Bloomingdale, Florida

What to Do in Bloomingdale , Florida

An unincorporated area of Hillsborough County, Florida, Bloomingdale has a population of 22,711 as of 2015. Just 15 miles south of Tampa, the community of Bloomingdale is the largest in Hillsborough County with over 5000 homes.

The main settlers of Bloomingdale began arriving during the late 1840s.The most notable were John Vickers and John Carney. The first settlement area was north of the Alafia River, along what is now Bloomingdale Avenue, Bell Shoals Road and PineCrest Road. In 1858, at the end of the Third Seminole War, other settlers began to migrate to the area. Bloomingdale Valley was christened with it’s name by the Hendrix family who fell upon the land after a journey from Peru along he Alafia River. They found hills and valleys covered in wild flower blooms leading them to the name Bloomingdale.

As new families settled in Bloomingdale, patriarchs, and in some cases widowed matriarchs, acquired 160 acres under the Homestead Act, or purchased land from farmers who were already working the land. These families became known prominently in the area. Most farmers were fairly self-sufficient by 1883 with the main focus being on suchthings as raising cattle, pigs, and chicken while also growing fruits and vegetables like cabbage, peas, oranges, sugarcane, cotton and tomatoes. The first grade school was established in 1884, and 1885 saw the addition of fourchurches: Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic. By 1900 the population of Bloomingdale was 429.

Sitting between Valrico and Brandon, the Bloomingdale of today boasts a private Golfer’s Club, a community sports complex, a YMCA, two parks and a public library. Several top rated schools can also be found within or near the community.

Although the population was increasing, Bloomingdale soon began to see a decline. Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad began connecting Tampa and Plant City going through the city of Brandon and bypassing Bloomingdale. This ultimately resulted in many residents and business owners moving to Brandon. By 1910 the population was 364 and the post office had closed. The decline continued and in 1930 the area was merely scattered farm houses with 342 people residing in Bloomingdale. Many residents were drawn in by wartime production atTampa shipyards during World War II, greatly affecting the small community of Bloomingdale. The community remained stable at best and in the 1960s it became a bedroom community with a population of 13,912.