Orchid Gardens at Weeki Wachee Springs

Dublin Core

Title

Orchid Gardens at Weeki Wachee Springs

Alternative Title

Weeki Wachee Spring's Orchid Gardens

Subject

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

Description

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.

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

May, John M.

Source

Original black and white photograph by John M. May: May Natural History Museum Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Publisher

Date Created

ca.1954-1964

Date Copyrighted

ca. 1954-1964

Has Format

Digital reproduction of original black and white photograph by John M. May.

Is Part Of

Weeki Wachee Collection, Hernando County Collection, RICHES.

Requires

Format

image/jpg

Extent

2.23 MB

Medium

black and white photograph

Language

eng

Type

Still Image

Coverage

Orchid Gardens, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Weeki Wachee, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by John M. May 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