By Kathy L. Collins

The South Shore area, made up of Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Riverview and Gibsonton, is rich with history, which is why the Firehouse Cultural Center (FCC) and the Ruskin Library have joined forces to take a walk through the history of the SouthShore with Celebrate South Shore History this November.

The Ruskin Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary of being involved in the lives of Ruskin residents and the community. The FCC, while relatively new, is charged with the mission to provide quality programming in the arts and education for all ages. FCC programs encourage participation, engagement, discovery and learning, while offering connections to the unique history, culture and natural environment of the south region of Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough Community College South Shore (HCC SS Campus) is also documenting some of the history of Ruskin.

The project will focus on guest lectures, displays of historical photographs, and live and recorded oral histories. It will kick off on Wednesday, November 12 at the Ruskin Library, located at 26 Dickman Dr. S.E. from 4-8 p.m. with a program on the history of Ruskin Library followed by a reception. On Thursday, November 13 and Friday, November 14, the project will continue at the FCC, located at 1st Ave. N.E. in Ruskin, with photographs and archive display, a video presentation, an oral history lecture and a film.

Dr. Craig D. Hardesty, Dean of Academic Affairs for HCC SS Campus said, “The South Shore Campus of Hillsborough Community College is proud to serve nearly 7,000 area residents each year providing high quality higher education. Being located in a town that owes its very existence to Ruskin College, we are proud to be taking a leading role in the preservation of our treasured local history.”

The Celebrate South Shore History would like to hear from families who have lived in Southern Hillsborough County for several generations. They are asked to contact Frances Hereford at the FCC at 645-7651 to have their historical documents and photographs scanned or to schedule a time to have their oral history recorded.