When in the early 1900s the St. Petersburg and Gulf Electric Railway Company planed their streetcar line to connect with the Gulf beaches, they first had to determine a termination point where boats could meet the trolleys to carry passengers across Boca Ciega Bay. A party led by Walter Williams, after whose family the Gulfport pier is named, set out to survey the coastline. They found the most suitable location to be a site just west of the small settlement of Disston City, as Gulfport was then known. Due north of that point, the car line would make a sharp right turn back to St. Petersburg, which became this curve. The tracks were laid along a route of sand and streamlets, almost impassible thickets of scrub palmetto, and low-lying wet ground with many wild inhabitants. Rattlesnakes were a particular danger. The area was infested with them as late as the 1940s, when the Gulfport Fire Department periodically burned off large tracts of land to destroy the nests proliferating so close to Gulfport Elementary School.