Congratulations to Ovilla Scudamore, of Safety Harbor, winner of the Name the No Name Oak Tree Contest. Ms. Scudamore submitted the name “The Pipkin Oak” for this 75’ tall, regal, southern live oak tree located in the Library Art Park. Ms. Scudamore’s entry was chosen out of 186 entries. The Pipkin Oak has been submitted to the Live Oak Registry, which registers live oaks that measure eight feet or more around in girth.
The tree was named for Daniel Moses Pipkin Sr., born 8/12/1861, who came to Safety Harbor from Lakeland in 1914 for the mineral baths. In 1915 he partnered to construct the Espiritu Santo Springs Hotel, which would have been located on what is now the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa parking lot. The hotel baths utilized the water from mineral springs beneath Pipkin’s property. Pipkin later changed the name of the hotel to the Pipkin Mineral Wells Hotel. He moved his family here permanently in 1920 and had a home on what is now the Safety Harbor Library property. The Pipkin Oak resides what was their backyard.
D.M. Pipkin Sr. was civically involved in Safety Harbor, having been elected mayor in 1922 and 1924. He was also a city commissioner in the original 1917 commission, 1919-1920, 1923-24, and again in 1926.
Pipkin sold the Pipkin Mineral Wells Hotel in 1929, when his health began to fail. He died while he was still serving as city commissioner at the age of 68 in 1930. One of his 13 children, a son, D.M. Pipkin Jr., lived in the house until the 1970s.
More local Safety Harbor history can be viewed on the Library’s Local History website: http://cdm15899.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/. For more information on how to help us add to our local history collection, please email email@example.com or call 727-724-1525, ext. 4112. Special thanks to the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library for sponsoring this contest. A plaque commemorating the historical tree will be installed in the near future.