Letter from Charles P. Kimball to John M. May (June 7, 1957)

WWCS147.JPG

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Charles P. Kimball to John M. May (June 7, 1957)

Alternative Title

Letter from Kimball to May (June 7, 1957)

Subject

Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.)
Tourism--Florida
Springs--Florida
Parks--Florida
Entomology

Description

A letter from entomologist Charles P. Kimball to the owner of the May Museum of the Tropics, John M. May, dated June 7, 1957. In the letter, Kimball details an insect trap design that utilizes thin plastic instead of glass, to allow more sunlight into the trap, and to better prevent the insects escaping. As Kimball was an entomologist like May, the letter also expresses that May's father's collection was being taken care of.

The May Natural History Museum of the Tropics is a non-profit organization that displays the world’s largest private insect collection. James May acquired the thousands of insects and arthropods that make up the collection from the late 1800s until his death in 1956. John May continued his father’s legacy, building a museum in Weeki Wachee, Florida, that lasted from 1954-1964, and a museum in Colorado that opened in the 1950s and is still open today. John May also took parts of the collection across the United States and Canada to display at fairs and exhibitions.

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.

Creator

Kimball, Charles P.

Source

Original 1-page typed letter from Charles P. Kimball to John M. May, June 7, 1957: May Natural History Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Publisher

Date Created

1957-06-07

Is Part Of

Weeki Wachee Collection, Hernando County Collection, RICHES.

Format

image/jpg

Extent

3.24 MB

Medium

1-page typed letter

Language

eng

Type

Text

Coverage

May Museum of the Tropics, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Weeki Wachee, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher
Humanities Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Charles P. Kimball and published by RICHES.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by May Natural History Museum 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
Rebecca Schwandt's Thesis Project

Curator

O'Neil, Rhiannon

Digital Collection

Source Repository

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. Accessed November 9, 2018. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1504171?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
Georgiadis, Bonnie and Lu Vickers. Weeki Wachee mermaids: thirty years of underwater photography. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.
Mermaid Tails: Florida's Tourist Springs. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006.
Pelland, Maryan. Weeki Wachee Springs. Arcadia Publishing Inc, 2006. .
Revels, Tracy J. Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.
Vickers, Lu, and Sara Dionne. Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

Citation

Kimball, Charles P., “Letter from Charles P. Kimball to John M. May (June 7, 1957),” RICHES, accessed July 19, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/11253.

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