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Belleair

Pinellas County

Year Founded: 1925

History

To indicate the excellence of the air in those parts, the name of the town was given by Henry B. Plant in 1896. At that time, he purchased most of the land now included in the town and built his Belleview Hotel. Although there were earlier settlers in the vicinity of Belleair, the town as we know it is really an outgrowth of this hotel. When construction started in 1895, the area began to develop. After the hotel opened in January, the growth spread to areas surrounding the hotel. This was the golden age of the hotel with continued expansion and successful seasons. In 1924, several prominent citizens and hotel guests incorporated the Town of Belleair in order to prevent annexation into the neighboring town of Clearwater. Subdivision improvements ceased in the late twenties, along with grand plans for a casino, yacht club, country club, marina, etc., when Belleair experienced financial problems along with the rest of the nation. In 1945, Mr. Ernest Hallett picked up where the prosperity of the twenties left off when he purchased approximately half of the town, the area at the south end known as Belleair Estates.

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