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Clearwater is a city located in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, northwest of Tampa and St. Petersburg. To the west of Clearwater lies the Gulf of Mexico and to the southeast lies Tampa Bay. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 107,685. Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County and is the smallest of the three principal cities in the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater metropolitan area, most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area.
Present-day Clearwater was originally the home of the Tocobaga people. Around 1835, the United States Army began construction of Fort Harrison, named after William Henry Harrison, as an outpost during the Seminole Wars. The fort was located on a bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor, which later became part of an early 20th-century residential development called Harbor Oaks. University of South Florida archaeologists excavated the site in 1962 after Mark Wyllie discovered an underground ammunition bunker while planting a tree in his yard.
The area's population grew after the Federal Armed Occupation Act of 1842 offered 160 acres (0.65 km2) to anyone who would bear arms and cultivate the land. Early settlers included the Stevens, Stevenson, Sever and McMullen families, who claimed and farmed large tracts of land. Prior to 1906, the area was known as Clear Water Harbor. The name "Clear Water" is thought to have come from a fresh water spring flowing from near where the City Hall building is located today. There were many other freshwater springs that dotted the bluff, many in the bay or harbor itself.
During the American Civil War, Union gunboats repeatedly raided the community's supplies, as most of the able-bodied men were away fighting for the Confederate Army. The town began developing in the late nineteenth century, prompted by Peter Demens' completion of the first passenger railroad line into the city in 1888. Clearwater was incorporated in 1891, with James E. Crane becoming the first mayor. The area's popularity as a vacation destination grew after railroad magnate Henry B. Plant built a sprawling Victorian resort hotel named Belleview Biltmore just south of Clearwater in 1897.
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Florida city reckoning with its past as paved over Black cemeteries uncovered
Black cemeteries that were said to be relocated for development projects in the 1950s have been uncovered under a parking lot, school and office building in Clearwater, Florida.
"This is not an isolated story": Forgotten Black cemeteries uncovered in Florida
In the 1950s, in Clearwater, Florida, Black cemeteries were supposed to be relocated for various development projects. But many graves were never relocated and the cemeteries were paved over.
Florida nurse who died saving patients in 1953 finally has headstone
It started on March 30, 1953, when news clips and eyewitness accounts reported Warnick running in and out of a crumbling building, the heat “so intense it blistered paint on buildings across the road, ...
Medical cannabis dispensary opens in Clearwater
A Massachusetts-based medical and adult-use cannabis company officially opened a new dispensary in Clearwater.
Clearwater driver arrested in fatal Palm Harbor crash, troopers say
Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ] The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested ... Chase Cannone of Clearwater was arrested Tuesday and faces a DUI manslaughter charge and a vehicular ...
Salvation Army of Clearwater to give away 12,000 turkey dinners for Thanksgiving
The Salvation Army of Clearwater is hosting its annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway this week, serving families and individuals 12,000 turkeys. The event begins at 10 a.m. Monday at the Salvation Army ...
Opinion: Consider visiting downtown Clearwater to see revitalization efforts
Clearwater should step up its marketing efforts to potential residents and business decision-makers from around Florida and the Southeast. Get the word out about this opportunity for a new home or ...
FL: Downtown Clearwater transit center can move ahead after Pinellas Commission vote
Plans for a new public transit center downtown will move forward after the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority secured its final piece of funding Tuesday, with county commissioners voting to put up to ...