History of Davis Islands: David P. Davis and the Story of a Landmark Tampa Neighborhood

History of Davis Islands: David P. Davis and the Story of a Landmark Tampa Neighborhood

by Rodney Kite-Powell


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Tampa's Davis Islands has long been among the most desirable places to live on Florida's west coast.

Built from mud dredged from the bottom of the Tampa Bay, it's possible few thought the project would amount to very much, with the exception of its creator, David P. Davis. The developer and Tampa native Davis purchased the dredged land in the 1920s during the Florida land boom; the gamble paid off in dividends, as the Davis Islands made him wildly rich and nationally famous. He followed the Islands up with a subdivision twice its size in St. Augustine, which he named Davis Shores. Davis sold his Tampa development in August 1926, but he slipped into debt and died under mysterious circumstances while en route to Europe aboard a luxury liner only months later. Though their creator did not live to see it, work on Davis Islands continued, and the development ultimately became an unmitigated success. Join author Rodney Kite-Powell as he examines the history of one of Florida's most famous neighborhoods.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609498733
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 811,423
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rodney Kite-Powell is the Saunders Foundation Curator of History at the Tampa Bay History Center, where he joined the staff in 1994. He received a BA in History from the University of Florida and an MA in History from the University of South Florida.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

1 Florida Roots 11

2 George Riley Davis and Family 19

3 Davis in Miami 31

4 Davis Family Remains in Tampa 43

5 Davis Islands Becomes Reality 57

6 Davis Shores: St. Augustine, Florida 79

7 Highs and Lows: Casualties of the Boom 93

8 Davis Islands Today 129

Notes 137

Bibliography 149

Index 157

About the Author 159

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