Tampa (Images of America)
Prior to its incorporation in 1855, Tampa Town--as it was then known--was a desolate place to live, and disease and isolation kept many from settling in the area. But as the century progressed, a new and exciting mode of transportation began to open up America's remaining frontiers, including the untamed Gulf Coast of Florida. When the railroad came to Tampa, thousands of adventure-seekers, tourists, and new residents came with it, all ready to soak up the balmy breezes and tropical pleasures of the city of Tampa.
Tampa began to resemble a modern industrialized city by the turn of the century, due mainly to the grand vision and plans of one man. Henry B. Plant encouraged Tampa's growth by bringing the railroad to town and constructing the elaborate Tampa Bay Hotel, and he, along with other entrepreneurs, brought an economic boom to the region with new industries, such as cigars and citrus, and the promotion of tourism.