Tarpon Springs Area

Historical Society

160 E. Tarpon Avenue – Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 – 727-943-4624

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Newsletter                                    August 2011


Coming Soon***** 125 years of Tarpon Springs !!!!

Upcoming Events

Jill Noblit McGregor

Author of Once Upon a Bayou

Speaking on Tarpon Springs’ early years

October 20th at 7:00PM

Historic Train Depot

160 E. Tarpon Ave. Tarpon Springs

Board of Directors Meeting September 1 ~ 6:30 PM

The Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society wants to hear from You

The Historical society is planning for the future and wants to know what kinds of events and programs you prefer. The Society’s special events and trips have been well attended, but it has seen less support for monthly meetings held on the last Thursday of the month. The Society wants your thoughts on this.  If you attend these meetings, what do you like about them? What do you dislike? What types of programs would convince you to attend? Would a telephone call reminding you of the meeting be helpful? Take a few minutes to email us, call us, or send us a note on your thoughts on the meetings and events. We just want your ideas.


Collections Corner

     There were thousands of acres in the 1900’s in Hillsborough and Pasco County that were leased for making turpentine. In 1909, Charles Lutz, built a track winding northwestward from Lutz to Odessa to reach his sawmills. This rail line was nicknamed the “Pea Vine” because it twisted and turned so much. It ultimately became part of the Tampa and Gulf Coast Railroad and where the two railroads intersected it became the “Lutz Junction”. There also was a very popular place to eat at the junction, called “Guy Sparlin’s Restaurant”

     In 1914, the owners of the T & GC made Tarpon Springs their major stop. The Gulf Coast Railroad known as the “Pea Vine” came from Tarpon Springs each morning and left with passengers and freight to be taken to Tampa or Brooksville by the Tampa Northern. In the evening the train would pick up freight and passengers and head back to Tarpon Springs. Guy Sparlin opened another restaurant at the Tarpon Springs Junction.

     We recently received from the MacManus family a book written by Elizabeth Riegler MacManus and Dr. Susan MacManus, “ Tales of the “TN” and the “Pea Vine” Rail Mergers, and Spunky Pioneers” along with a mounted letter to Ms. Donna Sparlin and photographs. This photo of the restaurant and Pea Vine station is very rare and special. Thank you to the MacManus Family.

Mission Statement

To collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit the history of the Tarpon Springs area and to promote education, preservation and research of historical points of interest.

For more information call 727-943-4624




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@ 2006