The many responses to Freedom magazine (published by the Church of Scientology) from local Clearwater residents show that our readers are interested in Clearwater and want to know more about it. Many residents expressed an interest in the colorful history of our city. Thus, Freedom magazine printed a multi-part series on the history of Clearwater, covering the discovery of what became known as Clear Water Harbor by early settlers through World War II. Because of the overwhelmingly popularity of that series, we are reprinting it in full on these web sites.
Despite the ominous shadow cast by World War I, the years 1914 to 1918 marked the beginning of prosperity for Clearwater. Its schools, newspaper, hospital and churches were a source of pride to the citizens who made this community their home.
Its new independence and stature as seat of the new Pinellas County spelled a bright future for Clearwater, and it began to expand its borders—eastward at first, then west toward Clearwater Beach, thanks to the newly constructed bridge.
With the end of the war in 1918, Clearwater was on the verge, as was all of Florida, of an incredible boom. And then disaster struck.