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Headlines through the years


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

Honeymoon Isle becomes war workers vacationland

DUNEDIN -- (March 11, 1943) Five more employees of the Jack and Heintz Co. of Cleveland, accompanied by their wives, arrived on Honeymoon Island today, the first of approximately 6,000 associates to receive vacations at the company's expense.

"We are doing this so our people can keep up their health and turn out the products Uncle Sam so badly needs," said C.L. Jack, vice president and director of purchases for the company, which makes precision instruments for airplanes.

Developed three years ago as a paradise for honeymooners, the resort lapsed into solitude when the war came. Only recently did the company sign a contract with the owner of the resort, C.M. Washburn, to take it over as a vacation site for its families.

The 50 cottages on the island are equipped with beds, stoves, chairs and ice boxes, but the vacationers will generally eat at a commissary. The mainland is a 40-minute boat ride away.

Veteran diver dies in Athens

TARPON SPRINGS -- (March 2, 1937) Gabull Peterson, pioneer in the sponge diving field here and inventor of the propellor guard used by diving boats to prevent air hoses from being fouled, died Feb. 18 in Athens, Greece. He was 59.

Peterson was one of the early Greeks to settle in Tarpon Springs. He left here in September to return to Greece.

Over the course of his life, Peterson had made seven trips around the world. He also served as a volunteer in the Grecian army during the Balkan War.

Citrus growers unite in price battle

CLEARWATER -- (March 4, 1937) H.I. Mossbarger, chairman of the agriculture committee of the state chamber of commerce, addressed a meeting of about 50 citrus growers today in Clearwater. He told them grapefruit growers of Florida had lost $6-million to $7-million this season because they were not organized to control market process.

Eugene Pearce, owner of Seville Groves and one of the early mayors of Clearwater, was named president of the Pinellas County Grapefruit Organization at the meeting. The group will cooperate with 14 other cities to control the price of grapefruit next season.

Teacher salaries average $25.96

CLEARWATER -- (March 10, 1943) The county School Board at its meeting yesterday revealed that the average teacher in Pinellas County who has a bachelor's degree and has taught in the system for 10 years makes only $25.96 per week. Teachers salaries have increased by 11 percent in the past year.

C.O. Pinch, superintendent of the Tomlinson Vocational School, said the demand for welding trainees had become so great that the school may be forced into holding night classes. Many wives of soldiers were registering for different forms of vocational training and many housewives are entering school to learn how to sew and cook to combat the strict rationing.

The demand for typists, Pinch said, can never be filled.

-- Julie Church compiles the history column. She can be reached at (727)445-4229 or

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