Weeki Wachee Mermaid Bonnie Georgiadis in the lobby of the Mermaid Motel Speaking to Guests

Dublin Core

Title

Weeki Wachee Mermaid Bonnie Georgiadis in the lobby of the Mermaid Motel Speaking to Guests

Alternative Title

Photograph of Weeki Wachee Mermaid Bonnie Georgiadis in the Mermaid Motel lobby, c. 1950s-60s

Subject

Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
Tourism--Florida
tourism & museum
Tourism--1960-1980
Ballet--1970-1980
Mermaids--Florida--Weeki Wachee--History
Theater--20th century

Description

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 Mermaid Motel was directly across the street from Weeki Wachee Springs and operated from 1951 - 1966, when the motel changed hands to Holiday Inn.

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.

Abstract

Black and white photograph

Creator

Mermaid Motel

Source

Original black and white photograph of Bonnie Georgiadis in the Mermaid Motel, c. 1950s-60s: Collection of Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Publisher

Date Created

ca. 1950-1960

Date Copyrighted

ca. 1950-1960

Is Format Of

Digital Reproduction of photograph: Bonnie Georgiadis in the Mermaid Motel, c. 1950s-60s.  Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of

Format

image/jpeg

Extent

45.2 MB

Medium

B&W Photograph

Language

eng

Type

Still Image

Coverage

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Mermaid Motel, owned by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Weeki Wachee Springs State Park 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

Curator

Schwandt, Rebecca

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Collection of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

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.

Locations

Categories

Transcribe This Item

  1. FOWWSSP020.jpg