The following comment was Posted by: Don Marcos on Sunday, July 20, 2008:
“Dear Bay Blogger, What is the story behind the sailing ship in the City of Tampa emblem (logo)and what is "Mascotte", the name of the ship ? And how do you pronounce it ?”
Great question and something that I really appreciate you asking as it made me learn a little more about Tampa history in the process of discovering the answer. I hope this helps all of you add a little bit more Tampa knowledge to your repertoire of trivia.
The original mosaic seal of the City of Tampa, which hangs in the City Clerk’s office was made in Italy in the 1920’s and presented to the City by Val Antuono, Sr., in behalf of the citizens of Tampa of Italian descent in appreciation of the opportunities offered them.
The seal displays a replica of the 520 ton steam sailing vessel, the “Mascotte,” pronounced Masco’ and named for a popular operetta of her time. The Mascotte, was built in 1885 and first arrived in Tampa Bay, January of 1886 and for thirty-six years continued her run between Tampa and Caribbean ports such as Havana, Cuba. The Mascotte’s uses varied during her time at sea but her most noteworthy expeditions were as a supply, and troop transport ship during the Spanish American War.
The Mascotte’s appearance on the city seal of Tampa was an homage to her owner, Henry B. Plant to show appreciation for all that his railroad and steamship lines had done for the city of Tampa.
However, the ship pictured on the seal is not the Mascotte. The Mascotte was a steam ship and the ship on the seal is of a sailing vessel. We don’t know why the original Mascotte wasn’t used but perhaps a typical sailing ship was more picturesque for use on a city seal.
Hope this helps!