Newsletter | October 2019


Want a Small Taste of our Local History?Roosevelt and Tarpon on dock
Join Us for the First in Our
1-Hour Local History Series
“Tails from the Harbor: History of our Fishing Industry (by the Numbers)”
Wednesday, October 16th
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda

Then Get the Full Story

Sign Up for These 2 Popular History Classes
Only 9 spots left for October
Join us as we present the history of the area as told through the murals throughout our beautiful City.  Visit all 30 murals from the comfort of your Air Conditioned seat while we present 450+ years of history using the murals as a guide.  Hear about the Mural Society and get a sneak peek of upcoming projects.
Presented in 2 Parts:
Tuesday, October 22 – 10am – Noon:
Part 1 – “The Early Years”
– from pre-Spanish Exploration to pre-WWI
Thursday, October 24 – 10am – Noon:
Part 2 –
“Post World War I” – continuing the story of our local history from WWI to modern day
Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (PGICA)
2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda
Cost:  $18/Class  or  $30 for both Classes
Class Size is limited ~ Register at PGICA Office or call 941-637-1655
More Classes are available in January, February & March
Check the schedule at CLASSES

25 Years of PAINTING THE TOWN Celebration

Preparations continue for our January celebration of our BIG Anniversary. As mentioned last month, we will be publishing a 25th Anniversary Book to be launched in February. We are also partnering with the Visual Arts Center (VAC) on a joint fundraiser that you will not want to miss:
Our “25 Years of PAINTING THE TOWN Gala”
During the month of January, over 40 original framed artists’ renderings of the murals (dating back to the very first one painted in 1995) will be shown in the Goff Gallery at the VAC for a silent auction. Bids can be placed throughout the month.
The silent auction will end at the Gala reception on January 30th. Tickets are limited so purchase them early and join us for a fun night of food, drink, and some living history. A cash bar will be available. This will be your chance to purchase an original piece of our history. The funds raised by the Mural Society will go towards the Library Mural. See more details and ticket information below.

Mural book cover Paint the Town invitation

FUNDRAISING Continues for Our Next Mural Project

“Pages from Our Library’s Past” Mural
Punta Gorda library mural rendering

Our next mural will be on the arched wall facing Shreve Street on the new Punta Gorda Charlotte Library at 401 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda. In September we shared how the Punta Gorda Library got started in 1908. Here’s the next part of the story. Enjoy!

Last month we ended after the library moved to the Masonic Lodge on Sullivan Street in 1914. We said it remained there until in the fall of 1928. After further research it was determined that it was actually the fall of 1926 (September 18th to be exact) when the Great Miami hurricane passed just south of us, causing storm surge flooding and damage. (Some local history books confuse it with the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928).
It blew the roof off of the Lodge and many of the books were lost to water damage. Volumes that could be saved were taken to the new Woman’s Club building just down the street. The Club members adopted the library as one of their projects. The library occupied the small room to the left of the porch.
It remained at the Woman’s Club for the next 32 years. The number of books grew and it was reported to contain over 5,000 books by 1956 when work began to raise funds for a new, larger building. The photo below from that year shows librarian Mrs. May Bostwick literally surrounded by books in the tiny library. Watch for the November newsletter to hear where it goes next.

Mrs. May Bostwick in the library

(Reference: “Our Fascinating Past – Charlotte Harbor: Early Years” by Lindsey Williams & U.S. Cleveland, and the Punta Gorda Herald)

“Mrs. May Bostwick looks a bit hopeless at the confusion of books that surround her in the overcrowded library, which consists of one very small room in the Woman’s Club.” – Courtesy of The Punta Gorda Herald, 1956.

October Update on Library Mural Fundraising

Mural fundraising status
Donations have slowed a little. We’ve raised just over 25%. If you’ve donated, THANK YOU!
If you haven’t and are considering it, here are ways to do it:
Online: visit
By Mail: Send a check (payable to PGHMS) to:
PGHMS, PO BOX 510506, Punta Gorda, FL 33951
To become a Mural Sponsor, click here for more information.
All Donation Amounts are
Welcomed and Appreciated
and are tax-deductible!


More Fall History Programs!

Punta Gorda History Center:

(512 E. Grace Street, Punta Gorda)

Wednesday, October 16, 1:30 pm
Punta Gorda Into the Twentieth Century

Thursday, October 31, 1:30 pm
History Bites – Haunted Punta Gorda with Gussie Baker

Wednesday, November 13, 1:30 pm
See a preview of the new exhibit –
From Ruin to Renaissance – Punta Gorda’s Fires & Storms & Recovery

Charlotte County History Services:

Tuesday, October 22, 2-3 pm
Chilling Tales of Charlotte County
Punta Gorda Charlotte Library
401 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda