 1940 and renamed it the Butler House. In 1973, Craig Wadsworth and William C. Moore acquired it and remodeled it, continuing its existence as an apartment building.
(Continue north on Pass-A-Grille Way (becomes Gulf Blvd.) to the intersection with El Centro St. and look to the west.)(5.5)
West end of El Centro St. (3212 Gulf Blvd.)
74....Bew House This home, built in 1938 by George Bew, was described as reflecting the "sheer comfort and colorful grace the wealth draws to its fingertips with a mere move of the check book". Mrs. Bew sold the home to Ralph Goldman for $145,000 in 1951.
(Continue north on Gulf Blvd. to the intersection with 45th Ave.)(6.3)
West side of Gulf Blvd., across from 45th Ave. (4500 Gulf Blvd.)
75....Lido Beach A cottage colony was opened here in 1932 by Pasquale "Pat" Sergi. Beach frontage of 419 feet accommodated 24 cottages, used by sports and theatrical figures. Sergi sold it for $175,000 in 1952 to a corporation led by Fred Berger, a New York realtor.
This area incorporated as Belle Vista Beach on May 27, 1949, and merged into the "new" St. Petersburg Beach on July 9, 1957.
(Continue north on Gulf Blvd. to the point of beginning.)(6.5)