The area now known as Tampa, Florida first started as an Indian fishing village. Native Americans referred to the place as “Tanpa” meaning “sticks of fire.”
A Spanish explorer passed through the waters of Tampa Bay on his gold expedition, but after he left, the area was left alone for 2 centuries.
During the United States' war on Spain at the turn of the century, Tampa became the point of departure for troops on their way to Cuba. A colonel named Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become President, created his team of “Rough Riders” at his Tampa camp.