For Tarpon Springs, the boom started in 1887 when railroad service to New York was initiated. Wealthy Northerners came to this popular destination and built beautiful Victorian mansions; established churches, schools and hotels; and started businesses. Because the waters surrounding this area were teeming with sponges, divers from Greece came here and soon developed a flourishing sponge industry. The many Greeks who migrated here also set up enticing restaurants, pastry shops, and markets giving the area a Mediterranean mystique.
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