The newly expanded Timberly Trust Board of Trustees is charged with making good on the promise to preserve a Brandon homestead erected in 1886 known about town as the Julia Moseley property.
“While a number of historic sites can be found in Florida, many are recreations and relocations,” reads a letter dated December 10, 2022, sent by trustees to interested parties and potential donors. “Julia’s, on the other hand, is the real thing.”
According to trustee Mark Proctor, Moseley was born on the property, at 1820 W. Brandon Blvd., and for years turned away “literally millions of dollars for her property to be developed because of its location on State Road 60.” He said Moseley successfully moved to have her property “designated on the national, state and local registries for places with historic significance, which technically means they can’t be developed.”
Mosely, who died in 2020 at age 101, worked in her later years to form the Timberly Trust, which is charged as well with ensuring the property’s maintenance. Moseley, who never married, taught piano for a living in her childhood and lifelong home, with wallpaper composed of painted-over palm frond fibers, “which was so unique that it was on display at the 1894 World’s Fair,” Proctor said.
With oak trees more than 100 years old, the 15-acre property is “like walking back through history,” Proctor said. “Julia just had this historic sense about her, and she wanted to protect the environment and preserve something for future generations to look back on. She wanted them to have a picture of what it was like to grow up at the turn of the century.”
According to the December 10, 2022, letter, “the Timberly Trust, in conjunction with Hillsborough County, Tampa History Center, University of South Florida and other groups, are working together to make Julia’s dream a permanent reality.”
Preservation, educational and historic site initiatives are key to Moseley property plans. In one such effort, the USF Center for Digital Heritage and Geospatial Information seeks grant money for preservation planning and has been updating the Moseley website, which includes a virtual tour of the property for public viewing. (Visit https://dhhc.lib.usf.edu/moseley/.)
Meanwhile, at a November 16, 2022, meeting on the property, eight trustees were added to the four-member board. Proctor and Mark Singleton were named chair and vice chair, respectively. Rounding out the veteran board members are Rich Pierce and John Dingfelder.
Among the added eight trustees are Amy Carey Lee and Betty Jo Tompkins, as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Also new to the board are Lori Collins, Tad Denham, Tom Odiorone, C.J. Roberts, Kay Sullivan and Michael Wigh, who in 2015 published Brandon, Florida – Images in Time, a photo history of the town.
“Rarely is an opportunity available to preserve a precious piece of history like Julia Moseley’s home in Brandon,” Tompkins said. “With all its growth and emerging communities, it is critical that we do not forget our pioneering roots and humble beginnings, and Julia’s property is testament to that.”