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A First St Pete Beach Resort Florida

A First St Pete Beach Resort Florida

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Published by stpetebeachtoday
A First St Pete Beach Resort Florida
A First St Pete Beach Resort Florida

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Published by: stpetebeachtoday on Nov 30, 2009
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11/29/2009

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A First St Pete Beach Resort?
By: Sally Yoder
As mainlanders found passage by the big ‘ol steamer boats, small skiffsand party boats, to the islands quiet beaches, early pioneers opened rough“hotels” to accommodate their needs. Eight Street (not Ave. back then)quickly became the “main” gathering and eating place, small roominghouses and fishing docks soon became the norm. George Lizotte openedhis “Bonhomie” in 1910, which was French for “good fellowship” andthere was plenty of that! He rebuilt and renamed it “Hotel Lizotte”. A firein 1918 destroyed that and damaged other nearby structures, but other hotels - The Mason House”, The Holloway”, and the large Plaza at 26thStreet continued to lure visitors eager to bath in the Gulf waters and partake of fresh seafood.
 
Local rooming houses did well despite rains whichmosquitoes but the roomers stayed getting 3 meals a dhomemade cakes and clean linen for as little as $2.00traveled back and forth over the bay in small (mostly f or twice a week for supplies. When Capt. Ken Marry,his little general store on what is now known as Merrya landlady a trip over the sometimes rough waters to k stocked!
 
The Plaza Hotel (it’s namewas changed in 1913 to thePass-a-Grille Beach Hotel -note: the other hotel with thatname was built in the early1920's between 9 & 10th Ave.)had large rambling porches allfacing the beach and the Gulf.The “elite” patrons fromTampa and St. Petersburg can be seen in old photos rockingin wooden chairs on these porches. Spending time on the beach was a treat for so many(just as it is today) and alongwith the “day visitors”, Pass-a-Grille really was an earlyversion of our modern resorts.
 
The upper beachesexperienced a share of mainlanders too, with manysmall hotels or lodges, butstorms were an enemy of thesefrailly built structures and manywere lost in a short period of time. A 1921 storm didextensive damage to the Plazawhich was never rebuilt.However, a historic note here:the two story building used bythe hotel employees still standson the north- west end of 26thAve. Named the “Butler House”, it has national historiclandmark recognition and has been a “condo” unit for manyyears. But the beaches had beendiscovered for sure and wouldcontinue on a slow but steadydevelopment course never losing the resort image that began in the early 1900's.

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