South Hillsborough County enclave founded as utopian hamlet, named for English philosopher John Ruskin

Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. This series explores namesakes of some of the county's communities, buildings, schools, parks, and roads.

Who was John Ruskin?

Ruskin, 1819-1900, was an English art critic, philosopher, and social reformer. He often is considered one of the great minds of the Victorian era. Ruskin was the inspiration for the Ruskin Colleges, a collection of American colleges in the early 20th century that taught vocational skills and enabled students to pay for their studies by working at college-affiliated cooperative businesses.

Why name a community for him?

Dr. George Miller and his wife, Adeline, founded a community in 1908 on the southeast shore of Tampa Bay and named it for their mentor, John Ruskin. The Ruskin Commongood Society, comprised of landowners in the isolated community, collectively owned the outpost's Ruskin College, a general store, and two parks. The Society faded with the advent of World War I, and the Ruskin community became known for agriculture, especially tomatoes.

About the community of Ruskin

Subdivisions, stores, and roads have replaced many of Ruskin's farming fields and agricultural processing/shipping operations. Ruskin is not incorporated and has no formal boundaries, but more than 25,000 people live in the area. Hillsborough County's SouthShore Regional Service Center is in Ruskin, along with a Hillsborough Community College campus, a National Weather Service office, and the SouthShore Regional and Ruskin Branch libraries.

Last Modified: 1/26/2024, 5:17:37 PM

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