The History Center is your source for information on the history and heritage of Hillsborough County and beyond.
The History of Hillsborough County
The county of Hillsborough was created by an act of the Florida Legislature on January 25, 1834. The original, or historic, Hillsborough County covered approximately 14,600 square miles — all or part of 24 present-day counties (an area larger than 8 states at the time). By comparison, today’s Hillsborough County is 1,072 square miles. Its history is as varied and fascinating as any other place in this country. People have lived in this area of West Central Florida for over 11,000 years, and their story is, in effect, our story.
Florida’s indigenous people flourished here thousands of years before the first explorers arrived from Europe. The Timucua and the Calusa were two of the largest and most highly-developed groups who controlled much of the peninsula and its population. Different Timucuan people spoke dialects of the same language and held possession of the northern third of Florida, while the Calusa ruled over southwest Florida. The area now known as Hillsborough County was occupied by smaller groups, notably the Tocobaga, Mocoso and Ucita…Read More
Maps act as a cornerstone of our understanding of history. This timeline was created by the Tampa Bay History Center in conjunction with the exhibition, “Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps,” and is designed as an interactive tool for teachers and their students.
Click here to go to our Educational Resources page.