Three Weeki Wachee Mermaids Performing on the Hydraulic Lift


Dublin Core


Three Weeki Wachee Mermaids Performing on the Hydraulic Lift

Alternative Title

Color Photograph: Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids Performing on Hydraulic Lift August 1971


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


A Weeki Wachee Springs underwater performance. The image shows two Weeki Wachee mermaids standing on the hydraulic lift that ABC installed in the springs in the 1960s. There is a third mermaid mid-pose in front of the bydraulic lift. As the picture was taken in August 1971 and there is a treasure chest prop in the left corner, the show is presumed to be "Peter Pan." After ABC took over Weeki Wachee Springs, the performances changed annually.

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.


Color photograph of Mermaids and Hydraulic Lift in Weeki Wachee Springs


Weeki Wachee Spring State Park


Original color photograph of Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids and Hydraulic Lift, August 1971: Private Collection of karen Geiken.


Date Created


Date Copyrighted


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original photograph: August 1971. Scanned by RICHES team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of




654 KB


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 Karen Geiken, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Karen Geiken 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 Karen Geiken.

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, “Three Weeki Wachee Mermaids Performing on the Hydraulic Lift,” RICHES, accessed July 18, 2024,