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Sports in History in Punta Gorda

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Sports in History in Punta Gorda

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Sport has played an important role in the history of Punta Gorda. This exhibit highlights some of the important sporting activities through the history of the City.

Sport has played an important role in the history of Punta Gorda. This exhibit highlights some of the important sporting activities through the history of the City.


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Sports in History in Punta Gorda

  1. 1. SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Influence on Early Punta Gorda Development Presentation by the Punta Gorda History Center Theresa Murtha, Managing Director
  2. 2. What thelandhereprobablylooked likein1880
  3. 3. Property Ownership under the United States • 1821 US acquires Florida from Spain – largely uninhabited except for Seminoles, escaped negro slaves, some Spanish, British • 1821 – Spanish Land Grants – ownership claims from those who had settled in lands prior to US acquisition • By 1840s – about 54,000 people in all of Florida … still sparse population in southwest Florida • 1860s – Florida Homesteaders come (1862 Act - 160 acres at $1.25/acre)– especially after Civil War – First recorded U.S. settlers in Southwest Florida
  4. 4. Florida’s Natural Resources ------ Land 1844 – prior to statehood
  5. 5. So how to get people to come? • For Investment • For Better Opportunity in Life • For Weather – Health • For Recreation – Relaxation
  6. 6. Early Promoter – Charlotte Harbor Area John Barthoff Wrote with F.C.M. Boggess: “South Florida, the Italy of America”
  7. 7. “Beginning with January, the weather gradually gets warmer… never gets hot in the summer… heat tempered by cooling breezes of Gulf of Mexico….” “Tropical fruits will grow on Charlotte Harbor… fine pineapples raised here” “Perpetration of crimes of a serious nature very rare” “The settler revels in a wealth of “good things” ‘We never have the cyclones and tornadoes common in other setions and discomfort from snow and ice is unknown, our section is free from all contagious diseases, such as yellow fever and smallpox…” Barthoff on Charlotte Harbor Area:
  8. 8. Isaac’s Trabue
  9. 9. Trabue starts chess tournament in 1885 to lure buyers to his new town.
  10. 10. August 1, 1886 The Florida Southern Railway began operating to Trabue
  11. 11. The Hotel Punta Gorda Built in 1886 – converted to Hotel Charlotte Harbor in 1920s
  12. 12. Boating – Yachting and More
  13. 13. Delightful water excursions, good shooting, best tarpon and salt water fishing in the United States
  14. 14. Charles Dean and the Aroostook
  15. 15. Yachting attracted wealth and investors – Perry McAdow was one
  16. 16. Perry McAdow and the Roamer
  17. 17. Skulling on Charlotte Harbor in 1888
  18. 18. Caldwell Colt and the Oriole
  19. 19. Excursions to the Islands on Connelly Launch
  20. 20. Steam Boat
  21. 21. Sports Fishing/Hunting
  22. 22. Newspapers across the county touted the fishing in Charlotte Harbor --- especially tarpon as early as 1887
  23. 23. Monster Fish
  24. 24. Roosevelt comes to Punta Gorda to Capture the Devil Fish
  25. 25. The Eagles Nest (Now Punta Gorda Elks Lodge)
  26. 26. Sportsman’s Paradise
  27. 27. Pickering Lodge 1940s-50s
  28. 28. Other Recreational Sports
  29. 29. Barron Collier Governor Carlton
  30. 30. Hotel Charlotte Harbor – Resort draws the famous and other tourists through sports fishing, and leisure sports “The Charlotte Harbor” is a Sportsman’s Resort” the ads for it proclaimed.
  31. 31. Bill Tilden at Hotel Charlotte Harbor 1931
  32. 32. Patty Berg nationally-known figure in 1936. She won the Women’s Invitation at Charlotte Harbor. Golf Club.
  33. 33. Orioles coaxed to Punta Gorda for Spring Training in 1926
  34. 34. Early Punta Gorda Isles Promotions Tout Sports Activities
  35. 35. Boating and Fishing continue to be the draw to the Charlotte Harbor areaNew Sunseekers Resort

Editor's Notes

  • The first train rolled into Trabue in July 1886 with 200 laborers on board to begin work on the big Punta Gorda Hotel.

    In August, 1886 the railway began regular service to Trabue with steamer service to Fort Myers.

    This event was reported in newspapers of many cities including London, Boston and New York.