What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental

Although I was told it was built in 1923, it was first listed in the Tampa City Directory and Sandborn Fire Insurance book in 1922 as under construction. The home and original garage were built by Shields Brothers.

Arthur B Shields and brother Archie L  were born on Burton Island, VT . As recently as 1874, Lake Champlain navigation charts label it “Potter’s Island,” though C.C. Burton, a farmer on the mainland, was using the island for pasture by the 1840’s. Sidney Burton owned the island through the early 1900’s and leased it to tenant farmers who raised cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Crops included beans and peas. Burton Island became the site of a Vermont State Park in 1964. Remnants of the island’s agricultural past such as fence lines and stone piles, rusted farm implements and the foundation of the old barn are still visible.

Arthur Shields was born 8 years after the end of the Civil War and moved to Tampa in 1908.  He was 35 years of age. Archie and Arthur built all of the homes on the 5800 block of Suwanee along with an additional home a block away (5806 N Branch).  They sold 5801 in 1928 to John N & Augusta Mutton.  The Mutton’s occupied the home from 1928-1946. In 1931, the Mutton’s expanded the original garage into a cottage for his relative Callie M Mutton. In 1947 Ralph W Fairchild purchased the home from Augusta Mutton following her husband’s death in 1945. Ralph and his wife Katerina who originally hailed from Worcester County, MA remained in the home until she passed in 2001.

Other interesting factoids the 1923 production of cigars in Ybor City and West Tampa totaled a half billion never to be met again. The Tampa Electric Streetcar system was launched in 1908 and by 1920 had 156 cars. The cost of a streetcar ride was 5 cents.  The first phone number for 5801 was 91-316.

The population of Tampa in 1880 was 720, by 1920 it has rocketed to 51, 60
8 and tourists reached 125,000 during High Season. Miami that same year had a population of 29,571. In 1923 Tampa’s Mayor C H Brown authorized $3,000,000 to be spent on new roads.

Arthur Shields eventually moved to Pinellas County and passed in 1952 followed by Archie in 1957.