The Untold Story Of Lealman Florida
Lealman is a census-designated place (CDP) in the county of Pinellas. Called East Lealman till 2010, Lealman FL was within the bigger CDP called West and East Lealman. The CDP is named after Elza B. Lealman, who was the Suwannee County sheriff from 1862 to 1864 and tax collector from 1864 to 1866. This was right at the time when the Civil War had ended.
Upon visiting the place (now called Lealman), Elza found shady trees and only a few people. However, he liked the place so much; he moved to the home permanently along with his family among the egg farms, citrus groves, and dairies. His family comprised his wife and their ten kids. Elza was bureaucratic, but his love for Lealman made him quit bureaucracy and take up farming full-time. He grew strawberries in huge numbers and also oranges. The area surrounding Lealman’s house became known as Lealman Heights.
Back then, Lealman had a railway station called “home station.” The station saw cars coming in and loading the local citrus, resin barrels, and eggs from the turpentine still onto the outgoing train. Elza, like his neighbors, took his produce to the station. The railway station had no ticket booths. Passengers bought tickets from a conductor.
The train timings weren’t well-defined, and the train arrived during evenings – the exact timing is not clear. The station was later called Lealman Station. By 1895, Lealman Station was marked on the map of Hillsborough County. Initially, the station was misspelled as Lellmans Station. After five years, the correction was made.
Unlike St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Kenneth City and other adjoining cities such as Seminole, Lealman’s growth hasn’t been up to the mark or as expected. In the early 2000s, the residents didn’t feel secure enough and constantly feared their community wouldn’t last too long. The annexations made by the cities aforementioned were breaking apart a defined, close-knit community such as Lealman, which has been the county’s recognized portion for a century.
Cities such as Pinellas Park have frequently overlooked pleas to stop or slow down annexing in Lealman. Lealman residents wanted the commissioners to move back the annexation border planning to match lines delineating Lealman Fire District. This should end all Lealman-related voluntary annexations. Kenneth City and Pinellas Park were most likely to be negatively affected and were therefore not supporting the proposal.
Most of this annexation debate was financial. As the areas annexed, the fire service tax money goes to the coffers of the annexing city. However, in the majority of cases, Lealman is the primary rescue/fire responder. For Lealman residents, the annexure issue was less financial and more emotional.
Lealman, FL is a redevelopment region in the unincorporated Pinellas County.
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