Letter from Myrtle Colson to John M. May (February 25, 1959)

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Myrtle Colson to John M. May (February 25, 1959)

Alternative Title

Letter from Colson to May (February 25, 1959)

Subject

Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
Tourism--Florida
Springs--Florida
Parks--Florida
Entomology

Description

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 a comptroller visited the museum, inquiring about the museum's accounting books and records of business.

The May Natural History Museum of the Tropics is a non-profit organization that displays the world’s largest private insect collection. James May acquired the thousands of insects and arthropods that make up the collection from the late 1800s until his death in 1956. John May continued his father’s legacy, building a museum in Weeki Wachee, Florida, that lasted from 1954-1964, and a museum in Colorado that opened in the 1950s and is still open today. John May also took parts of the collection across the United States and Canada to display at fairs and exhibitions.

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.

Creator

Colson, Myrtle

Source

Original 2-page typewritten letter from Myrtle Colson to John M. May, February 25, 1959: May Natural History Museum Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Publisher

Date Created

1959-02-25

Has Format

Digital reproduction of original 2-page typewritten letter from Myrtle Colson to John M. May, February 25, 1959.

Is Part Of

Weeki Wachee Collection, Hernando County Collection, RICHES.

Format

application/pdf

Extent

7.70 MB

Medium

2-page typewritten letter

Language

eng

Type

Text

Coverage

May Museum of the Tropics, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Weeki Wachee, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Myrtle Colson and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by May Natural History Museum and is provided here by RICHES for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Rebecca Schwandt's Thesis Project

Curator

Schwandt, Rebecca

Digital Collection

Source Repository

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. Accessed November 9, 2018. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1504171?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
Georgiadis, Bonnie and Lu Vickers. Weeki Wachee mermaids: thirty years of underwater photography. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.
Hollis, Tim. Glass Bottom Boats &
Mermaid Tails: Florida's Tourist Springs. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006.
Pelland, Maryan. Weeki Wachee Springs. Arcadia Publishing Inc, 2006. .
Revels, Tracy J. Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.
Vickers, Lu, and Sara Dionne. Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

Locations

Categories