Newspaper Article Announcing the Employment of Rebecca Young as a Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid



Dublin Core


Newspaper Article Announcing the Employment of Rebecca Young as a Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid

Alternative Title

Marshalltown Times-Republican Article Announcing Rebecca Young's (then Stahlhut) Employment as a Weeki Wachee Mermaid


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


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 High School has been accepted to swim as a mermaid in the world famous Spring of Live Mermaids at Weeki Wachi [sic], Fla. She was a member of the MHS girls swim team, synchronized swim group, intructor and life guard at the YMCA and on the Y swim team. Becky is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Stalhhut of St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of Marshalltown."

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.


Newspaper article


Marshalltown Times-Republican


Original Newspaper Article: "Miss Stahlhut To be 'Mermaid'", Marshalltown Times-Republican article, February 22,1973: Private Collection of Becky Young.


Marshalltown Times-Republican

Date Created


Date Copyrighted


Is Format Of

Digital Reproduction of original ticket: Becky Young, 1973. Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




21.1 MB


Newspaper article cut out and taped together.




Still Image


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher


Originally created by Marshalltown Times-Republican, owned by Rebecca Young, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the Marshalltown Times-Republican 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

Private Collection of Becky Young.

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.


Marshalltown Times-Republican. “Newspaper Article Announcing the Employment of Rebecca Young as a Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid.” RICHES of Central Florida accessed December 8, 2023,



Transcribe This Item

  1. FOWWSSP004.jpg