Weeki Wachee Mermaid Rita King Feeding a Fish Underwater

Dublin Core

Title

Weeki Wachee Mermaid Rita King Feeding a Fish Underwater

Alternative Title

Photograph of Rita King, a Mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs, Feeding a Fish Underwater, c. 1960s

Subject

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

Description

Mermaid Rita King feeding a fish underwater. In one hand she is holding food and the other hand is holding an air hose. She is kneeling on the spring floor. Photograph taken in the 1960s.

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

Weeki Wachee Spring State Park

Source

Black and white photograph of Rita King, c. 1960s: Private collection of Rita King.

Date Created

c. 1960s

Conforms To

Weeki Wachee, Florida

Is Format Of

Digital Reproduction of B&W photograph: Rita King, c. 1960s. Scanned by RICHES Team. RICHES, Orlando, Florida.

Is Part Of

Format

image/jpg

Extent

2.90 MB

Medium

4 x 6 B&W Photograph

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 Weeki Wachee Springs, owned by Rita King, and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Rita King 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

Private Collection of Rita King

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. FOWWSSP038.jpg