Giants Camp Cabin #4 Moves to Camp
Bayou, Ruskin Florida,video by Fred
Big Plans for
a Giant's Cabins
- Motorists driving along U.S 41 and State Road 674 were likely
surprised to see two very old cabins moving along the highway Aug.
25. But anyone who's been in the area very long probably
They were fishing
cabins built in the 1930s by Al "The Giant" Tomaini at the
once-thriving Giant's Fish Camp on U.S. 41 at
Alafia River Bridge. Tomaini, who was more than 8 feet tall, and
his wife, Jeanie, who was 21/2 feet tall, were members of
Gibsonton's carnival community.
"My understanding is
that when the Giant and
his wife came off the
circuit, they built one cabin a year for five years," said Sandy
Council, vice president of the Ruskin Community Development
Foundation. "We learned the cabins were going to be demolished if
not moved, so the foundation purchased two of the five for Camp
Bayou," which the foundation supports.
with Mosaic Fertilizer, owner of the Giant's Camp site, to buy the
cabins for $5 each, and Dolly Cummings, manager of the Camp Bayou,
sought approval from Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and
Conservation Department to place them at the preserve.
"We plan to refurbish
both cabins and use one as a fishing museum," Cummings said. "The
other will be restored to what it looked like when it was actually
used, to preserve its history."
Fred Jacobsen said the cabins are located at an oxbow in the
Little Manatee River near the old RV campground sites at Camp
"Doesn't it look like
they've been here forever?" he said. "We've created a space for a
whole new set of activities at Camp Bayou."
The Ruskin foundation
hired Miller Transport to move the historical cabins from
Gibsonton to Ruskin and paid for the transfer with money from a
Gulfstream Natural Gas System grant. The remainder of the grant
will cover the costs of materials and professional services needed
for their restoration and maintenance.
"We'll be relying on
volunteers, though, for much of the work," Council said.
The 3.1-acre site
where Giant's Fish Camp used to be is adjacent to Mosaic's Coastal
Education Center. After purchasing the property in 2008, Mosaic
worked with the Concerned Citizens of Gibsonton to plan a memorial
at the site.
"We're taking our time
to get it right," said Christine Smith, Mosaic public affairs
manager. "One cabin is being preserved so walkers passing by and
motorists will be able to see it. It's important to preserve the
history of the site."