Wedderburn property

Gibsonton, Florida

Gibsonton is an unincorporated census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 8,752 at the 2000 census.

Gibsonton was famous as a sideshow wintering town, where various circus "freaks" would spend the off season. It was home to Percilla the Monkey girl, the Anatomical Wonder, and the Lobster Boy. Siamese twin sisters ran a fruit stand here. At one time, it was the only post office with a counter for dwarves. Aside from the agreeable winter climate, Gibsonton offered unique circus zoning laws that allowed residents to keep elephants and circus trailers on their front lawns.


Gibsonton is located at (27.837894, -82.374070).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35.5 km²), of which, 12.9 square miles (33.3 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.2 km²) of it (6.14%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 8,752 people, 3,112 households, and 2,193 families residing in the community. The population density was 681.0 people per square mile (263.0/km²). There were 3,468 housing units at an average density of 269.9/sq mi (104.2/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 88.69% White, 1.36% African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.67% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.01% of the population.

There were 3,112 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the community the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 106.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.

The median income for a household in the community was $34,000, and the median income for a family was $36,067. Males had a median income of $27,457 versus $21,826 for females. The per capita income for the community was $15,695. About 16.0% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.


  • The town was the setting for the acclaimed 1995 X-Files episode "Humbug," which was nevertheless filmed in Vancouver, Canada. The episode is about sideshow performers but does not star any of the town's actual residents.
  • The town figured prominently in the Dean Koontz book Twilight Eyes which featured a character who sought refuge in the circus community and came back to "Gibtown" with them as the travelling season drew to a close
  • The town was the title character in the fictional first person lyric of "Gibsonton," released on The Babylon Minstrels' self-titled CD in 1992. The song was written by the group's co-founder, Julian Raymond.

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