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Tampa Bay, the seat of Hillsborough County, is located on the west coast of Florida. Little is known of the cultures who resided in the area before the Europeans made contact but when Spanish explorers arrived in the 1520s, they found a ring of Tocobaga villages around the northern part of Tampa Bay. Due to infectious disease, the area was depopulated for more than two centuries following European contact, to be resettled in 1823, and incorporated in 1855.


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