The theme for this mural was taken from historic photos. The mural shows three school teachers rowing across the river to their school house in Charlotte Harbor which is now the site of the School House Square Shopping Center. The local mail boat is shown with the historic Punta Gorda Hotel in the background.
This mural was originally proposed by Todd Craig and Ronnie Winters who lived across the street from where the mural was originally located. The view from their home was of a large blank wall. They and many local friends, especially those who hung out at the late Sneaker’s Roadside Cafe at Cross Trail Shopping Center, collected funds to make the mural a reality.
Original Mural: Local artist Peter Carey started this mural on February 15, 1997 and it was dedicated on April 8, 1997 and located at 212 W. Virginia Avenue. Incidentally, Todd and Ron never got the chance to view the mural from their house. They sold their home and moved to another house a couple of blocks away before the mural was complete. The original mural was painted over by the new owner of the building when the building was sold in October 2008.
Recreation: The mural was recreated by the original artist, Peter Carey, at Fisherman’s Village. The mural was re-dedicated on March 26, 2009.
Many comments have been made about the so-called “ugly” faces of the women in the rowboat. The early frontier days of Punta Gorda were harsh on everyone, especially the women folk.