Geanie L.W. Brooks in Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Uniform Operating a Caterpillar D-7 Bulldozer


Dublin Core


Geanie L.W. Brooks in Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Uniform Operating a Caterpillar D-7 Bulldozer

Alternative Title

Photograph: Geanie L.W. Brooks in Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Uniform Operating a Caterpillar D-7 Bulldozer, c.1950s


Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
Photograph albums--1960-1970
tourism & museum
Mermaids--Florida--Weeki Wachee--History
Theater--20th century
Burial--United States--History
Native American art and culture
Archeological investigations
University of Florida


Geanie L. W. Brooks in her Weeki Wachee uniform (a swimsuit) operating a Caterpillar D-7 bulldozer. Geanie learned how to operate heavy machinery at the McCloskey Shipyard during World War II. In the 1950s, Geanie worked as a waitress at the Patio Restuarant at Weeki Wachee Springs and later became a mermaid. She left this position in 1957. After Weeki Wachee, Geanie drove bulldozers, repaired bulldozer tracks, and drove a dump trunk. Even later she worked as a bookkeeper, real estate agent, bowling instructor, and department store manager. Her last job was at Home Depot, she left the workforce upon turning eighty-years-old.

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.


Black and white photograph of Geanie L. W. Brooks Operating a Bullldozer


Original Black and white photograph of Geanie Brooks on a bulldozer, c. 1950s: Private Collection of Shirley Herdge.


Date Created

ca. 1950-1960

Date Copyrighted

ca. 1950-1960

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original photograph: c. 1950s. Scanned by RICHES team. RICHES Program, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




25 MB


B&W Photograph


Still Image


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanitites Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher
Theater Teacher


Original owned by Shirley Herdge, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Shirley Herdge 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 Shirley Herdge.

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.


“Geanie L.W. Brooks in Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Uniform Operating a Caterpillar D-7 Bulldozer,” RICHES, accessed July 19, 2024,