Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Tourist Club lives on in Sulphur Springs


The Sulphur Springs Tourist Club, known as the Harbor Club since 1985, is located at 915 East Grant Street. The view above is facing northwest from just across the Hillsborough River. (The Nebraska Avenue Bridge is to the far left just out of the frame.) It was built on the north bank of the river, just east of Nebraska Avenue in Tampa's Sulphur Springs. The social center of the community from the 1920s through the 1940s, it was the place for dining and dancing. The facility included a popular restaurant and bar and a second floor ballroom. In later years the riverfront building on 3 acres also contained a barbershop, television repair and retail shops. A postcard view form the 1940s shows the front of the club in it heyday. (Click to enlarge.) Notice on the left side are shuffleboards courts, always popular with tourists who flocked to Florida - young and old alike. The courts would be on the far right side of the photo above.

9 comments:

Jacob said...

This must have been really hoity-toity way back when.

Shuffleboard...I love it. But not too many folks play it anymore...

Well, maybe old guys smoking cigars!

James said...

Nice picture Frank. That reflection is awesome. I those dinning and dancing places must have been incredibly hot during the summers back in those days. I wonder if they took a dip in thee water tool cool off?

Please feel freel to participate in my "Weekend Reflections" meme it's at my Newtown blog every Friday through Sunday.
Any type of reflection photo. water,windows,mirrors,bald heads, etc.

Lois said...

I like the way you took this picture from across the water and caught the beautiful reflection of the building and the tree. This place must have been very popular at one time. I have always wanted to try shuffleboard!

Birdman said...

Love the Clearwater Beach's Crabby Joe's is it? Great grouper!

Frank said...

@ Jacob - I could claim once to be a champion at shuffleboard but that's when cars had fins and I thought all girls had coodies. (I'm just old enough to enjoy a good cigar.)

Frank said...

@ James - Until air conditioning arrived, Florida was beastly. Huge attic mounted fans worked pretty well to draw air through cracked windows to provide a bit of cooling. A dance hall like this one without AC would be unbearable and the air rather pungent to say the least.

The natural spring is about 50 yards from this building. I bet a lot of folks cooled off there often!

I will try your Weekend Reflections this week. Sounds like fun. Thanks James.

Frank said...

@ Lois - You have NEVER played shuffleboard?? Horrors! It's a fast-moving sport that taxes every muscle in the brain and body. (Kidding, of course)

Frank said...

@ Birdman - I have eaten quite often at Crabby Bills on Clearwater Beach.
Fried shrimp and delicious grouper. Very popular place.

Mary Walton said...

As kids in the early fifties, walking home from the Sulfur Springs Movie theater matinee, we used to stop by the spring in front of the tourist club and get a drink of sulfur water from the big artisen well housed in a little sunken privilion in the parking lot. We would meet the tourists filling big jugs up with the sulfur water to take home with them. They said it was the fountain of youth and good for you. It tasted awful but we were used to it. We watched them play shuffleboard. Right, a lot of them were old men with cigars.