The Clearwater area was originally inhabited by the Tocobagan Indians. Colonists began to settle in the area in the 1830s. Dr. Odet Philippe, a French Count and once a French surgeon in Napoleon’s navy, was one of the first European's to settle here. His plantation was built on the area that is now known as Philippe Park.
Fort Harrison was built in 1841 to support soldiers during the Seminole war. Shortly after the end of the war, the government encouraged occupation of the region through homesteading. Clear Water Harbor, as it was known during this time, was an agricultural and fishing community. The next decades saw slow growth.