|Exciting Developments in the Dansville Community|
On October 3rd, 1992 a tornado swept through Pinellas Park and Largo, killing four people, and touching down in Dansville, destroying twenty-six (26) homes. Numerous other homes in the neighborhood were damaged by the tornado. Utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners cleaned up the debris from the tornado, repaired homes that were damaged, rebuilt houses for the homeowners who lost their homes and embarked on a multi-year, multi-million dollar plan to improve the neighborhood’s infrastructure (i.e. roads, sidewalks, etc.).
Dansville is named after one of it’s forefathers, Dan Henry. Dan Henry and his brother, Lloyd Henry, arrived from Dawson, Georgia in the early 1920's. Dan Henry moved in to the orange grove alongside the railroad. He lived in a log cabin provided by the owner of the orange grove, Mr. J. A. Walsingham, for whom Dan Henry worked. Beginning in 1928, Dan Henry began purchasing property for 5, 10, and 100 dollars plus back taxes. He was Dansville’s first developer. The residents of Dansville have always understood and appreciated the ancestry and accomplishments of Dan and Lloyd Henry. After the tornado, they felt the need and saw the wisdom in documenting the community’s ancestry, historic architecture, accomplishments and location. The Pinellas County Historical Society and Heritage Village Museum, in joint sponsorship, initiated an oral history program of the neighborhood after the 1992 tornado. The oral history project was undertaken by Historical Society volunteers and neighborhood residents. In 1995, the American Association for State and Local History gave the oral history project an Award of Merit.
In 1997, the residents of the neighborhood created a neighborhood-based non-profit organization called the Dansville Neighborhood Development Corporation. The motto of the Corporation is Preserving What’s Important for Future Generations. The title of the neighborhood newsletter is Generations. The long range vision for the Dansville Redevelopment Area is to revitalize a deteriorated, substandard neighborhood into a neighborhood which meets today’s development standards and provides existing and future residents with a living environment that is racially and economically-diverse while still preserving the neighborhood’s history and sense of place.