First City Council

Year

2001 & 2016

Artist

Charles Peck

Location

Punta Gorda City Hall Annex
126 Harvey Street

Size

6.5′ h x 24′ w

Mural Creation Sponsors

2001:

City of Punta Gorda

Mayor Marilyn P. Smith-Mooney

Family of late Mayor William F. Richards

2016:

Charlotte Community Foundation

About the mural

With the town of Trabue growing in leaps and bounds after the arrival of the railroad, infrastructure improvements were desperately needed. Town founder, Isaac Trabue, could not be induced to make such investments. A movement was started by Kelly Harvey, a local surveyor, to incorporate the town in order to tax for improvements and government. The citizens of Trabue voted on December 3, 1887 to do so and rename the town “Punta Gorda.”

The town was officially incorporated and a city council government was established, comprised of 7 positions. The mural was designed from a 1887 photo shown below. The gentlemen pictured are (from left to right): Tom Hector (City Clerk), J.O. Swisher, John Fishback (City Marshal), Dr, W.H. Burland (first mayor), Kelly B. Harvey, Neil Dahl, and James Sandlin.

Official records show that W.H. Simmons (not Burland) was the first mayor and that John Stanfield (not Fishback) served as the first marshal.

Courtesy of Punta Gorda History Center

The scenes surrounding the members capture historical places and happenings of that time: (lower left to right)

  • The Alice Howard, a mail and tour river boat that made tri-weekly runs to Ft. Myers.
  • In 1885 Fred Remington, a renown Western artist, came to Punta Gorda and this scene is taken from one of his paintings showing a man fishing with his guide.
  • A homemade Sharpie Gaff rigged Knockabout sailboat.
  • The Hotel Punta Gorda.
  • The Gaff Rigged Ketch “Oriole” belonging to Caldwell Colt, heir to the Colt Gun Company (was a regular visitor to the area).
  • One of the articles Fred Remington wrote about Punta Gorda was about the “Cow Hunters”, also called “Crackers”. This is taken from another one of his sketches.
  • Florida Southern Railway carried fish, cattle, produce, and wealthy tourists to and from Punta Gorda.
  • The Hector House owned by Thomas Hector, City Clerk. This is where the incorporation of the town occurred.
  • Phosphate steamship, the Lewis Luckenbach, at the Port of Punta Gorda in about 1904.
  • Tarpon fishing was a popular sport among the winter visitors and residents.
  • A Sharpie Gaff Rigged Ketch in 1900 that was 70 feet long and carried a three man crew. The Sharpie was ideal for fisherman because of its minimum rigging design.

The mural was originally painted in 2001 and dedicated on August 8, 2001. Due to deterioration, the wall was torn down and reconstructed in 2015. The mural was repainted by the original artist in 2016 and re-dedicated on April 21, 2016.