Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry

 
 
Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 18, 2012
1. Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry Marker
Inscription. Marker Front:
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.

Marker Reverse:
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.
Wide view of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 18, 2012
2. Wide view of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry Marker
The marker stands at the busy Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.
28° 9.34′ N, 82° 45.669′ W. Marker is in Tarpon Springs, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker is on Dodecanese Boulevard mile west of North Pinellas Avenue (Alternate U.S. 19), on the right when traveling west. Touch 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); St. Ignatius of Antioch Church (approx. 1.1 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); Green Key (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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
The Tarpon Springs Sponge Fisherman image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 18, 2012
3. The Tarpon Springs Sponge Fisherman
Like his ancestors the contemporary fisherman, hangs out the day's harvest to dry upon returning to port.
boat" from Tarpon Springs.
(Submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 18, 2012
4. Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
Once the "Sponge Capital of the World", employing thousands, today the docks are a popular tourist attraction.
Some of the Tarpon Springs Sponge fleet image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 18, 2012
5. Some of the Tarpon Springs Sponge fleet
While the fleet may be smaller these days, sponge fisherman still head into Gulf of Mexico to harvest sponges.
<i>A Sponge Diver Ready for the Descent, Tarpon Springs, Fla.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1930
6. A Sponge Diver Ready for the Descent, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
<i>Sale in Progress at the Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, Fla., U.S.A.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1940
7. Sale in Progress at the Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, Fla., U.S.A.
<i>Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, Fla.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1920
8. Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
<i>Sponge Fleet, Tarpon Springs, Fla.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1920
9. Sponge Fleet, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 637 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on October 30, 2015.
Paid Advertisement