Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States bordered on the west side by the Gulf of Mexico. The population was 4,511 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 4,492. Those living in this small (2 miles long) Florida city are within minutes of the beach if they don’t live right on it already. The Madeira Beach area is primarily residential with little or no industrial or sizable service business. Residents of Madeira Beach are mostly supported by commercial interests outside the area and a large number of residents are retirees.

 

City of Madeira Beach

For population 25 years and over in Madeira Beach:

  • High school or higher: 87.3%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.2%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 6.0%
  • Unemployed: 4.4%
  • Mean travel time to work (commute): 23.1 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Madeira Beach city:

  • Never married: 23.7%
  • Now married: 45.5%
  • Separated: 2.4%
  • Widowed: 7.5%
  • Divorced: 20.9%

History Of John’s Pass On Madeira Beach

There seems to be a few different theories as to how John’s Pass received it’s name. Although the theories differ there seems to be one common thread among them, a man named John LeVeque. Some accounts have John sailing the Gulf of Mexico as a pirate collecting treasure. Other accounts say he was simply a land owner living on land offered by the government. No matter which version you believe to be true the next part of the story seems to be agreed upon by all.

On September 27, 1848 a hurricane passed through the area now known as Madiera Beach and destroyed much of the shoreline. John was sailing his ship homeward and looking for a way to pass through back to safe harbors. Theorists agree that he might have been looking for Blind Pass, or even Pass-a-Grille, but instead he found a more northerly opening never seen before. It was from this time that the new opening was to be called John’s Pass in honor of John LeVeque’s first passage.

Today John’s Pass is home to incredible waterfront shops, fine dining, cruise ships, marinas, and entertainment of all types. There is always something to do at John’s Pass and each year thousands of visitors, seasonal residents, and locals all converge here to spend their days enjoying the scenery and atmosphere. Each year people move into condominiums on John’s Pass to spend their days in this waterfront community.

The Legends and History of John’s Pass
When Panfilo de Narvaez, a red-bearded, one-eyed conquistador, sailed into Bahia de la Cruz (now Boca Ciega Bay) in 1528, large kitchen middens of thriving settlements dotted the shoreline. Beyond the shore, elevated middens kept thatched sleeping quarters above seasonal flood levels, and high ceremonial middens with timber framed temples topped with effigies rose at the opposite end of the village.

Narvaez, and the Europeans that would follow brought disease for which the natives had no medicine or immunity, and ushered in an age of unprecedented greed that would change the face of Florida forever.

Back in the early part of the 19th Century, Florida was kind of a sore spot for the rest of the South. Then only a territory of the United States, Florida was a lawless land – a rugged terrain of pine woods, swamps, and mangrove tangled islands where folks could just “disappear”. Southern planters were particularly upset, because some of the folks that were disappearing South of the Georgia border and into the wilds of Florida were the planters’ runaway slaves.

Escaped slaves found refuge among the displaced Native American people who had been chased from their homelands and escaped to Florida, forming a mixed tribe band known as the Seminoles, or “wild ones”. Southern planters put increasing pressure on General Andrew Jackson to eradicate the Seminoles, and enable the capture and return of escaped slaves.

President Jackson, by 1830, gave his full support to a plan to remove “Indians” from the state, and began transporting Seminoles to a holding prison on a local key to await ships that would export them to reservations out West. Seminoles banded together to resist relocation efforts, and Jackson launched Florida neck deep into the Second Seminole War.

A crazed determination to eradicate Seminoles and populate Florida with White settlers led to desperate policies like The Armed Occupation Act of 1842, which gave homesteaders 160 acres of land, so long as they agreed to farm some of it, and (most importantly) fight the Seminoles should the need arise.

Two of the Gulf Coast’s early “pioneers” that took advantage of this act were our “opportunistic” heroes Joseph Silva and John Levique. Levique settled along the mainland coast of Upper Boca Ciega Bay near the area now known as St. Petersburg‘s “jungle district”, while Silva’s acreage was farther north, around present-day 38th Avenue. It is unlikely that either man had any intention of anything more than “subsistence” farming (if that), and both men were more likely to fish with the Seminoles than fight with them. Levach and Silva would probably remain only curious names on early plat maps, had it not been for one ill-timed fishing expedition.

Late in the summer of 1848, Levique and Silva sailed to New Orleans to sell a cargo of Green Turtle. Sailing home after bacchanal celebration in the Big Easy, they encountered a horrific storm, and decided to wait it out in a “hurricane hole” in some sheltered area along the coast. The hurricane had knocked down trees, rearranging the shoreline, and obliterated former landmarks.

John Levique searched for an entrance into Boca Ciega Bay. He was probably looking for Blind Pass, or even Pass-a-Grille, but instead he found a more northerly opening where there had not been one previously. Levach awakened a bleary-eyed Silva, and together they navigated through the new pass on the morning of September 27, 1848. Since that time, so the legend goes, the inlet between Treasure Island and Madeira Beach has been called “John’s Pass” in honor of it’s discovery, and maiden passage by John Levique.

John’s Pass has shifted south, some speculate as much as 5,000 feet, since its formation during the Great Gale of 1848. As Madeira Beach has enjoyed land building to its south, the north end of Treasure Island seems to be eroding. Barrier islands are naturally dynamic; the waves and wind constantly shifting the sand, eroding one shoreline and building on another.

Prior to the Armed Occupation Act, few people thought to make permanent homes on the “keys” as the barrier islands were then called. No bridges then spanned the mainland to the beaches, and the barrier islands were primarily utilized for hunting and fishing expeditions.

Prior to plume hunting, land grabbing, and the building boom, the barrier islands were home to a tremendous variety of wildlife. Deer, gopher, tortoise, sea turtle, alligator, small mammals, and great flocks of seabirds and shore birds made their homes among the varied habitats of the islands. Spanish explorers customarily used the barrier islands and mangrove rookeries to stock their shipboard larders with fish, roe, a variety of game, and tremendous quantities of both seabird and turtle eggs and carcasses.

Florida’s native people, as well as the early settlers only killed what they needed to eat, however a growing population of opportunistic white settlers and greedy plume hunters quickly depleted barrier island wildlife populations, and nearly drove island bird species to extinction. Nefarious plume hunters, like the despicable Chevelier, whose encampment is still known as “Frenchman’s Creek”, boasted of collecting tens of thousands of bird skins, plumes and eggs in one season.

Whole rookeries and generations of birds were wiped out overnight. Some species are still considered endangered, or threatened. The barrier islands, by the turn of the century, were nearly devoid of wildlife, and ready for development. Wilson Hubbard helped convince the city to permit building of a public waterfront boardwalk along John’s Pass in 1980, and was instrumental in the development of the larger community of John’s Pass Village.

Hubbard added quaint boardwalk shops over his Marina in 1982 and 1983. John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk has become a popular attraction, yet it retains the feeling of a rustic fishing village where people can still find humble lodging and enjoy Florida’s simple pleasures: discovering and collecting treasure, strolling along the waterfront, dolphin watching, nature cruising, and of course, catching and eating fish. New stores and entertainment attractions, and a new garage have opened recently, and a renovated boardwalk with more shops will be competed later in 2007. And Levique is remembered every year with a popular John Levique Days festival at John’s Pass Village, this year June 8-10.

There are many things to do in and around Madeira Beach. You may be interested in several of these attractions

CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM 249 Windward Passage Island Estates, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 (727) 441-1790 & (888) 239-9414

SAND KEY PARK A Pinellas County Park Gulf Blvd. just South of Clearwater Pass at the North End of Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, FL

BEACH ART CENTER 1515 Bay Palm Boulevard Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

727-596-4331 Fax: 727-596-4331

INDIAN ROCKS AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 203 Fourth Ave. Indian Rocks Beach, FL 727-593-3861

SUNCOAST SEABIRD SANCTUARY 18328 Gulf Blvd. Indian Shores, FL (727) 391-6211

JOHN’S PASS VILLAGE & BOARDWALK On the Waterfront at Johns Pass Gulf Blvd. North of John’s Pass Madeira Beach, FL

THE GULF BEACHES HISTORICAL MUSEUM 115-10th Avenue Pass-A-Grill, St. Pete Beach, FL (727) 552-1610

Dining out around Madeira Beach

Hospitals/medical centers near Madeira Beach:

  • BAY PINES VA MEDICAL CENTER Acute Care – Veterans Administration, Government Federal, about 2 miles away; BAY PINES, FL
  • NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL Acute Care Hospitals, Voluntary non-profit – Private, provides emergency services, about 5 miles away; SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
  • PALMS OF PASADENA HOSPITAL Acute Care Hospitals, Proprietary, provides emergency services, about 6 miles away; SAINT PETERSBURG, FL

Amtrak stations near Madeira Beach:

  • 8 miles:PINELLAS PARK (PARK BLVD. AT U.S. 19) – Bus Station .Services: ticket office, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, full-service food facilities, free short-term parking, call for car rental service, call for taxi service, public transit connection.
  • 13 miles:CLEARWATER (20967 U.S. 19) – Bus Station

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Madeira Beach:

Public elementary/middle schools in Madeira Beach:

Banks in or near Madeira Beach

  • Bank of America, National Association:Madeira Beach Branch at 14805 Gulf Boulevard, Madeira Beach branch established on 11/01/1950. Info updated 11/18/2009: Bank assets: $1,489,198.0 mil, Deposits: $1,021,724.0 mil, headquarters in Charlotte, NC, positive income, 5991 total offices, Holding Company: Bank Of America Corporation
  • Wells Fargo Bank, National Association: Madeira Beach Branch at 710 150th Avenue, Madeira Beach branch established on 10/01/1933. Info updated 12/01/2010: Bank assets: $1,070,489.0 mil, Deposits: $811,027.0 mil, headquarters in Sioux Falls, SD, positive income, 6537 total offices, Holding Company: Wells Fargo & Company

Fire-safe hotels and motels in Madeira Beach, Florida:

  • Tarpon Motel, 13015 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Wits End Motel, 13600 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Surfs Inn, 14010 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Shoreline Island Resort Motel, 14231 Gulf Blvd,Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Johns Pass Motel, 12991 Williams Ave, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Green Turtle Inn, 12850 E Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • White Sands Motel, 13701 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Waves Motel & Apartments, 13343 Gulf Blvd,Maderia Beach, FL 33708

Strongest AM radio stations in Madeira Beach

  • WMGG (820 AM; 50 kW; LARGO, FL; Owner: MEGA COMMUNICATIONS OF
  • ST. PETERSBURG LICENSEE)
  • WWBA (1040 AM; 4 kW; PINELLAS PARK, FL; Owner: GENESIS COMMUNICATIONS OF TAMPA BAY, INC.)
  • WFLA (970 AM; 25 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WHNZ 1250 AM; 25 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.
  • WTIS 1110 AM; daytime; 10 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: WTIS-AM, INC.
  • WGUL 860 AM; 5 kW; DUNEDIN, FL; Owner: WGUL-FM, INC.
  • WQYK 1010 AM; 50 kW; SEFFNER, FL; Owner: INFINITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF TAMPA
  • WDAE 620 AM; 5 kW; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.
  • WTAN 1340 AM; 1 kW; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: WAGENVOORD ADVERTISTING GROUP, INC.
  • WLVU 1470 AM; 5 kW; DUNEDIN, FL; Owner: GENESIS COMMUNICATIONS OF TAMPA BAY, INC.
  • WXYB 1520 AM; daytime; 1 kW; INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, FL; Owner: ASA BROADCASTING, INC
  • WWMI 1380 AM; 5 kW; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: ABC, INC.
  • WTMP (1150 AM; 10 kW; EGYPT LAKE, FL; Owner: TAMPA BROADCASTING, LTD.

Strongest FM radio stations in Madeira Beach

  • WYUU 92.5 FM; SAFETY HARBOR, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.
  • WXTB 97.9 FM; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.
  • WBBY 107.3 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC.
  • WRBQ-FM 104.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.
  • WSSR 95.7 FM; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.
  • WDUV 105.5 FM; NEW PORT RICHEY, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.
  • WSUN-FM 97.1 FM;HOLIDAY, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC
  • WPOI 101.5 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.
  • WWRM 94.9 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC.)
  • WLLD 98.7 FM; HOLMES BEACH, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC
  • WFLZ-FM 93.3 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.
  • WMTX 100.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.
  • WQYK-FM 99.5 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: INFINITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF FLORIDA
  • WTBT 103.5 FM; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.
  • WHPT 102.5 FM; SARASOTA, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.
  • WUSF 89.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: UNIVERSITY OF S. FLORIDA
  • WSJT 94.1 FM; LAKELAND, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.
  • WBVM 90.5 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE/
  • ST. PETERSBURG
  • WFTI-FM 91.7 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: FAMILY STATIONS, INC.
  • WYFE 88.9 FM; TARPON SPRINGS, FL; Owner: BIBLE BROADCASTING NETWORK, INC.

TV broadcast stations around Madeira Beach:

  • W33CC Channel 33; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: VENTANA TELEVISION, INC.
  • WMOR-LP Channel 63; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: WMOR-TV COMPANY
  • WTSP Channel 10; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: PACIFIC AND SOUTHERN COMPANY, INC.
  • W36CO Channel 36; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner:TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK
  • W61AI Channel 61; ROCK HARBOR, FL; Owner: MAKO COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
  • WEDU Channel 3; TAMPA, FL; Owner: FLORIDA WEST COAST PUBLIC BROADCASTING, INC.
  • WARP-CA Channel 20; TAMPAST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: SUNSHINE BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC.
  • WXAX-LP Channel 26; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: TIGER EYE BROADCASTING CORP.
  • WTOG (Channel 44; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: VIACOM INTERNATIONAL INC.
  • WFLA-TV Channel 8; TAMPA, FL; Owner: MEDIA GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
  • WFTS-TV Channel 28; TAMPA, FL; Owner:TAMPA BAY TELEVISION, INC.
  • WXPX Channel 66; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: PAXSON COMMUNICATION LICENSE COMPANY, LLC
  • WUSF-TV Channel 16; TAMPA, FL; Owner: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA)
  • WTTA Channel 38; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: BAY TELEVISION, INC.
  • WFTT Channel 50; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TELEFUTURA TAMPA LLC
  • W48AY Channel 48; OLDSMAR, FL; Owner: AMKA BROADCAST NETWORK, INC.)
  • WTVT Channel 13; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TVT LICENSE, INC.)
  • WCLF Channel 22; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CHRISTIAN TELEVISION CORPORATION, INC.
  • WTAM-LP Channel 6; TAMPA, FL; Owner: U.S. INTERACTIVE, L.L.C.
  • WPDS-LP (Channel 14; LARGO, ETC., FL; Owner: PINELLAS COUNTY SCHOOLS
  • WRMD-LP Channel 57; TAMPA, FL; Owner: ZGS TELEVISION OF TAMPA, INC.)
  • WSPF-CA Channel 35; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CITY OF
  • ST. PETERSBURG
  • WSVT-LP Channel 18; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: WORD OF GOD FELLOWSHIP, INC.
  • WVEA-LP Channel 61;TAMPA, FL; Owner: ENTRAVISION HOLDINGS, LLC
  • WWSB Channel 40; SARASOTA, FL; Owner: SOUTHERN BROADCAST CORPORATION OF SARASOTA

 

 

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