I was driving through an area of new development, no easy feat in my neck of urban sprawl, when I spied the ironic name of a new development: “Restoration.”
What are they restoring? I’m glad I asked.
I’ve heard that this previously wooded hill was once the site of the world’s first known, concrete foundation dwellings, constructed by an off-shoot of the Seminole Indian tribe in the early 12th century. Using a system of interlocking, kiln fired cinder blocks, these Seminole Indians were able to build magnificent, 4,000 square foot dwellings as a tribute to their aging tribal elders. When these elders decided the rigors of life on the waters around Tampa Bay were too harsh, they would cash in on the appreciated value of their thatch huts (with primo location in the heart of tribal commerce) for the slower life on the Lake Tarpon Highlands. It is believed that this was the place where asphalt was invented, allowing the construction of the first known “divided highway,” thus allowing for the uninterrupted interchange of cart delivered goods and services between the two settlements.
It happened just like that.