Florence McNabb, Charles McNabb, and Their Two Sons, David and Michael, Leaving Church


Dublin Core


Florence McNabb, Charles McNabb, and Their Two Sons, David and Michael, Leaving Church

Alternative Title

Black and White Photograph of Weeki Wachee Mermaid Florence McNabb and Her Family Leaving First Methodist Church, c. 1950s


Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
tourism & museum
Mermaids--Florida--Weeki Wachee--History
Theater--20th century


Black and white photograph of Florence McNabb, husband Charles McNabb, and their two sons, Michael and David, leaving church. Florence is shaking their minister's hand. Florence McNabb was a Weeki Wachee Mermaid in the 1950s. Her husband also worked at Weeki Wachee. They married in 1951. In 1963, the McNabb's car was struck by a drunk driver, killing Florence and Michael and severely injuring Charles and David. Decades later in 2006, someone picking debris out of the Weeki Wachee Springs found an anklet with "Florence" engraved on one side and "Charlie" engraved on the other. Former mermaid and co-worker of Florence McNabb Vicki Smith confirmed that Florence had lost the anklet during a show. Years later, a friend of David McNabb found a large box of Weeki Wachee emphemera and family pictures when he helped to clean out David's home after David passed away. This friend passed the box on to his daughter, who donated the artifacts to Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry opened Weeki Wachee Springs to the public in October of 1947. At the time, roadside attractions were becoming popular stops along Florida roadways. The attraction consisted of an amalgamation of vendors, an orchid garden, a river boat tour, as well as the star attraction: a mermaid show that took place in an underwater theater. Eventually, the May Museum of the Tropics, an "abandoned Seminole village", a show called “Birds of Prey”, and a petting zoo were added. After peaking in the 1950s and 1960s, attendance began to decline as theme parks and highways changed the dynamics of Florida's tourism. The State of Florida took over the attraction as a state park in 2008. Since then, the park has focused on appealing to a modern audience while preserving its history.




Original black and white photograph of Florence McNabb and family, c. 1950s: Collection of Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.


Date Created

ca. 1950-1960

Date Copyrighted

ca. 1950-1960

Is Format Of

Digital Reproduction of photograph: Florence McNabb and Family, c. 1950s. Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




19.6 MB


3 x 5 B&W Photograph




Still Image


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher


Original owned by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and is provided here by RICHES for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Florida Humanities Council Community Grant Program and Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park


Schwandt, Rebecca

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Collection of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

External Reference

Allman, T.D. Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.
Ammidown, Margot. “Edens, Underworlds, and Shrines: Florida’s Small Tourist Attractions.” The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 23, (1998): 238-259.
Georgiadis, Bonnie and Lu Vickers. Weeki Wachee Mermaids. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.
Hollis, Tim. Glass Bottom Boats and Mermaid Tails: Florida’s Tourist Springs. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2006.
Pelland, Dan and Maryan Pelland. Images of America: Weeki Wachee. Mount Pleasant: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
Revels, Tracy J. Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.
Vickers, Lu. Weeki Wachee City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.


“Florence McNabb, Charles McNabb, and Their Two Sons, David and Michael, Leaving Church,” RICHES, accessed July 23, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/11154.