Tampa Bay's Military Heritage

Tour curated by: The Tampa Historical Team, especially Charles Harris and Grant Brus

The historical sites and museums located on this tour focus on the military history of Downtown Tampa, the Hillsborough River, and organizations established to preserve military history throughout Hillsborough County.

Locations for Tour

The ship’s voyage from thirty years of war service to a historic preservation site reached a crescendo on September 23, 2003 when the steam turbine engines were restarted for the first time since 1985 and SS American Victory set sail for her first…

That past came together in December 2012 when Tampa bronze sculptor Steven Dickey and the Historical Monument Trail Committee installed six bronze busts of Tampa trailblazers along the two-mile stretch of the downtown Riverwalk, including a…

In the final week of August 2009, the 124-foot hull of the Scottish Chief was found by researchers and divers from the Florida Aquarium north of the Jane Street Shipyard, located on the Hillsborough River near Lowry Park Zoo. This hidden historic…

When thinking of great military locations in the Tampa Bay area, one’s mind might slip first into thinking of the MacDill Airforce base. While that has been, and remains to this day a very important location for military history, there is another…

Port Tampa is located in South Tampa, just west of Macdill Air Force Base. While appearing generally unassuming when you first tour it, it is in fact rich with history of the Tampa Bay area. The port was established in 1888 by Henry Plant as the…

Of all the states in the Confederacy, Florida was one of the least touched by direct conflict throughout the war. Florida was mostly blockaded due to its long coastline and proximity to trade routes to the Caribbean. Early in the war, many in Florida…

Fort Brooke was active during the American Civil War and was attacked on two different occasions by Northern forces during the war, the Battle of Fort Brooke (and Battle of Ballast Point) and the fort’s eventual capture on May 6th, 1864 by the…

The history of the Confederate monument residing at the Courthouse of Hillsborough County in Tampa, FL, began as early as 1903. That year, Azeele Carruthers, President of the Tampa Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, No. 113,…