Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Philippe Park and The Tocobaga Indian Mound

About ten miles or so north of Bedlam is a place called Safety Harbor.  Its the place that has the 300-500 year old oak that the city tried to kill I featured a couple weeks ago on BFE.  They have a pretty nice park that has some interesting history, too.  Count  Philippe landed here and introduced the pineapple and cigar making to the Tampa Bay area.

Today, however, I want to mention something else about this area, besides the really nice scenery.  Phillipe Park was also the home of the Tocobaga Indians.  The Tocobaga occupied the Tampa Bay area from around 600 A.D. to the 1600's.  




This is a fairly common view of old stately moss-laden oaks down here.  




This shot was taken atop the only Tocobaga Indian mound in the area.  This exact spot is home not only to the Tocobaga until they died out, but then to Count Phillipi who settled the area after the Tocobaga died out.  




The place is full of oak and Spanish moss.



Another shot from what is the only mound left in the area.



Count Philippi sailed his ship, The Ney, into this harbor and settled it with his family.  There are still remnants of the clan living in the area.



A view of the mound from level ground.  This mound is all that is left of the  ceremonial mound.  They used old shells and garbage to make their mounds and this one was originally rectangular and 2/3rds bigger.  A hurricane in 1848 took the rest. 

The poor Tocobaga.  This mound was the chief's ceremonial mound where he probably announced tribal things like "Go Met's" before the Rays came to town.  Too bad he didn't yell "run" when the first Spaniards landed,  then they might not have all died out due to infectious diseases.

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