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Browse Items (414 total)

  • Collection: Greek Documentation Project

Antonios Lerios checks out a boat for which he has supplied the mechanical parts. Born in Kalymnos, Lerios grew up in Istanbul, where he learned helmet making, ship mechanics, and other maritime crafts in the enormous shipyards. In 1913 he joined his…

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…

baptism Mingledorff_2.jpg
From left to right, godparents Irene Koulianos, Mary Koulianos, and Nicholas Toth, Jenna Mingledorff held by Father Tryfon Theophilopoulos, godmother Denise Gonatos.

5 Bill Gresko cutting sponges at Night in the Islands 070.jpg
One of the most experienced divers working today. Bill Gresko came to Tarpon Springs from Ohio in the 1980s.

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Mercury “Bill” Paskalakis (1935-2010) and Bartolomew, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, with the cross made for Epiphany divers for the 100 year anniversary of the celebration of Epiphany in Tarpon Springs. Paskalakis taught shop classes…

34 Blessing of the Boats by Metropolitan Nikitas, altar boy, Fr. Vassilis, captain Karistino, 2012-1-5.jpg
L-R: Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, Valantis Kouros, Father Vasilios Tsourlis, Taso Karistinos.

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…

Children dressed in Greek dance costumes pose with Father Kalariotes, Father Athas, Bishop Aimilianos Laloussis, Florida Secretary of State Richard Stone, and Mayor George C. Tsourakis in front of the Florida Historical Marker dedicated to the Tarpon…

4 Nicks _2313.jpg
A Cajun from Louisiana, Clay Nicks worked in the shrimp business for many years. He started working as a diver and caption in Tarpon Springs in the mid-1980s, and most recently captained the St. Nicholas tourist boat.

Little in the basic sponge cleaning process has changed. On the left, a man uses a wooden mallet to clean debris such small stone or shells from a sponge in George Emmanuel’s warehouse. Others trim sponges with the same type of shears used for…

Back in port, the crew finishes cleaning and sorting sponges for auction on October 10, 1969. Cleaning the animals entails allowing their skins to decompose, rinsing them with water and squeezing them to eliminate internal matter and bits of skin,…

A crew member finishes the grueling job of cleaning sponges on February 11, 1975. Sponges, which are simple animal organisms, must be cleaned of their skin, internal matter, and any stones or sand that have adhered to them. Crew members repeatedly…
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