(Hillsborough County)

Plant City Downtown Map
Hillsboro Bank in Plant CityOld Plant City Movie Theater

Hillsboro State Bank (1924) 202 W. Reynolds * Downtown Plant City Movies

The center of Eastern Hillsborough County and famous as "the Strawberry Capital of the United States", Plant City is a town of a proud history. As early as 1839 there was a pine log blockhouse called Fort Hichipucksassa (Fort Sullivan) in the area. In 1849 settlers started Ickepuckesassa (Cork)post office.

The first town plat was started in 1843 by A. M. Randolph and one of the first area residents was Stephen Hollingsworth, whose daughter Catherine (1843) was the first child born in area and whose grandson Joshua was first President of Florida Southern College. Other founders were Rev. Samuel Knight, son-in-law of cattle baron Jacob Sumerlin, and John G. Thomas.

PLANT CITY DIRECTIONS: The best way to enter Plant City is from I-4 at the FL 39 exit (Wheeler Street) going south. The Historic North Plant City Residential District is just north of downtown and you can access some of the historic homes a few blocks from FL39.

TURN LEFT on Calhoun Street to see some older residences:

E. T. ROUX HOUSE (1900), off Calhoun Street, was built by one of the first developers of a lumbercamp in the area. The Fernandina native's father Albert Roux had built the first lumber camp in Florida (1839). The two-story house has a Greek Revival style with seven pedimented doorways and a Palladian window. Chester Carlton designed the structure which was featured for years in local publications. It would fit on a plantation.

(1900), 202 West Calhoun Street, is the Victorian Revival home of a successful citrus grower and owner of the R. W. Burch Company.

D. M. GRIFFIN HOUSE 206 West Calhoun (1905), was the Victorian residence of one of the first dentists in Plant City. The four bedroom, three bath house combines Colonial Revival and Queen Anne features.

Return down Calhoun and turn left (south) on North Collins to see the wonderful Colonial Revival JOHN CHAPMAN HOUSE (1908) at 711 North Collins, and the 1902 J. G. SPARKMAN HOUSE at 703 North Collins. At 605 North Collins is the landmark 1914 OLD PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL , a two-sided Greek Revival brick three-story with the rear end facing Evers. It is the headquarters of the East Hillsborough Historical Society.

If you turn right you can pick up two houses on North Evers: the BARNS/ANNIE PROSSER HOPUSE (1910) at 508 North Evers and the big ARMSTRONG HOUSE (1912) ay 703 N. Evers with its six pier porch. At 509 North Evers is the wonderful 1922 PLANT CITY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH with its open twin towers. Nearby is the:

OSCAR STRICKLAND HOUSE (1897) 106 East Herring Street, is a two-story Queen Anne house with some Colonial Revival elements. His brother Thomas Strickland, a businessman and School Board member, lived in the house during most of its first half-century.

Reynolds Street, Plant City
1914 Plant City High School

Continuing down Evers will take you to downtown with Reynolds Avenue as a main commercial street. The major landmarks here are:

LEE BUILDING, (1922) 110 Reynolds Street, was a two-story brick commercial structure with a plain, wide entablature below the cornice. In 1987 the 19,2000 square-foot structure, largest of Plant City's older buildings, was restored and modernized.

HILLSBORO STATE BANK (1914), 202 West Reynolds Street, is one of the oldest commercial buildings in downtown, used until 1966.

HOOKERS STORE (1904). 102 North Collins Street, was at the center of the business district and housed the S.C. Wells Drug Store with Judge G. B. Wells offices on the secodn floor.

PLANT CITY UNION DEPOT (1909) ,on East North Drane Street, symbolized the development of the community was a reflection of the arrival in December of 1883 of the South Florida Railroad to a village then called Hichipuckassa.. The connection of the railroad to the North by Henry Plant's South Florida Railroad in 1885 convinced city fathers to name the village after Plant. At one time six tracks and 44 daily passenger trains crossed Plant City making it a major agricultural-transportation center.

DR. J. W. ALSOBROOK HOUSE (1907), 508 Whitehall Street, was on North Evers, and is a large Victorian structure.