Pinellas Passport: Your Ticket through Time illustrates major areas of development in Pinellas County, including coastal living with a focus on the sponge industry; agriculture featuring citrus industry artifacts; community life through newspapers and a printing press; and tourism, showcasing souvenirs and once-popular roadside attraction icons. In the Roy Helms Gallery. (see pictures below)
What is 10 inches in diameter, made of concrete and has four holes in the middle?
The Bliss family recently donated a unique sponge disk dating back to 1906. This artifact represents an early attempt by the Greeks to cultivate sponges in the Gulf of Mexico. According to an article in the Clearwater Sun on September 28, 1969, Greek sponger Gus Cocoris and his brothers dropped 100 of these disks in the Gulf in hopes of increasing the growth rate of sponges. Live sponges were tied onto the disks, wrapped in heavy burlap and dropped in rows off the small island of Anclote Key. Cocoris stated that after 6 months the sponges had grown between four and six inches. This same method was used by the government in the Bahamas soon after a blight in the 1940s. Due to high costs and the long process required to produce a salable sponge these methods were eventually abandoned. Several disks, including this one, were found by members of the Peninsular Archaeological Society Inc. while on a field trip to Anclote Key in 1969.
Christopher Still Prints: Clues to Florida’s History and Natural Beauty: This is a print collection of the artist’s murals that were commissioned by the Florida House of Representatives. The prints are filled with clues and details that speak to Florida’s history, many of which can be found in the buildings at Heritage Village, in the Pinellas Room.
Pieces of the Past (POPs): Some of the living history demonstrations and hands-on activities you might encounter during your stroll through the Village include pine needle and palm frond weaving, laundry day, working in the heritage garden, rope making, net mending, blacksmithing, traditional fiber arts, and pioneer cooking.
The Structures at Heritage Village: As you walk through the pine and palmetto landscape, you are really walking through the museum! The buildings and other features make up the Village’s largest “artifacts” and are part of the museum’s “collection.” Inside the buildings, you will find period rooms and displays depicting lifeways, culture and early industries that shaped the Pinellas peninsula.