Safety Harbor is a city on the west shore of Tampa Bay in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated in 1917. The population was 17,203 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 17,550.
It is governed by an elected Mayor and City Commission. City governmental departments are administered by a City Manager, who is appointed by the City Commission.
Safety Harbor is located at (28.004654, -82.695320).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.1 km² (5.1 mi²). 12.7 km² (4.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (2.57%) is water.
Safety Harbor's tree-lined streets and quaint, "small-town" appearance are unusual in heavily-urbanized Pinellas County.
The CSX railroad branch line from Tampa to St. Petersburg bisects Safety Harbor. Passenger trains last used the line in 1984.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 17,203 people, 7,084 households, and 4,845 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,350.0/km² (3,498.3/mi²). There were 7,483 housing units at an average density of 587.2/km² (1,521.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.23% White
, 4.14% African American
, 0.24% Native American
, 1.68% Asian
, 0.05% Pacific Islander
, 0.44% from other races
, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 3.65% of the population.
There were 7,084 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.85.
The age distribution of the population is: 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% age 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,378, and the median income for a family was $59,911. Males had a median income of $41,883 versus $31,165 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,632. About 3.6% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
The area has been inhabited since the Stone Age
. In June 2008, a 6,000 year old spearhead was found at Marshall Street Park. The inhabitants of the area at the time of Spanish exploration were the Tocobaga
Indians, who lived in villages around Tampa Bay. They were known for constructing various ceremonial and communal mounds, one of which is still visible in Safety Harbor's Phillippe Park (see photo
). In 1528 Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez
landed in the area followed by Hernando De Soto
in 1539. Safety Harbor(formerly known as Worth's Harbor) was first homesteaded by Count Odet Philippe
, a Frenchman who is credited with introducing the grapefruit
to Florida in 1823.
Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs
, or "Springs of the Holy Spirit", a natural mineral spring. Its waters were given this name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto
, who was supposedly searching for the mythical "Fountain of Youth
Prior to the Spanish exploration of Florida, the Tocobaga and Timucuan Indian tribes are believed to have fished and bathed in the spring's waters.
In the twentieth century, Espiritu Santo water was bottled and sold commercially and, later, a health spa and hotel were built over the springs. The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, as it is now known, continues to be a prominent visitor attraction in Pinellas County.
In 1964, the site was designated a Historical Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior and, in 1997, a Florida Heritage Landmark.
There are two public schools within the city: Safety Harbor Elementary for grades 1–5 and Safety Harbor Middle School for grades 6–8. The middle school was rebuilt in 2004 and now has five buildings surrounding a central courtyard, with adjacent sports fields and a regulation track. As a joint project between the city of Safety Harbor and the school, the field and track facilities are open to the community. As of 2007, Safety Harbor Middle School has an enrollment of 1,370 students. The nearest school for grades 9–12 is Countryside High School