Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry
The Gulf waters off the west coast of Florida north of Tampa Bay comprise one of the few areas of the world where the species of natural sponges suitable for commercial use are found. The natural sponge industry in Tarpon Springs dates from about 1890 when John K. Cheyney launched his first sponge-fishing boat. Sponges were retrieved by hooking until the technique of diving for sponges was introduced in 1905 by John Cocoris, a recent immigrant from Greece, where the practice of sponge diving was common. Within a few years, many Greeks had arrived in the area to work in the sponging industry.
The Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange was incorporated in 1908 as a shareholding organization to provide for the storage and sale of sponges. The peak of prosperity for the Tarpon Springs sponge industry came in the 1930's. In 1939 the sponge beds in the area suffered from a disease which substantially reduced the crop of healthy sponges for several years. In spite of the decline in the sponge industry, the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange has continued to serve as a focal point for the Greek Community.
Erected 1973 by City of Tarpon Springs, Florida In Cooperation With Department of State. (Marker Number F-208.)
Location. Click for map. The marker is located on the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, across the street from the Sponge Exchange. Marker is at or near this postal address: 735 Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs FL 34689, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Craig Park War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rose Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); West Elfers Cemetery (approx. 4.2 miles away); The Baker House (approx. 4.5 miles away); Elfers (approx. 4.5 miles away); Old Elfers School (approx. 5.1 miles away); Seven Springs (approx. 7 miles away); Sims Park (approx. 7.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tarpon Springs.
Also see . . . Sponge fishing in Key West and Tarpon Springs. At the end of the 19th century the sponge fishing industry, and later sponge diving industry, was established due to John Corcosis and John Cheyney. Corcosis, a born Greek, came to New York in 1895 to work in the sponge trade. There he met John Cheyney, one of the early settlers in Tarpon Springs who sent out the first "hooker boat" from Tarpon Springs. (Submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 590 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.