Researching Your Home's History
There are several locally available sources of information about the homes in our neighborhood, and the people who built them and lived in them. An example of using these resources is provided at the bottom of this by Robin Reed. A painter artist, Victor Robbian, decorated parts of her home and Robin researched and found out more about him and his work.
The City of St. Petersburg produced a great brochure number of years ago about researching the history of your house. It is included below.
In recent years, Google has searchable images of St. Peterburg’s old newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times and the Independent. This index is useful for finding sales of property, and events which may have occured at your home. You can search the database by address, name, etc. Try varying spellings and abbreviations if you don’t get any results. The Google index is the Advanced News Archive Search.
There is also an index to newspaper articles compiled by hand before the Google index was created. It may contain information not easily found via Google search terms.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are available for St. Petersburg, dating back to 1899. These maps were originally created as a product to help fire insurance companies assess the potential risks involved in underwriting policies. These maps are also fascinating for showing the original Tampa Bay shoreline before it was expanded with dredged fill.
The following reference sources have been reported as useful:
A Guide to Finding The History of Your Home – Great information on how to research the history of one’s house and links for further resources.