BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
Many people still live here since the town went from city to suburb.
Take DaleMabry south towards MacDill Air Force Base and turn right on
Interbay. When you get to the RR tracks turn left to Port Tampa. The
old downtown area will be immediately on your left after you pass the
renovated bank building (now a library). If you continue on, you enter
the wharf area. There is nothing left of the wharf. Industry has taken
over everything along the bay.
REMAINS: Downtown area, Bank, many original homes, a couple of famous places where Teddy Roosevelt stayed.
Tampa, which was also known as Passage Point or Black Point, was
established in 1887 as the end of the Henry Plant Railroad line. Plant
wanted more control of his passengers for his steamboat line. Here,
about 1888, the train would pull right out on the dock where Plant had
built two hotels (now gone) the St. Elmo and the larger Port Tampa
Inn. Guests would step off the steamship right on the pier (also gone)
and either go to the hotel or the train. I know that some feel this
does not qualify as a ghost town however the little city was a nine
mile trolley ride down the Interbay peninsula from Tampa where by
1891, 205 ships brought 136,000 tons of goods in to port. Cigar
factories and stores as well as the homes for port workers, railroad
employees, and hotel staff. Most homes are still there today. By 1910
the port was no longer a prime location since most were traveling by
boat on up to Tampa. The town stopped growing and ceased to have a
legitimate function as a RR and steamship company town for Henry
Plant. The area of the port is totally industrial now. In the 40's the
City of Tampa took the area over and Port Tampa City ceased to exist
as a town. This was over much opposition by the proud residents of
Port Tampa. This port also was made famous by being the selection as
the debarkation point for the Spanish-American War invasion of Cuba.
The soldiers were quartered in the area of the adjacent park and Teddy
Roosevelt and his staff stayed at several homes here.
Submitted by: Mike Woodfin