The History of Tarpon Springs High School
The first settlers of Tarpon Springs came here because of the beauty and the bountiful natural resources, just after the Civil War. The first homes built were along the Anclote River and Tarpon's bayous. Samuel Hope bought the first real estate here along the north bank of the Anclote River in the 1860's and was soon followed by the Thompson and Meyers families.
In 1876, A. W. Ormand and his daughter Mary from South Carolina built the first cabin near what is now, Spring Bayou. They saw it as the "boiling spring." The next year, Joshua Boyer, who sailed into the Anclote River and decided to stay, soon married Mary Ormand, the lady who gets the credit for naming Tarpon Springs.
In 1887, three major events occurred – The railroad arrived in Tarpon, Tarpon was officially incorporated as a city, and the Anclote Key lighthouse was built. After that, yachts, steamboats, sailboats, fishing vessels and paddleboats piled into Tarpon's waterways. Merchants, men of all trades, and laborers were lured to Tarpon by inexpensive land and a bright future. Grand hotels, opera, band concerts, famous artists, and millionaires soon made Tarpon Springs a haven for the cosmopolitan.
Somewhere, three blocks north of Tarpon Avenue and on the east side of Pinellas Avenue, where the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Community Center and the Theofolis Hall now stand, the first Tarpon Springs School was built. The school consisted of four rooms and was a two-story building. Downstairs were the elementary grades, and upstairs were the upper levels. The first graduating class was the TSHS class of 1906. There were 3 graduates that year. The last year that building was used was 1911. There were between 150 and 250 students in attendance, at the time.
This building was moved to another site and a brand new Tarpon Springs Public School was completed on the same site in 1912 at a cost of $11,598. There were seven 23' X 20' classrooms, a library, a chemistry lab, and an auditorium, and housed 1st through 12th grades, until 1915, when Tarpon Springs Primary School was built.
Then, in 1927, a new school was opened at the intersection of Pine, Ring, and Orange Streets for $118.839. This is where the present City Hall is, now.
Finally, in 1962, our present Tarpon Springs High School was completed. Over the years, it has been added to and remodeled, greatly. Today, TSHS is a magnificent, multi-faceted complex that now even includes the old Sunset Hills Elementary School. Between 1,900 and 2,200 students are in attendance, every year. The following information can be found on our Tarpon Springs High School website.
TSHS FIRST FACTS
First Graduating Class – 1906
Separation of Primary and High School - 1915
First Yearbook – 1917
First School Newspaper, "The Silver King" – 1922
Tarpon High Athletic Association – August 8, 1923
First Sponger Football Team – 1925
First 50 year reunion - December 7, 1985
First Year of Integration – 1962
First Undefeated JV Football team - 1969
First Undefeated Sponger Football team - 1970