Long before condominiums appeared on the Florida coastline, itinerant fishing parties visited the barrier islands along the Pinellas peninsula. Fewer than 200 people lived in present-day Pinellas County in September 1848, when a destructive hurricane carved Johns Pass. Developers first focused their efforts along Johns Pass with a settlement known as Mitchell Beach in the early 1910s, but it had only limited success since no bridges connected the island to the mainland. The first bridge opened along Welch Causeway in 1926, and electricity came to the island a few years later. Small, scattered settlements took shape along Johns Pass and near 150th Avenue during World War II, but widespread development did not begin until the incorporation of Madeira Beach in 1947. By the 1950s, subdivisions sprouted up along islands dredged from Boca Ciega Bay. Today, condominiums have replaced most beach cottages.
Schnur, James Anthony. Madeira Beach. Images of America Series. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013.
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