Marker text: ORANGE GROVE HOTEL
Erected in 1859, as a residence, by Capt. William Brinton Hooker, on the northwest corner of Madison and East Streets. A Georgia native, he moved to Florida in 1830 and signed its first Constitution in 1839. In 1843 Hooker settled in Hillsborough County and became Florida's pre-Civil War "Cattle King," owning over 10,000 head. He also commanded volunteer troops during the Seminole Indians Wars. Hooker's Point was named for him. During the Civil War, his house was used as Confederate officers' headquarters. In 1866, Hooker converted the three-story, 33-room wood frame structure into the Orange Grove Hotel, so named because of the orange trees planted on the property. From 1869 it was operated by his son-in-law, Judge Henry L. Crane. The hotel was Tampa's social center and entertained such figures as Gov. Henry L. Mitchell, Sidney Lanier, Thomas A. Edison, Gen. Wm. T. Sherman and Henry B. Plant. It boasted telephone service in 1882. Sold by Hooker's heirs in 1885, the building was later used as a hotel, railroad office, rooming house and finally as freight traffic depot for the Seaboard Railroad before its demolition in 1945.
Erected by The Tampa Historical Society in Cooperation with Kyle S. Vanlandingham, a Great-Great-Great Grandson of Hooker, 1992.