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Safety Harbor's Philippe Park sheds light on areas Native American history

Philippe Park
Posted at 1:03 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 07:59:45-04

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla.  — Situated right off Philippe Parkway is Pinellas County's Philippe Park, the oldest park in the county.

It's right along the water of Old Tampa Bay, a place for you to walk, run, boat and paddleboard.

There's plenty of opportunity for picnics, fishing, playgrounds and of course, some history, too.

"Philippe Park used to be the Capital of the Tocabaga Indians. And the Indian Mound in Philippe Park is one of the largest in Pinellas County," Julie Inman, Recreation Facilities Manager for the City of Safety Harbor says. "They used that for rituals and ceremonies and they used all the excess scrap materials and they would pile it all up and that's how they would actually form the mountain."

The Indian Mound is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Archaeologists believe the ramp led to a “town plaza” at the base of the mound.

The park is named after Odet Philippe, believed to be the oldest, non-native settler in Pinellas County. Where the park sits was part of his citrus tree plantation.

He was buried in the park, although it's not clear exactly where a marker can be found.

You can read more about Philippe Park and the things to do there by clicking here.