Concord, Massachusetts is a town with many layers. Before the United States was even formed, this heretofore sleepy little town grew to be a hotbed of revolutionary sentiment. Alerted by Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott of the advancing British troops, the local minutemen banded together to confront the soldiers. These stalwart New Englanders actually pushed a contingent of the British Army, the world’s dominant force, back to Boston in retreat. The role Concord played during the American Revolution was a significant one, but even afterwards, this small village was not content to fade away into history.
In 1897 the beautiful Belleview Biltmore Hotel was erected overlooking Old Clearwater Bay by the famous Florida developer, Henry Plant. Mr. Plant’s influence is still felt throughout Florida; Plant City was named to honor him, the onion-domed, riverfront University of Tampa was originally built by Henry Plant as another grand hotel, and Morton Plant Hospital (named for Henry’s son) still provides state of the art healthcare for Florida residents. But of all Henry Plant’s contributions to Florida history, the one that holds a special place in my heart is the Belleview Biltmore.