“St. Petersburg (America Through Time)” is the latest book by James Anthony Schnur, the Friends speaker on March 9, 2015.
Known as the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg gained notoriety as a popular destination for seasonal residents during the Florida real estate boom of the 1920s. However, the history of footprints along with shoreline spans thousands of years. Long before the first contact with Spanish conquistadors during the sixteenth century, indigenous cultures flourished along the abundant estuaries and left shell mounds and pottery as evidence of their settlements. After these original inhabitants disappeared, occasional fishing parties from Cuba and the Caribbean visited a largely uninhabited peninsula along Florida’s west coast. Indeed, fewer than 500 people resided along the entire Pinellas peninsula on the eve of the Civil War.
Throughout the twentieth century, waves of settlers, tourists, and residents encountered a colorful array of speculators and developers. Sometimes known as a winter wonderland for “”snowbird”” retirees, St. Petersburg tried to reinvent itself after pundits referred to the city as “”God’s waiting room”” by the early 1960s. Fifty years later, much has changed.
This book offers a visual portrait of St. Petersburg since the early 1900s. Historical and contemporary photographs in four chapters illustrate St. Petersburg’s waterfront heritage, the transformation of its downtown, the establishment of neighborhoods near downtown, and the city’s expansion in more recent years. Rather than offering an academic narrative, St. Petersburg Through Time introduces the reader to important moments in the city’s vibrant history and encourages further exploration.
The book is available from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
This latest event in the Friends of Mirror Lake Library author series is co-hosted by the Sunlit Festival in honor of the library’s centennial year.
Seating will be available at 5:00 p.m. The talk starts at 5:30. Join the Friends afterwards for light refreshments and a book signing with the author.
James Schnur is the USFSP librarian of special collections and archives. A native and lifelong resident of Pinellas County, Schnur joined the faculty of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library in February 2002 and presently holds adjunct teaching appointments at Eckerd College and the USF School of Information. Schnur first attended classes at USF St. Petersburg in fall 1986 and worked as a graduate student assistant in the Poynter Library between 1991 and 1997 before becoming an assistant library director at two Pinellas County public libraries and serving as a center administrator and advisor in Eckerd College’s Program for Experienced Learners. He has also served as president of the Pinellas County Historical Society, as well as on the boards and committees of other cultural and historical organizations in Florida.
Schnur wrote “Largo (Images of America Series)” in 2012 and “Madeira Beach, Florida (Images of America Series)” in 2013. His new book, published in 2014, is “St. Petersburg (America Through Time).”
To watch “Historical Reflections Alone Mirror Lake,” a speech Schnur gave at Heritage Village last fall, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sg7FGUowkA.
See https://www.facebook.com/SunLitFestival for more about the SunLit Festival, March 7-15, 2015.
Photos of the activities at the Mirror Lake Library on December 31, 2014, by Barbara Riddle-Dvorak.
Creating the cut-out library models
More cutting and gluing
The Friends Centennial book
Friends activities poster
Also at the library on First Night: St. Pete Makers
St. Pete Makers 3D printer
St. Pete Makers table and visitors
Also at the library on First Night: “Midtown Through Our Eyes Exhibit”
For more information about St. Pete Makers, see http://www.stpetemakers.org/.
For more information about “Midtown Through Our Eyes Exhibit,” see https://www.facebook.com/events/598345276948739/.
The December 3, 2014 meeting was called to order by President Finley at 6:05 PM. A quorum was present. Linda Sagese read the secretary’s report; it was amended to include details of Ms. Churuti’s report concerning our 501(c) (3)application, approval and requirements and accepted.
The treasurer’s report will be presented at our next meeting.
Old business discussed was forming a nominating committee consisting of 3 members to nominate next years’ officers. It was decided that Diane would put on our website a request that people interested in serving on the board contact us.
First Night plans were finalized. It was decided that Monika, Barbara and Linda would arrive at the library around 4:30 PM to set up our program. Diane and Wayne would arrive after work. Doors would open at 6 PM. We agreed to change the library replica from a “punch out” to a “cutout” due the extreme price difference. The coffee table book should be ready for sale and to take orders.
Upcoming speakers are Prof. Les Standiford on January 21, 2015. James Schnur and Jeff Klinkenberg will, hopefully, be confirmed as the speakers to follow in the coming months.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:48 PM.
Linda Sagese, (acting) Secretary, Friends of Mirror Lake Library