Webb’s City St Petersburg FL The Most Popular Tourist Destination!0

Webb’s City in St Petersburg Florida was once the largest tourist destination back in the 50s when I was growing up. Webb’s served 60,000 people each day. This was long before Walt Disney secretly started buying land in Central Florida, and before the Interstate Highway System came to Florida. I remember coming home from Wildwood FL after visiting family. On US-301 alone there were many big signs saying, See Webb’s City the World’s Most Unusual Drugstore. Yes, and they came and made little St Petersburg world-famous! That’s how a medicine man from Tennessee built his empire using 10 City Blocks. and at its peak, Webb reportedly did sales of $100M monthly. I wished y’all could have seen my old playgrounds!

Webb's City
In the old days where I grew up was James Earl Webb who founded Web’s City which spanned 10 city blocks

I was fascinated by Webb’s City. It was founded by James Earl “Doc: Webb, ↱” and what a place it was. Talking mermaids, and dancing chickens, There were 29 barbers’ haircuts were 29 cents with a free double header ice cream cone Mom, I need a haircut 😎 Doc sold dollar bills for 89 cents. Webb had girls in bathtubs demonstrating his bubble bath.

webbs city st petersburg
Webb’s City Eye in the Sky – 1958 | Webb City Inc, St Petersburg florida

Unfortalny in the 70s the Interstate was here, and Disney World was opening. Tourists no longer have to drive two-lane country roads. And Walt Disney was advertising on the Interstate to come to visit Disney World. Webb’s empire started crumbling and he sold out just in time. The new owner went bankrupt a few years later. Webb retired living large In his waterfront condo and enjoying his golden years. And, the city of St Petersburg demolished Webb’s main building. If you were to drive by the area today you’ll never know the history behind that now empty plot of land in the gas-plant area of town.

I Remember Doc’s gasoline selling for 19.9 cents a gallon, drawing a line around the block. He had to hire guards to keep his customers from blocking other businesses. He had parking space spotters in crow’s nests, and parking attendants on the ground directing traffic to an available space. It was a sight to see and experience!

Webb's City Gasoline 10.0 Gallon
Webb’s City Gasoline 10.0. This lady ran out waiting int the gas war’s line. Image credit, St Pete Times


Other merchants in St. Petersburg were curious why Doc Webb undercut their prices week after week. It was later spread through the grapevine that Webb had stooges working for St. Petersburg Times our local newspaper as his agents. They were calling him saying, McCrory was selling toilet paper for 29 cents. Webb would say, make mine 26 cents. I can’t remember if this was ever confirmed to be true or not. But as the saying goes, it’s all About The Benjamins Baby! 😎

Check out this video from Stingray Tom ↱ which has everything you’d want to know about Doc Webb and St Petersburg’s Webb’s City. Nicely laid out with old photos and postcards, so many memories from my childhood, and narrated by Stingray Tom.

This video of my old birth home was taken in July 2023. The last time I drove by it was a mess. The front door was torn off and junk was strewn about, it was sad to see it falling into disrepair like the rest of the Uptown Neighborhood. This was in the late 2000s. But today it is looking so great, Mom & Dad would be proud! 🙂

While i was near Downtown St Petersburg Florida I decided to tour my birth home on 5th street north. Wow the old uptown neighborhood was really cleaned up and my parents old home looked like new!

Also while your here is an interview I did with St Petes colorful John 316 ‘Soup Soap and Hope” Cook. Cook was a Street Evangelist preaching the gospel and helping St. Pete’s many homeless and down and out people. Cook was a good man but his empire of old red white and blue fl.op houses soon came crashing down

I'm an original Floridian and hobbyist Internet webmaster who specializes in SEO and WordPress while hanging out in cyberspace keeping up with tech. I am healthy and still going strong at 72, and are a non smoker/drinker/substance user, living a healthy lifestyle. looking for a good hearted lady friend/lover near my age who wants to enjoy her golden years with good looking southern boy. Is that you? Say hello 52FLC.ORG❤️