History of Clearwater
Part Three
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Clearwater Roars Into the 1900s

Photo
The Belleview Biltmore opened its doors in 1897 to wealthy vacationers from all parts of the world. Bicyclists stop for a rest in a favorite pastime of the era.

By the turn of the century, communities surrounding Clearwater were prospering. Tarpon Springs, to the north, was founded in 1891 by a former Arizona governor. Dunedin, which claims to be the oldest town on the West Coast of Florida south of Cedar Key, had its start in 1870 with the opening of a general store and was incorporated in 1889.

Largo got its name from a 500-acre lake first called Big Lake and then Lake Largo, after the Spanish word for “large” or “long”. Eventually the lake was drained to provide more farmland for the community.

In 1869, Daniel McMullen, one of the original seven McMullen brothers who settled in this area, homesteaded in Largo. Gideon Blitch, “Uncle Jimmy” Kilgore, George Hammock, Robert Whitehurst, the Johnsons, the John S. Taylors, the Campbells, Belchers, Ulmers and Cobbs were all pioneers in Largo.

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