Riverview is an unincorporated census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is located near Brandon. The population was 71,050 at the 2010 census.
Many of Tampa Bay’s radio and television stations broadcast from an antenna farm in the Riverview area, on Boyette Road, southeast of town. Riverview is home to Bell Creek Nature Preserve.
Riverview was founded in 1885 on the Alafia River’s north shore. However, in the 1830s settlers arrived on the south side of the river formerly known as Peru (pronounced Pe-Roo) because Peru was an Indian name for straight part of the river. Peru existed for nearly 100 years, it was one of the oldest settlements in central Florida; according to the Sunland Tribune: Journal of the Tampa Historical Society, November 1992. It wasn’t until the 1940s that Riverview absorbed Peru, and now claims the south side of the Alafia river. The Peruvian Mining Company, which mined phosphate from the Alafia took its name from the settlement of Peru. The term Alafia is translated as “River of Fire” due to the phosphorus on the early river bottom glowing at night. The area’s first school was built in 1893, inside the Peru Baptist Church.
The area called Riverview began to be populated on the north side of the river. The two communities were connected by a river ferry. Soon after a bridge was constructed from sections of a bridge that once spanned the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. The Post Office periodically was moved from the Riverview side to the Peru side of the river and back, causing much tension. The Riverview name eventually came into usage in the early 1940s by the post office to relieve just such confusion with the mail. Peru has disappeared from all but the earliest maps, much to pioneer families’ dismay. Some of Peru’s or Riverview’s settlers include the Barnes, Bourgees, Boyettes, Buzbees, Hackneys, Hartleys, Mansfields, Moodys, Scotts, Topes, Thompsons, Whitts, and the Yeomans. The area founded by the Boyette family is now Boyette, Florida. The very first commercial poultry farm in Florida was established by Emmet Tope in Riverview in 1921.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 24.4 km² (9.4 mi²), of which 23.7 km² (9.1 mi²) is land and 0.8 km² (0.3 mi²) (3.08%) is water. Riverview is a suburb south of Tampa, east of Gibsonton, Florida and north of Ruskin.
As of 2000, prior to the population’s explosion and diversity of 2010 and the CDP’s boundaries greatly expanded, English spoken as a first language accounted for 92.37% of all residents, while 7.62% spoke other languages as their mother tongue. The most significant were Spanish speakers who made up 6.89% of the population, while French and Italian tied in third, at 0.27%, and lastly, German with 0.17% of the population.
If you get a chance to visit Florida, be sure to take some time to explore and enjoy Riverview.