History Lives On At Seadog Cottages.
Being honored by the Safety Harbor Historical Society and having only the city’s 19th historical marker placed in front of Seadog Cottages was gratifying and very cool. It also fueled a lot of curiosity.
Almost a century old, the circa 1922 house and property is rich with history, but over many years and multiple owners, much of it has been lost or forgotten. So there’s always a special pleasure when a mystery is unraveled.
Take, for example, the Seadog fountain.
When Seadog took ownership of the distressed property almost eight years ago, there was no fountain in sight. While the structures were falling down, vegetation had taken over. Invasive vines, weeds and unkept shrubs and trees dominated the grounds. So, the property cleanup began with clearing out vines and cutting back bushes and shrubs.
And the strangest thing happened.
Hidden under a blanket of potato vines was a circle of ragged concrete points sticking out of the ground. The first thought was “what the hell is a perfect circle of dinosaur teeth doing buried in the backyard?”
An answer slowly emerged as the vines were cleared away, a lot of dirt shoveled out and a few long-time downtown residents reached into their memory. The best we can put together: Somewhere in the property’s early days, there had been a fish pond. Judging from a somewhat elaborate plumbing system that was later discovered (although long ago wrecked), it had been quite a show piece. However, somewhere down the line, the fish had died and the fish pond was filled in with dirt and turned into a planter. Then, years later, the plants, like the fish before them, also died, and the planter was left for vines to cover and hide from history.
It took some work – after pulling out all the dead root balls and shoveling dirt, the original pond had to be resurfaced, re-plumbed and rewired — but now, the calming sound of splashing water is a Seadog Cottages trademark, that welcomes and soothes all guests.
It’s also a story that makes us smile.
History, unlike the fish and the plants, lives on.