The goal of the Sulphur Springs Heritage Project, a qualitative research study, which is currently being conducted in partnership with the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center Advisory Board, is to document, analyze, and preserve the rich and diverse heritage of this once thriving community (Jackson 2009 and 2010). Specifically the project is chartered with bringing a new awareness to young people, long time residents, former residents, temporary residents, and newcomers about the Sulphur Springs/Spring Hill community and its impact on the growth and development of Tampa. It is anticipated that the project can serve as a model for other communities interested in engaging in similar efforts. A major aim of the project from an applied perspective is to fill in gaps in the public record—creating a comprehensive ethnographic and ethnohistorical profile of the community which can be used for creating tourist brochures, museum and heritage center exhibits, and multi-media materials for educational purposes. Project activities include: a) conducting key consultant interviews with Sulphur Springs and Spring Hill community informants; b) collecting, updating, and organizing archival materials; and c) developing and maintaining an ongoing relationship and presence in the community including participating in religious and civic activities, developing youth programs and engaging youth in heritage and technology, attending museum advisory board meetings, neighborhood association meetings and other community organized events. Interviews and oral histories are being audio and sometimes videotaped. Separate efforts are also underway to have the collected interview data transcribed and posted on the USF library and Sulphur Springs Museum websites. Additionally, USF students have created a logo design, a website, and an oral history database for the Sulphur Springs Musuem, as well as, produced videos and podcast programs documenting the history and heritage of the Sulphur Springs community in direct response to project goals identified by the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center and community residents.
The Sulphur Springs Heritage project is part of an ongoing commitment by the University of South Florida designed to address the rising interest in, and need for, heritage management by communities, civic organizations, and other groups focused on preserving the past as a key cultural resource. It directly responds to the mission and goals as outlined by the Board of Directors of the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center (Joseph Robinson-President; Norma Robinson-Preservation committee director). Work began in the Fall of 2006 by USF students and faculty and will continue with subsequent teams of interested students and faculty.
USF Sulphur Springs Heritage Projects
View video Heritage Preservation: Spring Hill
View video Sulphur Springs History 2010
View Courtney Spillane’s 2007 thesis Reconstructing the Past: Heritage Research and Preservation Activities in Tampa Bay Communities. M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida.
View report by Jessica Rubano titled An Ethnographic Look at the Archival Process – Rediscovering the Mann-Wagnon Family History.
Also view additional documents such as the will of Cecile Wagnon and deed records.
View Sulphur Springs Heritage Trail Self-Guided Tour. This Self-Guided Tour was a deliverable for the 2009 Issues in Heritage Tourism course and the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center.