Local Black History




Fran Hines


Baker Center School
311 E. Charlotte Avenue


104′ w

Mural Creation Sponsors


Bank of America

The African American Community & the Community at Large

Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society


Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society

About the mural

This mural shows a rippling scroll with portraits and scenes of people who were involved in the development of Punta Gorda.

The people and scenes depicted in the mural are:

  • Cornelia Ponder, provided medical assistance to all and most known for being a midwife
  • John Loman, one of the early residents who served in the Civil War
  • O.B. Armstrong who also served in the Civil War. Mr. Armstrong later became a legislator and a re-constructionist
  • Robert Meacham who had a varied career as a pastor, Postmaster, State Legislator and Senator
  • Daniel Smith who organized the first religious services for the black community in town and was appointed to the DeSoto County Board of Education
  • Charles Bailey, one of six brothers who served in WWII (7th brother fought in Korean War) and was one of the famous Tuskegee airmen
  • Benjamin Baker, founder of Baker School and a noted educator in the community
  • Lucille Allen, a well respected teacher at the Baker School
  • The Florida Stompers, a local jazz band
  • Workers of the turpentine industry
  • Sam Kenedy, a fire starter and one the original signers of the Incorporation of Punta Gorda
  • George Brown, a landowner and renowned boat builder and respected equal opportunity employer

This original mural was created in 2003 on the Clement building (dedicated on November 20, 2003) but was destroyed by Hurricane Charley on August 13, 2004. The recreation was painted by the original artist at the current location and was rededicated on November 15, 2007.