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Browse Items (414 total)

  • Collection: Greek Documentation Project

Youths diving for cross in Spring Bayou on epiphany, January 6, 1941. About 50 youths dive from a semi-circle of dinghies. When a lucky young man finds the cross, he shoots up through the water, triumphantly holding it above his head.

Theophilos Katras showing the cross that he retrieved from Spring Bayou during the ceremonies on Epiphany, January 6, 1941. The young man who finds the cross is greeted with cheers of delight, then carried on his friends’ shoulders back to St.…

1932. The 1910 census reveals that six Greek ship carpenters resided in Tarpon Springs. The Greeks learned their skills as apprentices to master ship builders. In Tarpon Springs they probably worked full-time in the construction and repair of diving…

This remarkable panoramic view shows a line of sponge boats at the Sponge Docks across from the shops along Dodecanese Boulevard, as well as some boats moored east of the Docks along the banks of the Anclote River in 1932. The new bridge that…

By 1937, the Sponge Docks are bustling with visitors. Note the many cars parked in front of the sponge fleet, the tourist boat ride at the end of the Sponge Docks, and the large sign announcing the function of the Sponge Exchange to visitors.

This 1947 aerial view shows the Anclote River winding to the Gulf, with Anclote Key in the background. It also reveals more limited activity on the Sponge Docks—with fewer boats and cars. In the lower left on Athens Street you can see the…

Sponge boats are moored and crowds walk along the Sponge in 1947. Signs in the background announce a café and an explanation of ceremonies—so perhaps this image was taken during Epiphany.

A Greek diver returns to the surface holding a net bag of sponges that he harvested and the sponge hook that he used, 1936. There are dozens of types of sponges in the Gulf, but only a few are commercially viable. Divers must be able to identify and…

Piles of all types of sponges fill the courtyard of the Sponge Exchange on an auction day in 1921. Most of the men in the courtyard appear to be Greek, except for the African American man walking towards the camera. He was one of many who worked in…

The elevated view reveals the sponge fleet at the Sponge Docks and the Sponge Exchange and view of bridge and surrounding area in 1932. Note the boat yard to the right of the Docks, where boats were built, repaired, and their hulls cleaned.

Sponge brokers examine the piles of sponges for sale in the Sponge Exchange courtyard on November 6, 1936. Many of the men are taking notes in preparation for the silent auction.

Sponge warehouses of the Greek-American Sponge Company of Chicago and the American Sponge & Chamois Company of New York, October 1932. In the past, there were many independent local sponge buyers, as well as agents of larger international merchant…

A merchant surveys the street from the doorway of his tourist shop stocked with shells and sponges in 1936. In decades past, tourist shops near the Sponge Docks marketed items such as sponges, shells, curios, and Greek vases.

A Greek saleswoman explains the properties of a vase sponge inside a tourist store near the Sponge Docks, 1936. Shops very similar to this one remain today, together with specialized and general tourist shops.

The family of a sponge fisherman poses for a photograph in front of their home on November 16, 1936. Although the talented Burgert Brothers photographers from Tampa found intriguing subjects in Tarpon Springs, they did not always record the names of…

Evelyn Miaoulis Billirakis and Kalliope Miaoulis Harvard sitting on the back of a bike driven by their brother Nicholas Miaoulis in the 1940s. They are making a stop at the Greek American bakery on today’s Pinellas Avenue, which was owned and…

This early diving boat crew includes the diver in the skafandro, or diving suit of rubberized canvas with a heavy brass breastplate that attaches to the copper helmet. One crew member holds a net catch bag, which the diver loads with sponges when…

This panoramic view is one of the earliest glimpses of the Sponge Docks. The original wooden bridge across the Anclote River, faintly visible in the background, started from the point where Athens Street meets the Sponge Docks today. Both diving and…

Greek men gather in the courtyard at an early version of the Sponge Exchange. The Sponge Exchange was founded around 1907 or 1908 as a nonprofit corporation with shares owned by 50 buyers. At this cooperative space across the street from the Sponge…

A crowd of Greek men pose in front of the Hotel Calymnos, whose proprietor was Theofanis Mainaris. This early establishment included a restaurant and coffee shop that catered to the needs of both the sponge boat crews and the visiting sponge buyers.…

This image was probably taken at one of the kafeneia (men’s coffeehouses) located on Athens Street. There is a long-standing tradition of Greek men spending their free time at these establishments, which offered not only coffee but also food and…

By 1907, about 800 Greeks, primarily men, were residing in Tarpon Springs. Some began sending money home to bring their families, while others brought brides. Built not long afterward in 1908, the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church held…

These men are pictured in front of a koureion (barbershop) and grocery with a beautiful display of vegetables and fruit, including pineapples that were probably grown in South Florida. Note the man at far right who is holding a pet parrot.
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