LARGO - As part of the Speaking of History lecture series, Dr. Tom Rose will present Indian Bluff Island Was Buchanan Island: A Century of Wall Springs and Florida History on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m. in the Pinellas Room at Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N. in Largo.
Located between Crystal Beach and Wall Springs in northern Pinellas County, Indian Bluff Island sits along the coastline four miles south of Tarpon Springs. The Buchanan family lived on the island from the 1910s through the late 1930s with no electricity or running water, and they rowed a skiff to the school on the mainland, which is now the Olde School House Restaurant just north of Alderman Road.
During his research, Rose, a retired professor of sociology and, since the 1960s, an author of local histories, interviewed the two youngest Buchanan daughters - born in 1918 and 1920, who remembered growing up on the 22-acre island.
The post-war building boom came to northern Pinellas and a dredging project on the island that started in the mid-1950s transformed this land into the 46-acre Indian Bluff Island that exists today.
Rose discusses the story of island living and the changes that occurred with development. He also analyzes the development of Wall Springs for very wealthy northerners who came in private railroad cars to soak in Lithia Springs, and why it took more than three decades after the Wall Springs site closed before it became a county park.
His research has culminated in a history of the island recently published by the Palm Harbor Historical Society.
Heritage Village is located at 11909 125th St. N. in Largo. This living history museum brings more than 150 years of local history to life. Tour 28 authentic buildings and structures, and experience historical Pinellas County through hands-on exploration. Paths wind through 21 acres and connect with the Florida Botanical Gardens and the Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum.