Browse Items (40 total)

  • Tags: Florida tourism

WW00017.pdf
Ann Tanzler, wife of Jacksonville Mayor Hans G. Tanzler, putting on a diving mask with the aid of two Weeki Wachee mermaids. An accompanying press release sent out on November 22, 1971, describes the busy life of Ann Tanzler, who, on top of being a…

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A raccoon and caged baboon on the river bank of the Weeki Wachee River. This river was used for Weeki Wachee Spring's Jungle Cruise attraction. This attraction would take guests down the river in a glass bottom boat, where they would observe caged…

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Bonnie Georgiadis assisting an archeological dig of a Native American burial mound at Weeki Wachee Springs in July of 1970. She is using archeological tools to uncover a vase. The dig was conducted by the University of Florida. Along with a group of…

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Bonnie Georgiadis and three other Weeki Wachee mermaids training for future performances by practicing a pose. Bonnie Georgiadis was a mermaid from 1950 to 1968. After retiring from underwater theater, she took on other responsibilities at the park,…

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A team of people guide the placement of a Hercules beetle sculpture in the 1950s. A crane lowers the sculpture in place near the May Museum of the Tropics at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. The large beetle sculpture served as an advertisement to…

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A signed photograph of Eileen Perry Hogshead, the daughter of Newton "Newt" Perry, aged fourteen, as a Weeki Wachee Mermaid. The photograph was taken by Newton Perry around 1950. On the reverse of the photograph is a hand-written caption by…

WW00003.pdf
Six pages of the May Museum of the Tropics employee handbook. The owner of the museum, John May, created the handbook for his employees to follow in the 1960s. The table of contents on the first three pages gives insight to what is included in the…

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The entrance of the May Museum of the Tropics. Faux thatched roof, tiki sculptures, and a list of countries the insects in the collection came from adorn the space, giving it an exotic feel. …

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An exterior photograph of the underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida, around 1950. Newton "Newt" Perry was born in Valdosta, Georgia in 1908, and moved with his family to Ocala, Florida in 1922. He was a member of the swimming…

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Weeki Wachee Springs employee handbook for mermaids, swimmers and trainees. The first four pages detail scheduling rules, dress code and rules of conduct. Some of the rules for mermaids cover what makeup to wear in and out of the water, where to keep…

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A postcard depicting several Weeki Wachee mermaids lounging around the pool of the local Holiday Inn with the words "Greetings From Weeki Wachee, Florida" printed on the front. The back of the postcard features an ad for the Holiday Inn that lists…

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The original interior of the May Museum of the Tropics in the 1950s. In the months following the photograph, several specimen began to droop and wilt in the cases due to humidity. The owner, John May, was forced to hand make new display cases out of…

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John Hamlet, naturalist, placing his hand into a trained boar's mouth as part of an attraction at Weeki Wachee Springs. Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry opened Weeki Wachee Springs to the public in October of 1947. At the time, roadside…

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John May at the foundation of the May Museum of the Tropics at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. The date written on the photograph is November 20th, 1953. …

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A letter dated March 31, 1997, from the director of the Museum of Florida History, Gaye Guita, to Delee Perry. In the letter, printed on Florida Department of State letterhead, Gaye Guita invites Delee Perry to attend the opening reception for an new…

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A letter from the owner of the May Museum of the Tropics, John M. May, to the directors of the St. Petersburg Springs Co., owners of Weeki Wachee Springs, dated January 28, 1957. May discusses his concerns with management and inquires about…

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A letter from John M. May, owner of the May Museum of the Tropics, to John T. Creighten, an employee of the Department of Entomology at the University fo Florida, dated November 20, 1963. replying to Mr. Creighten's interest in the museum and its…

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A letter from John M. May, owner of the May Museum of the Tropics, to the manager of the museum, Myrtle Colson, dated September 27, 1958. May reassures Colson that she is doing fine, expressing remorse for the losing an employee and hope that their…

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A letter from John May to Joe and Martha Seltzer, the management of Weeki Wachee Springs. The letter details May's sadness that Seltzer was resigning. May expresses that he hopes to remain in contact and that Seltzer and his wife can leave their…

WW00010.pdf
A letter from Myrtle Colson, manager of the May Museum of the Tropics, to the owner of the museum, John M. May, dated February 25, 1959. Colson discusses a surprise audit from the owners of Weeki Wachee, The Florida Chain of Theaters. She writes that…

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A letter from Myrtle Colson, manager of the May Museum of the Tropics, to the owner of the museum, John M. May, dated June 1, 1958. Colson tells May about the increasing sales to the museum due to efforts of the new owner of Weeki Wachee Springs, and…

WW00009.pdf
A letter from Myrtle Colson, manager of the May Museum of the Tropics, to the owner of the museum, John M. May, dated March 28, 1956. Myrtle writes that earlier in the day, she allowed an African-American couple to enter the museum, as he had…

WW00004.pdf
A letter from the manager of the the May Museum of the Tropics, Myrtle Colson, to the owner of the museum, John May. The letter details concerns that the manager was having with an employee as well as her complaints about being excluded from certain…

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A letter dated March 26, 1981, from the Acting Chairman of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Val Darling, to Newton "Newt" Perry, informing Perry of his selection to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame for his "immense contributions to the world of…

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A postcard showcasing the lobby of the Mermaid Motel, which was located directly across the street from Weeki Wachee Springs. Two cars are parked under a pavilion next to the building. The back of the postcard features an add that describes the…

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A photograph of a mermaid swimming in front of an underwater filming tank created by Newton "Newt" Perry some time between 1950 and 1970. The photograph may be either from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park or from Newton "Newt" Perry's career as an…

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The Mermaid Villa building at Weeki Wachee Springs. Mermaids used the building to change into their costumes for their underwater performances, shower after their performances, and lounge while on break. Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry…

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A photograph of an underwater filming scene showing Newton "Newt" Perry in a diving helmet at an underwater camera, some time between 1950 and 1970. This photograph may be either from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park or from Newton "Newt" Perry's…

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Orchid Gardens at Weeki Wachee Springs. The hothouse, which allowed visitors to view a variety of orchids, was one of the original attractions to join the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs. …

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Rita King, mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs, holding two juvenile alligators. 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…

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A postcard featuring the dinosaur-shaped Sinclair Gas Station in Weeki Wachee Springs. A handwritten note by Bonita Colson accompanies the postcard, describing a mobile home rental park across the street from the gas station that Weeki Wachee…

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A postcard of Weeki Wachee Springs sometime in the late 1950s. Louise Nan Steer mentions this postcard in her oral history interview because the blonde girl in the pink bathing suit in the center of the postcard is her twin sister, Lynda. The rest of…

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A photograph of a swimming area with bathers in front of a building at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida, around 1950. Newton "Newt" Perry was born in Valdosta, Georgia in 1908, and moved with his family to Ocala, Florida in 1922. He was a…

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A trained raccoon opening a gift from an employee of Weeki Wachee Springs in the 1950s. For several years, Weeki Wachee offered a "covered wagon" ride through the forest as one of the park's attractions. Along the sides of the forest were a variety…

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Photograph of underwater diver in diving suit with a sunken treasure chest, some time between 1950 and1970. The photograph may be either from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park or from Newton "Newt" Perry's career as an underwater filmmaker. Newton…

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A small poster for Weeki Wachee Springs. The background of the poster is black, featuring a cartoon mermaid and three fish. The text reads, "Weeki Wachee Live Mermaids. U.S. 19 and Florida 50." Newton "Newt" Perry was born in Valdosta, Georgia in…

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A Weeki Wachee Springs mermaid posing underwater with a report card. The card includes grades for bathing, ballet, breathing and boys. Weeki Wachee Springs is a state park that opened to the public in October of 1949 by Newton Perry along with a…

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Two mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs walking a young boar on a leash. 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…

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Advertising card for Weekiwachee Spring from around 1950. Newton "Newt" Perry was born in Valdosta, Georgia in 1908, and moved with his family to Ocala, Florida in 1922. He was a member of the swimming and diving teams at the University of Florida.…