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Headlines through the years


© St. Petersburg Times, published December 3, 2000

Clearwater is turning into Stone Crab City Dec. 13, 1923

CLEARWATER -- As Tarpon Springs has become known as the Sponge City, Clearwater may soon become famous as the Stone Crab City, as fishing for this edible and delicious inhabitant of the sea is becoming quite an industry here.

The time has passed when commercial stone crabbers depend upon the old-time "crab-hook," which was a short rod with two prongs at the end. The old crab hook is out of date, and a contrivance that resembles the lobster pots of the New England coast has taken its place.

At present there are three crews from this port engaged in the pursuit of the southern lobster, and each crew is fishing from 50 to 100 traps. Although the work is quite arduous, the results are very gratifying, as one trap will very often catch a dozen crabs in a day, sometimes more, and at the prevailing prices of this delicious seafood the proceeds amount to a tidy sum. One crabber is known to have taken upward of a hundred dozen crabs in one day. At something over a dollar a dozen in the market, the business is shown to be a good one.

Crab-fishing is prohibited by law between the months of May and October. This allows the crab to breed unmolested by any but their natural enemies. The law also prohibits the taking of crabs with a spread of claws under 12 inches. It also provides that the entire crab must be taken and sold alive to consumers. This is intended to protect the purchaser from unscrupulous dealers and ensures them of the freshness of their purchase.

Court opens; judge decries gangs

Dec. 12, 1957

CLEARWATER -- Circuit Judge John U. Bird yesterday sounded a warning against the activities of youthful gangs in St. Petersburg, some of whom faced him yesterday in one of the longest court sessions in the history of the county.

Starting at 9:30 and continuing through until almost 8 o'clock, Judge Bird heard more than 164 defendants, including many boys under 20 who were charged with robberies, auto thefts, breaking and entering and other felonies.

After five youths, members of a gang which was charged with five separate muggings, purse muggings, purse snatching, robbery and grand larceny, were brought before him, Judge Bird said to them and their attorneys, "I can't countenance this. These boys were involved in three larcenies and three robberies. It is too much for me to overcome.

"I'm going to have to stop these young people from doing things like this, and I don't know of a better time than this. The people of Pinellas County are entitled to protection."

Proposed road route brings protest

Nov. 11, 1940

CLEARWATER -- Some opposition was expressed yesterday by residents of the Country Club section to the designation of Missouri (Michigan) Avenue as the route for a new through-highway connecting Dunedin and Largo through Clearwater.

John Polhill and Clerk Ray F. Green voiced their objections at a joint meeting of Clearwater and county commissioners.

After some discussion a committee composed of commissioners W.J. Christie and John Chesnut, representing Dunedin and Clearwater, was named to confer with representatives from all cities affected by such a highway and work out a route which will be satisfactory to all.

It was said that state aid for a through-highway cannot be obtained unless the route is approved by the state.

- The history column is compiled by Christine Graef. She can be reached at (727) 445-4229 or

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