Weedon Island

Name:

Weedon Island

County:

 

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

27°50’43.09″N 82°36’5.35″W

Elevation:

 

Time Zone:

Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)

Comments:

Weedon Island is located in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It is located within the Weedon Island Preserve, in the northern portion of the city of St. Petersburg, on the western coast of Old Tampa Bay. Weedon Island is archaeologically significant as it serves as a type-site for the Weeden Island Culture. Weedon Island is named for its early owner Dr. Leslie Weedon.

Remains:

Former confederate soldier Captain W.B. Henderson purchased the land that was to become Weedon Island in 1886 with war bond. When Captain Henderson’s daughter Blanche married Dr. Leslie Weedon in 1898, the Captain gave the new couple the Island as a wedding present. Weedon Island was only an island in high tide and during low tide it was connected to the peninsula. Leslie Weedon and his family spent the weekends here from nearby Tampa. At that time there was no bridges across Tampa Bay so they traveled here with their belongings by boat and brought everything back home for the week days. Another family had lived here, The Benjamins who lived on nearby Benjamin Island. Henry R. Benjamin bought Benjamin Island for $1,000 (worth $23,000 in 2016) from Captain W.B. Henderson on April 30, 1878. He kept the land for two years and sold it to his son George M. Benjamin.

Established:

 

Disestablished:

 

Current Status:

Today, the island is a preserve

Remarks:

The demand during World War II for commercial flights was declining and another contributing factor was that the bridge burned down in 1953. In 1965 and 1970, two teenagers were killed in a car accident on the bridge. The airport soon became vandalized and completely destroyed. In 1955, the Florida Power Corporation (Progress Energy) bought most of the northern end of the island to build a power plant. In 1960, a temporary salt water conversion plant was built here by Progress Energy, Cornell University and the federal government which operated for four years and made 35,000–50,000 gallons of fresh water a day. In 1970 the Greek Oil Tanker Dellan Apollon almost ran aground while trying to dock at the power plant on the island. By the early 1970s the last commercial land owners had sold the land, showing there was no future for commercial development and only the energy facility was left alone and the rest of the island was converted to a nature preserve. On March 25, 2000 on a clear day a helicopter was returning form St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and hit a radio tower guy wire and crashed into the mangroves on the island with all three people on board. In 2012 the power plant on the island was demolished.