Years before the pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth Rock, the Native American tribe Tocobaga settled in the Bay area, which they called Pocotopaug (Clear Water).
Well-muscled and agile, the Tocobaga were much taller than the Spaniards who first documented them in 1567. The Tocobaga’s protein-rich diet relied heavily on seafood.
The tribe built mounds from oyster and clam shells within their villages as burial mounds, ceremonial mounds or trash dumps. Tocobaga’s capital is believed to have been in Safety Harbor, and it’s marked by a 20-foot mound. Visit it, along with a smaller burial mound, in Philippe Park.