Historical Photos

While our postcard displays tend to show a rather idealized vision of the river, focusing on its natural beauty and recreational appeal, other historical photos offer a broader picture of the many faces of the Hillsborough. In this short slide show, we present some images of the river and its communities, tracing it from its origins near the town of Crystal Springs, down to the city of Tampa. The beauty of nature is certainly well-represented, but we also include photos of the industrial development in the city, and remarkable events, such as the flood that devastated Sulphur Springs.

Of course historical photos cannot tell the whole story. In an age before the technology was available to almost everybody, photography was the domain of professionals, well represented through the magnificent Burgert Brothers collection, and the well-off. Photos representing the everyday lives of working people are few and far between, while the one image of a chain gang of mostly African-Americans reminds us of the many lives that went unrecorded.

Click on image to view photos