The city’s historical significance lies in the 10,000-year long Tocobaga era, the early Safety Harbor culture of hunter-gatherers in a village-based lifestyle since the last Ice Age. Five large native villages were located around Tampa Bay in the 1530s, and Tocobaga village was located where Safety Harbor is today.
Odet Philippe, a physician to Napoleon, homesteaded the area of Philippe Park and was the first to cultivate citrus, with the Duncan grapefruit strain attributed to his efforts. Before the Civil War tourists discovered the area’s healing water of the mineral springs, culminating in collapse of the Florida land boom of the late 20’s. The area touted the health benefits of the mineral springs, today located under the Safety Harbor Spa. Today Safety Harbor hosts 30,000 residents within its protected environment and 1930’s brick streets.
In 1917 a fire devastated the wood construction of the original downtown, one remaining surviving structure being the former bank building, now the Chamber of Commerce building. The downtown Main Street was rehabilitated in 1970, to include benches, landscaping and accessible sidewalks. The linear green space along Tampa Bay provides residents and visitors miles of walking, jogging, blading and biking routes.
The growth boom of the 1950s added 200 new residents and the original Ibis Bed & Breakfast structure was built, a small 850 square foot simple brick structure with pine floors. Renovations with additional structure were completed, offering the ultimate in quaint bed & breakfast accommodations to the discerning traveler desiring sophisticated luxury in a homelike atmosphere for ultimate relaxation. Each guest room is decorated after an Ibis water bird Florida habitat.
Ibis Bed & Breakfast guests enjoy their own living room, dining room and outdoor patio for mingling, reading, playing games or watching television.