Aug 15, 2019

Newsletter | August 2019

Hotel Charlotte Harbor

Now for a little HISTORY... Do you know what happened in Punta Gorda 60 Years ago, August 14th, 1959? The Hotel Charlotte Harbor burned to the ground! Originally the Hotel Punta Gorda, the hotel was built by a subsidiary of the Florida Southern Railroad after it arrived in town in 1886. Opening in 1888, the hotel's early years brought the rich and famous to Punta Gorda. After 1895, success was sporadic and after closing in 1914, it sat empty for 10 years until it was sold to Barron Collier in the mid-1920s. Extensive renovations and harbor dredging created a new look, a yacht basin and a large front lawn with a super-sized pool and tennis courts. Below is a picture of this grand lady c.1953. It continued to be open and closed throughout the years and was sold two more times. At 2 am on the night of August 14, 1959, a local fisherman, returning to port, noticed the fire and sounded the alarm. Firefighters were called in from the surrounding areas and fought alongside Punta Gorda's volunteer crew for five hours to keep the flames from spreading to the rest of downtown. By morning this 71-year-old structure was reduced to ashes. Photos Courtesy of Charlotte County History Services. The Mural Society featured the Hotel Charlotte Harbor in its first mural painted 24 years ago in 1995 on the south side of the Punta Gorda Mall (seen below). In February 2004, it was torn down to make room for the new City Marketplace. We had started discussions with the developers

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