The Sponge Docks


Welcome to the "Sponge Docks" in beautiful
Tarpon Springs, Florida

My sister and I took a walk down the main street of the sponge docks for an arts and craft show and what a cold morning it was.  Dozens of tents were set up with crafters and artisans selling their wares.
The one craft that got my attention were every day bottles with the bottoms cut out and then they were turned into lights to hang in the yard, or in your homes.  You could use tea lights or the little LED lights.
The crafter decorated some of the bottles with stones or etchings. Each hung by simple chains.  I wish you could see them in person.

The Sponges

 Greek immigrants  expanded and refined sponging in
Tarpon Springs. The individual who is responsible for the Greek involvement
is John Corcoris, who arrived in Tarpon in 1896 as a sponge buyer for a New York firm. He went to work for John Cheyney, who financed Corcoris' early efforts to make the industry more efficient. In 1905 Corcoris introduced the first mechanized sponge fishing boat to Tarpon Springs and brought in 500 Greek divers from Kalymnos, Halki, Symi, Hydra, Spetse, Aegena and other islands. Other Greeks soon followed and businesses were established to serve the Greek community, including restaurants, candy shops, coffee houses, and grocery stores. Sponge merchants and brokers then came to Tarpon, and their presence helped to create a well-integrated industry. They built boats, loaned money to boat owners, and supplied tools and equipment to the entire sponge fleet. In 1906 the Sponge Exchange Bank was established, and in 1908 the Sponge Exchange was founded. Profits from sponging also financed other businesses, such as the Sponge Exchange Cigar Company.
The area is rich in history.

Dozens of shops sell the sponges that come in from the Gulf each day. 
  The sponges have so many uses.

This sponge is still attached to the rock it was found on.

Once they come in off the boats they are washed and hung 
in the sun to dry.

Shop after shop sell the sponges, in so many shapes and sizes.

These sponges were made into the fragrant soaps.
I have been using the sponges from the docks, to exfoliate my skin for the 6 years I've lived in the area.

Some were used in the shops to display other wares.

The shop owners also had a bit of fun with the sponges.

If your ever able to visit "Tarpon Springs" don't forget to take a stroll down the "Sponge Docks". It's really interesting and there are many  authentic Greek Restaurants and pastry shops.

We rushed into this little restaurant to warm up from the very chilly weather and had the most wonderful lunch.
Greek food is "good"!

I hope your weekend is going as well as mine!



Victoria said...

love the sponge docks! I took my daughters and grandkids there last week! Since they're ages range from newborn to age 9, we did the aquarium first thing...then a stroll down thru the shops and along the dock to see the boats. Tarpon Springs never fails, for bringing our out of town guests to visit!

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Your weekend sounded wonderful. OH my that is a lot of sponges..very cool though. Love the hanging bottles for the garden too!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

That brought back a lot of memories! My family knows the Pappas family somehow and I can't remember the connection. They've been in that area for years.