Lauren Dodson Posing in her Mermaid Uniform at the Weeki Wachee Springs Docks


Dublin Core


Lauren Dodson Posing in her Mermaid Uniform at the Weeki Wachee Springs Docks

Alternative Title

Photograph of Weeki Wachee Mermaid Lauren Dodson Posing on a Dock in Costume, 2007.


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


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 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.




Weeki Wachee Spring State Park


Original color photogrpah of Lauren Dodson, 2007: Private collection of Lydia Dodson.


Date Created

ca. 2007

Date Copyrighted

ca. 2007

Is Format Of

Digital Reproduction of photograph: Lydia Dodson, 2007. Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




3.69 MB


Color Photograph


Still Image


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher


Originally created by Weeki Wachee Springs, owned by Lydia Dodson, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Lydia Dodson 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 Lydia Dodson

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.


Weeki Wachee Spring State Park, “Lauren Dodson Posing in her Mermaid Uniform at the Weeki Wachee Springs Docks,” RICHES, accessed May 19, 2024,