Philippe Park is indeed Safety Harbor Florida’s Historical Park! This 160 acre park is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks due to the fact that it was once home to both the Tocobaga Native American tribe and later the home of Count Odet Philippe. Remains of the Tocobaga’s time here can be found not only from the fact that they left a large mound in the park but that there were numerous other mounds that have been excavated. The archaeological remains of these mounds are now contained in the Safety Harbor Museum.
Count Odet Philippe, once chief surgeon to Napolean and born in Lyon France, made Safety Harbor Florida his home back in 1821. Here he settled with his family and introduced the citrus industry to Hillsborough County (today’s Pinellas County belonged Hillsborough County until 1921). It was also Odet Philippe that originally brought the cigar making industry to Florida. He passed on in 1869 at the age of 100 and was buried on his estate, in what is today Philippe Park.
Philippe Park has miles of trails, picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramps and of course the Tocobaga mound. It is a popular destination for children’s birthday parties, family picnics, morning jogs and a favorite with everyone interested in local history. Here locals love to put their kayaks into Old Tampa Bay for a day out on the water and you will often find people fishing from shore.
Philippe Park is a wonderful addition to Safety Harbor Florida and one park you need to check out!