Browse Items (82 total)

  • Tags: Rebecca Schwandt

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For many years, Weeki Wachee Springs held an annual reunion with their former mermaids. The 1969 reunion schedule gives an overview of the events held throughout these reunions, including a swimming race across the spring, an underwater show…

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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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Three strips of safety film with twelve photographs showing Arlene Brooks in several ballet positions. The photographs are assumed to be taken by Weeki Wachee's resident photographer, Sparky Schumacher. These photos were taken in the 1960s.…

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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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Bicentennial edition of Weeki Wachee Springs' trifold brochure, c. 1976. The mermaid mock playing the flute is Rebecca Young (previously Stahlhut). This photoshoot is the one she is most proud of from her time as a Weeki Wachee Mermaid. The…

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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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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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Weeki Wachee Springs Bird Department Manager Bonnie Georgiadis about to release one of the two bald eagles she helped rehabilitate. She rehabilitated an eagle in 1985. The eagle got caught in some barbed wire and broke its collarbone at a cattle…

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Business card of E. D. Gothberg, owner and operator of Weeki Wachee Motor Lodge and Mermaid Motel. The Weeki Wachee Motor Lodge was located near the attraction and the motel was directly across from Weeki Wachee Springs. Many mermaids lived in the…

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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 courtesy admission ticket to Weeki Wachee Springs, good for one free viewing of an underwater show. The ticket was given to Rebecca Young (then Rebecca Stalhart) on the day of her pre-employment interview and water test, February 20, 1973. Rebecca…

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This document lists the choreography of the acrobatic routine Rita King (then Rita McKenna) performed at one of the Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Reunions. This event was one of the many mermaid reunions that Weeki Wachee Springs hosted, where they…

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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 Newton.…

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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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Photograph of Florence and Charles McNabb holding trophies they won at an amateur skin diving competition at Rainbow Springs. The couple both worked at Weeki Wachee Springs, and would often participate in swimming competitions. In this competition,…

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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…

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Geanie L. W. Brooks in her Weeki Wachee uniform (a swimsuit) operating a Caterpillar D-7 bulldozer. Geanie learned how to operate heavy machinery at the McCloskey Shipyard during World War II. In the 1950s, Geanie worked as a waitress at the Patio…

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Weeki Wachee Mermaid Geanie L. W. Brooks and her four children, 2 sons and 2 daughters, sitting under a Weeki Wachee Sign outside of the Mermaid Villa. Geanie learned how to weld andoperate heavy machinery at the McCloskey Shipyard during World War…

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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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Hand-written note from mermaid manager Genie Young to Pat, requesting Becky Young's addmitance into Weeki Wachee Springs. The note reads, " Pat, Please admit Becky- She is a try-out and hopefully trainee." Becky was interviewing to become a mermaid.…

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The staff of the Weeki Wachee Holiday Inn standing in front of the hotel's iconic sign. The marquee on the sign reads, "Our 9th Anniversary June 5 1975." This Holiday Inn was located directly across the street from Weeki Wachee Springs and opened in…

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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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Weeki Wachee Springs mermaid Lauren Dodson in costume with a mermaid tail on posing on the dock of the spring. Lauren Dodson was a mermaid from 2007 to 2012 and is the daughter of Lydia Dodson, who was a Weeki Wachee mermaid in the 1970s. Along with…

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Letter written by Dorothy Gray, Ltd. Publicity Director Maureen Logan to Weeki Wachee Mermaid Rebecca Stahlhut (later Rebecca Young). The letter was written on April 24, 1975. In the letter Maureen thanks Rebecca for modeling Dorothy Gray products,…

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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…

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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 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…

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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 March 28, 1956. Myrtle writes that earlier in the day, she allowed an African-American couple to enter the museum, as he had…

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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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This map is a part of a booklet about Weeki Wachee Springs. The booklet was made sometime after the corporation American Broadcasting Company (ABC) purchased the park. The map also shows the underwater theater, labeled D, as having a flat roof. This…

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Mermaid Geanie L. W. Brooks dressed as a witch posing underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs. In the background is a sign in the shape of a jack-o-lantern in a tophat. On the tophat are the words "Weekii Wachee Witches." Geanie learned how to weld…

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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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Mermaid Trainer Bonnie Georgiadis training six mermaids on proper form of a position for a publicity photo. Bonnie Georgiadis worked at Weeki Wachee for a total of 37 years. 13 years as a mermaid and trainer, 7 as a show producer and choreographer,…

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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 three-page document given to mermaid Geanie Brooks detailing updated pay rates for Weeki Wachee Mermaids, effective August 1, 1956. The document expresses that the pay increase was made in order to attract better performers and better retain…

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A newspaper article published on February 22, 1973, in the Marshalltown Times-Republican announcing Rebecca Young's (then Rebecca Stalhhut) employment as a Weeki Wachee Mermaid. The article reads, "Becky Stahlhut, a mid-term graduate of Marshalltown…

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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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A typed note on card stock the size of a business card sent to Rebecca Young from Weeki Wachee Springs, requesting her to come by for an interview. Text reads, "Rebecca: Come up as soon as you can for water test and pre-employment interview." The…

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An oral history interview of Bettye Jean Aulin Reagan, conducted by Rebecca Schwandt on April 2, 2015. Born January 27, 1934, Reagan is the granddaughter of Andrew Aulin, Sr. (1843-1918), who is credited with naming Oviedo, Florida. In this oral…

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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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Color postcard of Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Bonnie Georgiadis in a costume, mid-ballet move during an underwater performance. Text on back of postcard reads, "The underwater acrobatic butterfly ballet is just one of eight big scenes produced for…

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"Weeki Wachee Calling" is a 4-page pictoral report of the 9th annual Weeki Wachee Spring's Mermaid Reunion. The first page is written as if it is a telegram and thanks guests for attending as well as informing them of the next reunion in 1970. Over…

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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 typed stock letter sent to Becky Young in 1972 alongside an application for a position as a mermaid. The letter is typed on Weeki Wachee letterhead, which has an image of two performers in a pose underwater as the background. Signed by the Mermaid…

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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 Weeki Wachee Springs underwater performance. The image shows two Weeki Wachee mermaids standing on the hydraulic lift that ABC installed in the springs in the 1960s. There is a third mermaid mid-pose in front of the bydraulic lift. As the picture…

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Postcard depicting three Weeki Wachee Mermaids performing in a show. Two of the mermaids are dressed up in leis and hula skirts and the other is wearing a Hawaiian shirt playing a ukelele. Mermaids are standing on a metal platform that is a hydraulic…

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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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Kodak Safety Film Strip consisting of two images. These images show two Weeki Wachee mermaids performing a scene from "Peter Pan." One mermaid is in a Captain Hook costume and the other is in an alligator costume. A prop pirate ship is pictured…

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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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Photograph of the Volkswagen van that Weeki Wachee used to bus employees to the springs. The van is parked in from of the Weeki Wachee entrance sign.Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry opened Weeki Wachee Springs to the public in October of…

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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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Mermaid Bonnier Georgiadis sitting on the edge of the underwater theater's windows holding a microphone, announcing a show. Two mermaids are pictured behind her in mid pose. Bonnie Georgiadis worked at Weeki Wachee for a total of 37 years. 13 years…

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Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Bonnie Georgiadis in uniform (wearing an Alix of Miami Swimsuit) speaking to guests in the lobby of the Mermaid Motel. Behind Bonnie are rows of guest books, one for each state for visitors to the motel to sign into. The…

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Weeki Wachee Mermaid Florence McNabb drinking an RC Cola underwater in the 1960s. Florence is kneeling on some seagrass, holding the airhose to her side. Weeki Wachee mermaids drank soda and ate bananas during their shows, before the mermaid shows…

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Photograph of Florence McNabb posing underwater in a mermaid costume at Weeki Wachee Springs in the 1950s. Florence was the daughter of Ed and Vera Gothberg, who owned the Mermaid Motel that was across the street from Weeki Wachee Springs until 1966.…

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Mermaid Rita King feeding a fish underwater. In one hand she is holding food and the other hand is holding an air hose. She is kneeling on the spring floor. Photograph taken in the 1960s. Along with a group of investors, Newton Perry opened Weeki…

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Photograph of Rita King, a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs, dancing on a platform as a band plays. This event was one of the many mermaid reunions that Weeki Wachee Springs hosted, where they invited former mermaids to attend special events. This…

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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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Color postcard of Weeki Wachee Springs mermaids sitting in front of a Hercules Beetle Statue and the May Museum of the Tropics. For a little over a decade, the May family of Colorado displayed some of their family's private collection of tropical…

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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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Black and white photograph of a portion of Weeki Wachee's gift shop, taken in the 1960s. 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…

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Performance evaluation of Geanie Brooks. The text reads: "Geanie 1. Dive 2. Introduction – Not long enough 3. Length of time replacing face mask 4. Back Dolphin – Not centered 5. Surface to Limb – check mark 6. Swim to buoyancy position –…

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Color postcard with an image of Weeki Wachee Springs mermaids posing on top of the newly constructed underwater theater. Text on the back reads, "Weeki Wachee, Florida's underwater grand canyon presents a new million dollar underwater aqua-theatre…

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Weeki Wachee's original underwater theater. Photogrpah taken in 1959.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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Color photograph of a tourist visiting Weeki Wachee Springs in 1964. The tourist is standing beside a sign that reads, "Openings for Mermaid Training School Apply Here." Weeki Wachee Springs is a state park that opened to the public in October of…

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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.…