Photo by Mike Woodfin, 2010

Port of Tampa Cattle Docks

Photo(Courtesy of the Florida State Library & Archives, 1920s): Cattle in the Tampa area

The old cattle docks sit abandoned on the Port of Tampa Property and access can only be granted with permission as well as having an active port pass, but thanks to Mike Woodfin, he has been able to share with us photos and the history which was unknown to us.

The United Stated took possession of Florida in 1821, describing it as a “vast, untamed wilderness, plentifully stocked with wild cattle.” Florida cracker cattle at the time were abundant at the time, descended from Spanish stock imported to the state in the 16th century and were prized for their adaptation to the harsh Florida environment.

Cowmen at the time lived in these conditions as well, fighting off wolves, bears, panthers, and cattle rustlers. The cattle were driven to Jacksonville and Savannah, but at times as far as Charleston, but this changed in the 1830s when trade was re-established with Cuba and Tampa, Punta Gorda, and Punta Rassa became the main export ports.

Cattle were herded, and then later trucked, through downtown to the port of Tampa to be exported to Cuba, up until their last shipment in the 1970s. Now they sit abandoned as the area is not needed by the port any longer.

Photo(Mike Woodfin, 2010): A remnant of the homeless folks who used to live in the pens.

In the 1960s, the port had a lot of trouble with vagrants living in the pens, who were chased out and the area secured. The old chair in the photo is a remnant of that situation and there were newspapers still laying around the chair from the 1960′s, untouched from the last time a resident used them, either to read or as a blanket.

Photographer: Mike Woodfin
Year Taken: 2010
Website: Flickr

Photo by Bullet, 2011

Everglades Regional Medical Center

Photo by Bullet, 2011
Photo(Bullet, 2011): The building is completely gutted due to scrappers, according to residents.

The Everglades Memorial Hospital opened in 1936 in the small town of Pahokee. On May 11, 1950, the new Everglades Memorial Hospital opened with a dedication ceremony. The ceremony, taking place on “National Hospital Day”, welcomed representatives which included the Rotary, Elks, Masons, Lions, Woman’s Club, Everglades Business & Professional Women’s club, Beta Sigma Phi sorority and the Garden club.

In 1986, the named was changed to Everglades Regional Medical Center after it’s privatization. Around this time, possibly due to the fact that a public hospital is now a private hospital, talks began for merging the Everglades Memorial with the Belle Glade General Hospital, which was located less than 10 miles away. Talks ended as Everglades Memorial officials didn’t see the merger in their favor saying they would rather take over Belle Glades General themselves.

Photo by Bullet, 2011
Photo(Bullet, 2011): Floor plans for the hospital, dated 2006.

In 1991, the Palm Beach County Health Care District Board voted to close Everglades Memorial and to consolidate all hospital care to Glades General. Consultants estimated that the move will save the health care system between $10 million and $13 million per year and would save many taxpayers’ money as they were providing $11.4 million a year to both hospitals.

In 1992, a suit was set against the Health Care District to stop the merger with Belle Glade, claiming they had financially damaged Everglades Memorial after taking ownership of the hospital in 1991. After three suits, two of which were thrown out and the third found in the district’s favor, the hospital struggled to remain open.

Everglades Memorial was ultimately shut down in 1998, with some still believing they were financially forced to by the district.

Photo by Bullet, 2011
Photo(Bullet, 2011): The hospital was in some sort of renovation before being left completely vacant.

Photographer: Bullet
Year Taken: 2011
Website: Abandoned Florida