Table of Contents

Bones

Campbell Family Tree

Citrus

City Display Timeline

Ceiling Clouds

Fred the Cat

Ink Drawings

Indian Display

Jessie’s Tools

Publix Tiles

Marjorie Campbell and Jesse Johnson

Map Cabinet

Meares/ Leach/ Brumby

Railroad Oakhurst-Seminole

Seminole Elementary School

VFD - Fire Department

World War II Memorial

Bones


Seminole Historical Society Boca Ciega Millennium Park Bones Exhibit

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Talking Points

  • The Millennium Park Dig was a very significant one because the animals lived here, died here and were discovered here.

  • A 16 year old High School Student found a black rock. She brought the rock home to show her geology student brother. Family contacted paleontology experts. The park was closed and an 11 month dig began. These are those bones.

  • The mammoth at our museum lived during the late Pleistocene Epoch (Ice Age) about 11,700 years ago.  During the late Pleistocene Epoch, there are signs that the Paleo Indians existed alongside of the mammoths.

  • Height was about 14 to 15 feet. Our museum ceiling is 15’ high.

  • Weight was around 8 - 10 tons - 20,000 lbs.

  • The mammoth jaw in the cabinet is that of a 50 year old male.

  • The single tooth in the cabinet is 16” long.

  • Mammoths were vegetarian and consumed 700 lbs. of tough grasses and other types of vegetation each day.

  • Mammoths had only 4 teeth- two upper and two lower. These teeth were replaced 6 times in their lifetime. At age 43, they would have their sixth set that would last the rest of their lives.  When the molar ridges wore down and the mammoth could no longer grind its food, it died of starvation.

  • A mammoths life span was 60 to 80 years.

  • Mammoths migrated from Asia and Europe 1.5 million years ago.

  • The bones represent bones of a giant tortoise, giant armadillo, horse bones, white tailed deer, Llama, and giant bison.

What is so unusual is that all of these different animal bones were found near each other. This is very unusual. This site was much different while these animals were alive. Scientist believe that Pinellas county and this site was 100 miles from the ocean. There are many theories as to how all of these different animal bones came together. One theory was that the animals had gotten stuck in the muck of a riverbed. The animals died and the river washed all the bones together.


Background

In 2007 a young 16 year old girl, Sierra Sarti-Sweeney , was on a photography nature hike in Boca Ciega Millennium Park  when she saw a shiny black rock. She took the rock home and showed it to her 22 year old brother Sean who was a Geology major at the University of South Florida.

After some initial research it was discovered that the football size shiny rock a was a  tooth of a Columbian Mammoth.

The family contacted area experts who confirmed their identification of the tooth.

The county park began working at the site and experts from Tampa Museum of science and Industry and USF and St. Petersburg College have also been working at the site. The Tampa Bay Fossil club worked with Seminole High students and taught them how to make plaster jackets for fragile bones. This became a community effort.

The dig lasted 11 months.



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Campbell Family Tree

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Pioneer Seminole Family

Patriarchs

Benjamin Campbell 1843-1902 59, married Margaret Ann Taylor in 1868 in Brooksville Fl. Came to Seminole in 1873. Ben and Maggie had 9 children, 27 grandchildren and a” whole bunch” of great grandchildren.


Talking Points

  • Two interesting Campbells to highlight are John Archibald Campbell and F. Leon Campbell both were sons of Benjamin and Maggie Campbell, Grandma Maggie.

  • Leon was responsible for the building of the log cabin near the Methodist church on 54th Ave. This was a  the CCC as a WPA project constructed during the Roosevelt Presidency. Leon knew everyone in the area and wrote about many of the families in Seminole. He wrote about what they did and about their children and where they lived.


Background

The Campbell Stand contains many interesting stories of the families of the 9 children of Benjamin and Campbell and Margaret. They were all written by Leon Campbell.



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Citrus

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Talking Points

  • Pickers used ladders and citrus bags to pick the ripe fruit

  • There were 8 major growers in the Pinellas area

  • In the 1940’s Pinellas county was #1 in growing grapefruit

  • There is still an orange grove store on the West side of Indian Rocks bridge


Background

The citrus display is composed of sample products, a ladder ( donated by Roland Martens) used  by the pickers to get to the citrus, a citrus bag used by workers to gather the fruit as well as crates used to ship the fruit. There were some 8 major growers in the Pinellas area. All of them had stores on Seminole Blvd. The last store to close was Orange Blossom Groves.


In the 1940’s Pinellas County was #1 in the world at growing and producing grapefruit.  

The Yellow Bans orange groves still has a small shop on the West side of the Indian Rocks Bridge.





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City Display Timeline


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Talking Points


  • The city timeline gives you an idea of the important events in the city history.

  • The surrounding cities of St. Petersburg and Largo were closing in on Seminole. These cities were planning to annex the Seminole community.

  • In November of 1970 city leaders, Dennis DeLoach and Mr. Dunlop, met and finalize state requirements to become a city. They also elected a city council and Mayor.

  • The following Tuesday a state judge swore in the new city government.


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Ceiling Clouds

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They represent the orange industry, the water tower and the Seminole schools.
  • Bauder elementary School
  • Seminole Middle School
  • Seminole Elementary School
  • Career Academies
  • Orange Grove Elementary School
  • Seminole High School


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Fred the Cat


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Talking Points


  • In 1983 an underfed, skinny cat showed up at City Hall in Seminole City Park. The staff at city hall adopted and named the cat Fred.

  • They fed him and got all his shots at the vets. Fred loved people and would wait every morning at the door of City Hall .

  • He would go in and sleep on the carpet floors.

  • A funny story in that he would often line up his trophies of mice at the front door. He was showing off his hunting ability and proving his worth.

  • Fred received an official city funeral when he died in 2006. There is a marble grave just outside the front door of the museum dedicated in memory of Fred.




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Ink Drawings


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Talking Points

  • These were done by Mr. Dennis McBride as a result of his research of the Seminole area.  They represent various structures and building which could be found in the Seminole community. This includes Jesse Johnson’s home 1937, The First Elementary School 1905, Marvin Chapel, Leach Home, Bay Pines Hospital, The Water Tower and Jasmine Groves.




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Indian Display


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Talking Points

Seminole Historical Society Museum Native American Culture display

  • A display of Indian artifacts including a genuine Seminole Indian jacket. The individual labeled items were donated by Dr. Roger Block. The display also has articles about the Seminole museum, the Seminole Pow-wow and the Seminole Library.

  • Native American culture across all of America was similar and consistent for all tribes as demonstrated by the cultural artifacts displayed here:

  • Rattles and pipes were used to contact the spirit world through prayer

  • Two ceremonial arrows honor the hunting tools critical for survival of this hunter-gatherer society

  • The ‘friendship lock” provided a spiritual link between you and your closest friends and family

  • Ceramic pots were used for food storage and preparation

  • Decorative necklaces were fabricated from natural stone, bone, and metal collected through vast trade networks and local sources

  • Rattles and pipes were used to contact the spirit world through prayer

Background

Seminole Historical Society  -  Donated Native American cultural artifacts  July 5, 2015.

Most of the cultural artifacts donated have been assembled by tribal groups from the northern plains Indians (Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, etc.) and some from the Southwest.  It is hard to find artifacts from Native Groups who lived in the City of Seminole area since no Indians have inhabited this area consistently since the Tocobaga in the early 1500’s.  And all Tocobaga artifacts are found in village ruins and middens which are unearthed through archaeological excavations and these reside in Museums, not in private hands.   And much of these prehistoric artifacts are lost due to rot and decay; only isolated objects of stone, bone and ceramics survive the Florida environment. Thus, based on my thirty years of research in Native America and working with many tribal groups, I am confident in stating that there is a general consistency in fundamental spiritualism and traditions across all Native groups from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northern Plains and from the eastern forests to the Pacific coast.  All Native groups honored the Spirit World and their natural environment in similar ways and made cultural artifacts to serve their earthly needs with local materials and materials obtained in trade networks across our entire nation.  Thus, what the Plains Indian made to honor the Spirit World or to conduct ceremonies were very similar to what Eastern and even Gulf Coast Tribes made and used.  The purpose in all cases was the same and the implementation varied with local materials and elements of trade that were available.  Thus look at these cultural artifacts as typical representations of what Native America used in their everyday lives, even the Tocobagas.  But Tocobaga artifacts can only be found in buried ruins and middens and those that remain in those contexts are only isolated, durable pieces of the ancient artifacts and thus lost mostly to history.






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Jessie’s Tools


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Talking Points


  • Located under the Publix tiles on the west wall, Jesse Johnson and his wife Margaret, who is the source of all of Jesse’s land.  They were one of the original families in the Seminole area. These 60 acres were a gift for pasture and a vegetable garden, which Jesse later donated to the city where the Mall is today. Cows were raised in a large pasture where the Seminole Mall Apartments and Nursery where Freedom Square is located.

  • Mr. Jesse Johnson was instrumental in creating the city of Seminole. He helped build the first bank, Bank of Seminole. He also established the Seminole Nursery and the first grocery store and post office.

  • He also supplied the logs to build the first scouting headquarters. He was awarded the scouting's highest honor for community service, the Silver Beaver.

  • Jesse also supplied the logs to build the first Civic Center where the 22 families met and held church services. The Civic Center later became headquarters for a local scout troop.

  • Jessie Johnson owned the land where the present Career academy is located. He also dug out the small pond located in Seminole Park.





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Publix Tiles


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Talking Points

  • The enlarged mural is of the tiles is a representation of the tile mural located on the exterior of the Publix in the original Seminole Mall. Sue Etter a board member and talented computer person created a high resolution photograph which was turned into a wall mural.


  • The mural was dedicated to the hard working families who originally settled in the Seminole community. There is also a tractor which was placed there to honor Jesse Johnson. Riding and working with the tractor was one of his favorite jobs.


  • In front of the mural are farm tools used by area farmers including Buck Saw, Log rollers, Scythe. There are also yokes to harness mules for pulling and working the farm.


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Marjorie Campbell and Jesse Johnson


Talking Points

  • Marjorie Campbell was the daughter of John A. Campbell Sr. (He was the second child of Benjamin and Maggie) and Clara Blanch Meares.


  • Jesse Johnson had graduated from University of Florida in Horticulture in 1929.

  • Jesse came from Largo to court Marjorie. He came by way of a hand operated pumping railroad trolley car.

  • They were married in  Jesse loved the earth, he owned a nursery, the first bank, postoffice, Boy scout building and the old Seminole Mall built in 1965. All of the above were built on his land.

  • They were the first Mr. and Mrs. Seminole, Jesse and Margaret.





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Map Cabinet

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  • This solid oak map cabinet houses pictures and maps of the Seminole area. There are maps dated  1910 and as early as 1872. The cabinet built in Germany was a donation by Dr. Ed Lurie.








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Meares/ Leach/ Brumby


Talking Points

  • Albert and Stuart Meares came from Wales and bought the very land ( $1.25 per acre) you are standing on in 1872. Albert opened the first post office in the area and called it St. Johns Mainland.


  • Albert married Adela Krewson, they had 10 children all born in the house which is pencil sketched on top of the counter. Vance Meares ( son of Albert and Adela Meares) built by Maurice Meares, the home that you see on the wall,  pictured above the counter near the entrance of the museum.

  • Vance Meares had a successful fruit shipping business utilizing the railroad which is now the Pinellas Trail. The home stood near the Spring fed lake which you see just outside the museum.

  • RM Brumbie also had a shipping business. He used boat to Mobile Alabama where he would barter for grain.  RM Brumbie and James R. Brumbie invented the Brumbie rocking chair which is still built today in Marriote Ga.


Background

The Meares brothers had a sister in England names Bell. Their children would write her describing the oak trees and the unusual Spanish moss. Bell suggested calling the area Oakhurst. This is the name of one of our subdivisions in the Seminole area.


In 1887 Robert Leach came to the Seminole area and purchased land. Robert created a successful business selling oranges and grapefruit. He married Katherine Brumby. The Brumby family business was handmade rockers and still does today. A genuine Brumby rocker was donated to the museum because of this connection to Seminole.


Robert persuaded his brother Harry Leach to come to Seminole. He did and married


The Meares, Leaches and the Brumby’s owned many acres of Citrus land. They were a close knit family who shared “high tea” every day.

The Meares home was located in Seminole Park.  It had fallen into disrepair and was known by the children in the area as the “haunted house”. City purchased the property in 1970.


This Brumby Chair Company still makes these beautiful rocking chairs.


Fast Track

Albert and Stuart Meares settled in the Seminole area in 1872. The Meares brothers’ children helped name a section of Seminole called Oakhurst.


Robert Leach settled in Seminole in 1887. He created a successful citrus business marrying Katherine Brumby. The Famous Brumby’s handmade Rocker was donated to the The Historical Society .





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Railroad Oakhurst-Seminole


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Talking Points

  • This is a photo of the first train coming through Oakhurst-Seminole in 1914. The train is on the Tampa &Gulf Coast Railroad or TG&C R.R. The destination is St. Petersburg Florida.

  • The little engine was called the “Tug and Grunt” of the ACL line the photo was taken just a few yards from where you are standing; the train was puffing out smoke and cinders. The tracks are now the Pinellas Trail which runs the entire length of Pinellas County.


Background

The railroads were essential for the citrus growers. There was no other way to get to Tampa until the bridges were built in the 1920’s.


There was a Oakhurst RR Station just a few yards away from here on the West side of the tracks (see the 1925 map Dolph map which shows the station and Mearse Lake). If you wanted to catch the train you had to flag the train down to stop it. Invoices for shipping grapefruit and oranges were found on the grounds of the Maurice Meares home here by children playing. The home was torn down in 1970.


There was an Oakhurst Railroad Station. There was also a station at Walsingham (Located at Walsingham and Ridge road) Seminole Station (East of overpass on Seminole BLVD.) and Bay Pines Station just west of the Bay Pines VA Hospital. See photos of all three stations.


There were also other major railroads like the Atlantic Coastline Railroad or ACL. This line came from Sanford and Jacksonville to St. Petersburg in 1888.  These tracks go across Ulmerton and Bryan Dairy Roads. These lines merged to become the Coastal Airline Railroad, CAL, in 1967.


In the late 1930’s the Streamliners made their appearance in Florida. The Silver Meteor traveling at 53 mph came from New York to St. Petersburg in 23 hours. This uniquely shaped diesel engine pulled stainless steel boxcars, sleeper’s diners, observation cars and coaches. The Silver meteor brought many land speculators to Florida. They came right to the area of the museum.


The SAL also carried the Barnum and Bailey Circus through Seminole to St. Petersburg. See the photos of railroad stations, the SAL timetable and the 1925 Dolph Map showing the Oakhurst station and Meares Lake.





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Seminole Elementary School


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Talking Points

  • Land for the first schools was donated by the Charles Thevonet family.  Emma Futch was the first teacher and Principal. The display holds the original job offer and salary of $196. Per-month.


  • Emma married Leon Campbell who was a member of one of the original 12 families of Seminole.

  • May 2015 Seminole Elementary celebrated its 100th anniversary. The velvet curtain hung for many years in the original two story building which was redone and is still utilized as a classroom in the school.

  • The first school was built in the 1890’s. In 1933 the log cabin which served as a school was built by Leon Campbell.




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Background

Seminole Elementary School, the red brick structure on Park Boulevard west of Seminole Boulevard, was not the first Seminole school; there had been several others at various locations before the new school opened in the fall of 1915 with two teachers, Miss Emma Futch (also principal) and Miss Hazel Merchant.

Back in the day, school teachers were not required to have college degrees.  Somewhere about halfway through Emma's long career, the State ruled that teachers must have degrees.   Emma enrolled at University of Florida, which was men-only at the time.  Emma proudly graduated - before UF even went coed!  She was very proud of that, and her family was proud of her.


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Display Content

Emma Futch was teaching in Leesburg when she applied for a teaching job in Pinellas County.  Here's a copy of the response she received by telegram from Education Superintendent Dixie Hollins (yep, the one for whom Dixie Hollins high is named)


She accepted the job, and became the first principal of Seminole Elementary School, beginning with its initial year, 1915,  Soon she was a bride.  She married F. Leon Campbell, the widowed father of four young children.  She was a treasured teacher and principal for many years.  Ask around at the Centennial; you'll likely meet some of their descendants and/or her former students!

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VFD - Fire Department


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Talking Points


  • The Seminole Fire Department was established in    .

  • The Department was an integral part of the social structure of the City of Seminole.

  • They also suggested that a celebration parade was in order. This parade became an annual event called the “Seminole Pow Wow”.

  • The Seminole Fire department were a supportive motivating factor in the formation and growth of the city.,

  • The Seminole fire department has grown to a professional well trained group who are still active in the community.



Background

There are many stories which reflect their importance and relationship to the community.

This story related the Seminole Fire Department and how it helped the school with a major problem.


The local high school, Seminole High school, was brand new. There were no lights constructed as part of the football stadium. The players had to go to Largo to play any night games. They even had to wear Largo football uniforms. The Seminole fire department decided to hold fundraisers to help pay for lights for the football stadium. They also built concession stands and bleachers. By way of spaghetti dinners, and barbeques they made $8,000. And had lights installed .


The fire department only had one truck. It was a brush fire truck which was always parked at the Mohn Funeral Home. Marty Mohn would receive the calls for fire , she would then turn on a siren to notify the volunteers to report.

Marty would announce at the beginning of every funeral that to please ignore any siren that might go off during the service. It was just the call to the volunteers.




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World War II Memorial


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Talking Points

  • This plaque and memorial was originally located in the Seminole United Methodist Church.


  • It is a listing of the men from the Church and Community who served in World War II from Seminole. In the Fall of 2015, during the church’s 125th anniversary they gifted the plaque and memorial to the Seminole Historical Society.


  • We are proud to have this plaque and memorial at our museum. It honors those who served and pays tribute to those who fought in the war.