Snell Isle History Snell Isle History

About the Author

John L. Bailey is a Florida almost-native, living and growing up in Tampa from a very early age. He worked with WDAE radio during his college years, beginning at the University of Tampa, and later worked for television stations in the midwest as writer and producer of commercials and documentaries. One of these was awarded an Emmy in 1970 for best locally-produced production.

Later, as an independent producer, he received numerous awards for several productions, including the George Washington Bronze Medal from Freedom's Foundation for a documentary concerning The Amway Company, and four major industry awards for a sales promotional film for Tampa Maid Sea Products. While working for the State of Florida, he also received awards for Forestry training videos.

Bailey moved back to Florida in 1976, settling in Snell Isle in 1991 where he has been actively pursuing his interest in Florida history, particularly in Tampa and St. Petersburg. During much of recent years, he has provided historic walking tours in the area, mostly in Ybor City in Tampa, enjoying his retirement years.

Bailey moved back to Florida in 1976, settling in Snell Isle in 1991, when he married Patricia Calvert — a resident of the Isle since 1978. Since then, he has been actively pursuing his interest in Florida history, particularly in Tampa and St. Petersburg. During much of the recent years, he has provided historic walking tours in the area, mostly in Ybor City in Tampa, enjoying his retirement years.

Copyright

All articles are copyrighted by SIPOA and John Bailey.


Pre Snell Isle 1856 – 1883

On June 16, 1900 H. H. Kinyon and his wife, sold the 40 acres to Alice L. Barnard for $200. We can find no record of Kinyon or the Barnard family in any St. Petersburg histories. In my interview with Jay Starkey, he told me the Barnard family owned many acres of land around what is now Snell Isle. They were a wealthy Chicago family and had a cattle ranch on their property here. In 1912, as a boy, Mr. Starkey would get his horse, kept at about 30th Avenue and 9th St. North, and herd the cattle that were loose on the island back to the Barnard ranch. Alice Barnard died in 1908.

Perry Snell bought the 40 acres from her estate for $2,000 on April 4, 1911. On February 12, 1912 an undivided one-half interest was transferred to J.C. Hamlet for $500. consideration. On January 16, 1914 Perry Snell and his Partner, J. C. Hamlett, bought the remaining Barnard property with a mortgage on it for $67,500 containing 400 acres, more or less. The mortgage was satisfied and filed April 29, 1922. On March 6, 1919, J. C. Hamlett deeded back the one-half interest to Perry Snell For $10. consideration.

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Schooley homes on Snell Isle

Italy and Spain have done much to influence the master builders of Florida with quaint and romantic scenic effects of architecture and atmosphere, with opportunity for Venetian balconies, balustrades, grills, mantles, foyer halls, galleries, winding staircases, towers and patios. The shore lines of Old Tampa and Boca Ciega Bays offer perfect settings to complete this picture of the old and new worlds and industrial giants were quick to appreciate this condition.

Embodied in the Schooley Homes are liberal features incorporating every desirable and artistic phase of the Mediterranean environment plus the departures of improvement that please individual American tastes and conveniences. They are splendid in their completeness and well within the financial range of particular purchasers. The Schooley Homes encourage “real fascination for abiding in comfort and permanency.”

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C. Perry Snell 1869 – 1942

The enigmatic man who developed much of northeast St. Petersburg is C. Perry Snell, namesake of the area where we live. He first came to St. Petersburg in 1899 on his honeymoon with wife, Lillian Allen. Within two weeks, he made his first investment. Using money from Lillian’s inheritance, he bought the block between First and Second Avenues NE and between Beach Drive and First Street. Five years later, they moved here from Kentucky.

He went into business with three other local men to invest in and develop property. He had an interest in civic affairs and along with C. L. Straub’s vision for a beautiful waterfront, helped preserve all of the land between downtown and Coffee Pot Bayou.

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Other Snell projects Granada Terrace – Snell Arcade – Rolyat Hotel

Before the bust [of the Florida boom in the 1920’s], Perry Snell had $3 million in the bank and was proceeding with Snell Isle. An ad for salesmen in Tourist News of October 17,1925, is indicative of Snell and his standards: “Only men whose experience has been with high-class developments, and (who possess) established records for honesty and fair dealing (are to be) accepted for the sales force which will sell Snell Isle.” In 1925, only thirty-nine acres of the intended 275 were above water.

Although his purchasers were defaulting en masse, Snell had the capital to keep going. He filled the streets and parkways of Snell Isle with statuary and went so far as to build a diminutive Stonehenge in one of his parks. This is the Granada Terrace area.

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About Snell Isle

image Snell Isle is home to the historic The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, one of the Nation's premier golf courses.
image Our tropical surroundings provide waterfront vistas for most residents. Over 80% of the homes on Snell Isle enjoy waterfront views.
image In 1920, local developer C. Perry Snell began construction on what was originally, a muddy mangrove island.

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