Unlike most town names, which are usually inspired by a variation of the founder’s name, Lithia gets its name from the Periodic Table of Elements. Lithia comes from “lithium” because of the lithium oxide found in some of the natural springs, such as Lithia Springs located at 3932 Lithia Springs Rd.
Lithia Springs has its own interesting history. So far about 100 prehistoric artifacts have been found in the area and are dated going all the way back to 2000 BC. It was also once inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Muskogans, Tomokans, Caloosas, Creeks, Tocobagas and Seminoles.
It sometimes seems like the Lithia area didn’t really get settled until 20 years ago when Newland Communities purchased the land to develop FishHawk Ranch, but in fact the town was settled about 130 years before. The first settlers came to the area in the late 1800’s: the Alderman family.
James and Roxy Alderman first came to Lithia with their family for cattle rising. When first settling, James forded along the Alafia River by cutting trees along the steep banks in the area that is now Alderman’s Ford Park. Located at 9625 Canoe Launch Rd, Alderman’s Ford Park is a great place to go for biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking and many other outdoor activities.
Other than cattle rising, James Alderman was an important political man. In December 1860, he signed a petition of succession from the Union for Hillsborough County. Mitchell Alderman, James’ son, was a soldier in both the Third Seminole and Civil wars. In the Third Seminole war he served as a private with Captain William B. Hooker’s Company. In the Civil war he served with Captain John T. Leslie’s Company, where he served until the surrender of Tampa in May 1865.
For more information about the Alderman family, please visit http://www.alderman.50megs.com/rich_text.html. For more information about Alderman’s Ford Park, please visit http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/parks/parkservices/regionalparks.cfm or call 757-3801. For more information about Lithia Springs Park, please visit http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/parks/parkservices/regionalsites.cfm?facilitydetailid=525&selparks=525&selcategory=-1&zipcode=&First=1&Last=5 or call 744-5572.