Newsletter | November 2019

Library Mural FUNDRAISER

SPONSOR a MURAL BOOK & Have Your Favorite Book Featured in the Library Mural
Your Book’s Title will be painted on the spine of a shelved book in the mural
$500 Donation

Limited to only 25 Books – First Come First Serve

Accepted Genres: (must be family-friendly)
– Children or Youth Literature
– Classic Novels set in Florida or Local History Books
– Classic Literature

To Sponsor a Mural Book: Complete this form & mail it in with your donation of $500

Book Title Submissions will be reviewed & approved by the Mural Society. Mural Society will determine the location of each book title in the mural

Punta Gorda library mural rendering

Original Mural Rendering Art Sale & Gala

Own a Piece of Our Local History
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 on exhibit in the Goff Gallery at the Visual Arts Center  & sold via silent auction. Bids can be made throughout the month at the VAC. This is a one of a kind art sale. Don’t miss out on your chance to own an original mural rendering.
To see pictures of the renderings that will be for sale CLICK HERE.

The silent auction will culminate with a Gala Reception on January 30th. Tickets ONLY $20 & are limited so purchase them early and join us for a fun night of food, drink, and some living history. Tickets include light hor d’oeuvres & homemade desserts. A cash bar will be available.Mural book cover

To Purchase Tickets CLICK HERE

The Library in Punta Gorda

– The History Continues… 

 In last month’s newsletter, we learned that the library had moved to the Woman’s Club on Sullivan Street and remained there for 32 years. By 1956 the number of books donated by patrons had reached more than 5,000 and the small library was out of space. Mrs. Nan McCullough, president of the Woman’s Club at the time, started a drive to build a new dedicated library building. A committee was formed and they reached out to city and county officials for funds.
The City of Punta Gorda donated the land at 260 Retta Esplanade beside the Memorial Auditorium, in what was then Cross Park, for the new library. The County Commissioners provided some funds and private donations starting coming in. Local contractors donated labor and materials. The new library project became a community-wide effort.
A 1-room library was built in 1957 and named the Charlotte County Public Library and was the first library building constructed in the county. The building was dedicated in early 1958 and a full-time librarian, Mrs. Muriel Goddard,  was hired in the fall. Louis Calder, the owner of the Allapatchee Hunting Lodge, financed an addition of a reading and reference room and later two offices in 1959. A side addition was added in 1962 and air conditioning was added in the summer of 1965.
In 1973 the library was renamed the Punta Gorda Public Library. After 16 years at this location, the library had outgrown the space. A larger library was needed to house the growing collection.
Watch for the December newsletter for what happened next.
(Reference: Various newspaper clippings and information provided by The Friends of the Punta Gorda Library)
Sketch of proposed library, 1956
“The architect’s sketch of the proposed Punta Gorda Public Library shows the first wing of the building, which will be built in Cross Park under the sponsorship of the Punta Gorda Woman’s Club.”
Punta Gorda Herald, November 15, 1956.

November Update on Library Mural Fundraising

Fundraising Status Thermometer

We raised a significant amount of funds in October getting us to just over 58% of our goal. If you’ve donated, THANK YOU! If you haven’t, please consider becoming a Mural Book Sponsor discussed at the beginning of the newsletter. You can also donate online or by mail:
By Mail: Send a check (payable to PGHMS) to:
PGHMS, PO BOX 510506, Punta Gorda, FL 33951
All Donation Amounts are Welcomed and Appreciated and are tax-deductible!

Interested in Our Local History?

Portrait, Issac TrabueTake a HISTORY CLASS
For a Small Taste of our Local History Join Us for the Second in Our 1-Hour Local History Series
“Punta Gorda’s Founder Isaac Trabue: The Untold Story”
Wednesday, December 5th
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda

Get the Full Story

Sign Up for These 2 Popular History Classes

January, February & March Dates Listed Below

Join us as we present the history of the area as told through the murals throughout our beautiful City.  Visit all the murals from the comfort of your classroom 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:
     Part 1 – “The Early Years” – from pre-Spanish Exploration to pre-WWI
     Part 2 – “Post World War I” – continuing the story from WWI to modern-day
Location: 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
Check the schedule at CLASSES


Part 1 – The Early Years Part 2 – Post World War I
Tuesday, Jan 28 1 – 3pm Thursday, Jan 30 1 – 3pm
Monday, Feb 17 1 – 3pm Wednesday, Feb 19 1 – 3pm
Tuesday, Mar 17 1 – 3pm Thursday, Mar 19 1 – 3pm


In Our Community

Help the Punta Gorda Fire & Police Departments Spread a Little…

Once again we’re sharing the story of an amazing volunteer program that the PG Fire Department (PGFD) and PG Police Department (PGPD) participate in each season called  “Christmas Cheer.” It serves the students of Baker Center School who are 5 months to 5 years of age, many of which are in great need this holiday season.

This program grew out of a teacher’s request many years ago to PGFD seeking a “sponsor” to provide her students with a small Christmas toy. It was learned they may not be getting any gifts for Christmas and were lacking food and warm clothes during the winter. The teacher told stories of a boy in her class taking a girl’s coat to wear because he didn’t have one of his own and another student putting their school lunch in their pockets to feed a younger sibling at home.

PGFD adopted her class that year, raising enough money to provide a winter jacket and a Christmas toy for each child. The story was shared and Walmart donated a send-home holiday meal for each student. It was discovered that this was not an isolated case in this school and over the years, PGFD and PGPD joined forces to sponsor more classes, reaching 200 children last December.

This season their goal is again to support the entire school (200 students). They need help to make this happen. If you’d like to support them, please donate a Walmart Gift Card to PGFD or PGPD to purchase the items for each child. All amounts are welcomed.  Donations are needed by 11/22 and can be dropped off to Jen Molnar, Fire Marshall, at the Public Safety Building, 1410 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda.




Looking for a Few Good “Volunteers” 
  The Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society was started almost 25 years ago as a non-profit, 501c3 organization with the goal to help revitalize our small town and capture its amazing history by painting murals on the outside walls of its buildings. With strong community support over the years, we’ve established Punta Gorda as a major Mural City, drawing visitors from far and wide.
The ‘Society’ isn’t really a society in the true sense of the word, but actually a small Board of Directors who oversees the organization and its activities. We currently have a few openings on our board and are looking to find a ‘few good volunteers‘ as potential board members. As supporters, we know you are interested in the Society and the work we do. If you are interested in getting more involved, please contact us to better understand what being a Director on our Board is all about. I would love to meet with you to discuss what’s involved and see if its a fit for your time and talents. Please contact me at this email (

Kelly Gaylord, President
Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society