Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs Florida
Springs, which is in Pinellas County,
Florida, has the highest percentage of
Greek-Americans residents out of any city in
During 1876, the region attracted its first
settlers who so named the city because
Tarpons were frequently spotted jumping out
of the surrounding waters. Aside from Tarpon
and other kinds of fish, the waters were
abound with various types of sponge. In
1953, the movie "Beneath the 12-Mile Reef"
was shot in Tarpon Springs. John Cocoris
brought sponge diving to the city in 1905.
He hired Greek divers from Halki and the
Dedocanese Islands to harvest sponge, and by
the 1930s, the Tarpon Springs' sponge
industry grew to become a multi-million
Tourists flock to the many shops lining
Dodocanese Avenue in the Sponge Dock
District every year.
This area is a well known
historic destination, and at its far end is
the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. The street
boasts of many restaurants specializing in
traditional flavorful Greek cuisine, and
that feature all kinds of
goods including genuine sponge, which are
mostly imported from other areas.
Springs' sponge fields were wiped out by red
tide in 1947. Since then, most of the
establishments used for
harvesting, such as sponge warehouses, were
converted to tourist attractions.