This past weekend, we decided to take a short ride into Punta Gorda and go to Fisherman’s Village.  It’s located on the water.  The Village is filled with little shops that are fun to look at.  You can also jump on one of the boats that cruise the water.  Some of the cruises will take you to a little island where you can have lunch.  This time, we did not do that.  I will post information about those cruises another time.

The murrow I posted is on the side of a hotel located on the water

The City of Punta Gorda was incorporated on December 7, 1887.  It is one of the most deeply rooted cities on the West Coast of the State of Florida and the oldest in Charlotte County.  The City grounds were initially owned by Col.Isaac Trabue, a successful lawyer from Kentucky, and by his wife Virginia Taylor. The City, originally known as Trabue City, was surveyed by Kelly B. Harvey. Its first lots were sold during the state exposition of 1885; and soon after that, the first settlers arrived in the company of the Florida Southern Railway.  Within the next few years, a group government. The City of Punta Gorda was born as a thriving settlement on the crossroads of the Florida Southern Railway and the Morgan Steamship Line on Charlotte Harbor –with regular service to Havana, Key West, and New Orleans.

The transportation of cattle, phosphate, and large quantities of fish and seafood became the primary economic source of the City of Punta Gorda. In fact, it was never meant as a fisherman’s village but as a complex intersection of various modes of transportation where boats had always a recreational focus.

In a series of insurance maps, drawn by the Sanborn Insurance Company in 1909, the layout of the city reveals a series of clues about its development history. For instance, the block system shows how the city was meant to be read as a conglomeration of houses on relatively small lots. The plans also represent the hierarchy of the domestic buildings –in terms of materials and configuration, the presence of commercial environments supported by shaded sidewalks with wooden colonnades, and the general order of things. But, most importantly, this sequence of maps allows the normal resident of Punta Gorda understand the morphology of the city structure, the spatial hierarchy of its public spaces, and the significance of specific buildings in the overall context of the city.

One of these buildings was the old Punta Gorda Hotel (aka: Hotel Charlotte Harbor c. 1928) at the corner of Taylor and Marion Avenues. Undoubtedly, a resort hotel was essential to the prosperity of the railway system. In effect, one of the railway real estate development corporations was the entity that actually built the Punta Gorda Hotel. The hotel had a beautiful lawn along the riverfront and, for a long time, it was the largest facility of its kind in south Florida -with room for more than 3,000 on the water. Punta Gorda has quite a history.

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