Fun & Games
Enjoy these fun topical questions to learn new details about the Island we all love!
TOPIC: Businesses & Their Slogans
In 1949, self contained Gasparilla Island contained a minimum of 40 business enterprises. Test your knowledge by matching the advertising slogans to the name of the actual business.
I. “Food At Its Best For a Delightful Sensation”
A. Temptation Bar and Grill
B. Tarpon Café
C. Gasparilla Inn
Mr. Homer Addison built the building in which the Temptation is housed before the war, but was called to serve in the Navy before completing it. Upon returning home in 1945 he began to add to it, expanding to serve meals in the dining room and the bar where beer, wine and soft drinks were served. Finally in 1949 a liquor license was granted. Homer Addison considered the place unique and had business cards saying “What a sensation to wine and dine at the Temptation”. Everybody partied down here. In the Temptation I had juke boxes and a piano and people dancing in there every night until two or three in the morning.” Addison. Frank and Marty Smith bought the bar and grill and package store in 1960 from Homer and Dora Addison.
II. “All Experienced Operators; All Work Guaranteed”
A. Blonnie’s Beauty Salon
B. Gaines Auto Garage
C. Boca Grande Western Union Office (Depot)
D. Electric Service Company of Boca Grande
Located in Hotel H on SE Railroad Avenue. This is where one could get permanent waving, hair tinting, and styling done. Marion Merrot formerly with Bonwit-Teller, Fifth Avenue, New York arrived to work at Blonnies for the 1949 season.
III. “Have a Frosted Mug of Beer”
A. Fugate Liquor Store
B. Kozy Kitchen
D. Lighthouse Hole
Bumps was a wine and beer bar located at the Port of Boca Grande. It was the only bar at the port where one could also rent fishing poles and one could call Bumps for a taxi. The owner was Captain Kingsmore “Bumps” Johnson.
TOPIC: Boca Grande: The Black Experience
Dedicated to the many contributions of the Black community which helped to enrich the development and history of the Island and Boca Grande.
I. The 1910 federal census lists 44 persons identified as either black or mulatto, comprising just over 15 percent of the island’s population at that time. By 1982, the Black community grew to what percent of the island’s population?
Black men and women (mostly men) came from all over Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and other southern states. They primarily worked as railroad laborers, dockworkers, fishermen, construction workers, domestic help, and various service occupations at resort accommodations.
II. Residential and other living accommodations for Black residents on Gasparilla Island prior to the mid 1980’s mainly reflected separate living communities. How many Black communities existed on Gasparilla Island prior to 1983?
There were ultimately 3 Black communities:
(1) railroad housing (quarters) at the south end of the Island
(2) downtown Boca Grande around Palm Avenue and Third Street, and
(3) Tarpon Pass Estates (South end of Island).
For a more detailed description of each community, call the archive department at the Boca Grande History Center 941-964-1600.
III. On the south end of Gasparilla Island, a church building was rented out in 1925 to educate Black children; however, a subscription sheet was passed around to the Island’s wealthy families and tourists to build a new school for Black children.
A. The Carnegie Mellon Foundation
B. The Julius Rosenwald Foundation
C. State of Florida Legislature
D. Lee County Public School Division
The Rosenwald Schools were built in the early 20th Century as a solution to the scarcity of schools for Black children in the South. The school building program was the idea of educator Booker T. Washington who approached Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. The result stimulated the building of over 5,000 schools. In 1927, a school for Blacks was built and located near the railroad yard separated from other housing. The school closed in 1965 and later was destroyed by a fire.
IV. What was the name of the Boca Grande Black resident who graduated from Florida A&M University and devoted over 40 years teaching migrant children?
A. Annie B. Washington
B. Ethel Mae Philpot
C. Mayola Nixon
D. Florence Jelks
Florence Jelks: The ‘principal with principles’. Born and raised in “South Dock” she was very well known as one of the kindest, smartest women to walk the island. She had to leave the island to pursue her high school degree in 1947, first in Fort Myers and then Arcadia, because at that time black children did not attend Boca Grande High School. With the help of Mrs Crowinshield and a Lewis State Scholarship she received her degree and became a teacher, principal, and coordinator of a federal-state work program which gave students work experience by providing them with summer jobs. Collier County honored her as one of 10 women who had made valuable contributions to her community.
TOPIC: What’s In a Name?
I. How did Bull Bay get its name?
A. It was named after a village in Wales.
B. Cattle remains were found on the Bull Bay archaeological site.
C. It was named after a man who ran Mr. Futch’s fish crew.
D. It was named after the Boca Grande Hotel dining room.
Bull Bay is a famed saltwater fishery located on Florida’s Gulf Coast just south of Placida, Florida and right around the corner from the west wall of Charlotte Harbor. Fishing in Bull Bay for Redfish, Snook, and Seatrout leaves lasting memories. Mr. Futch was a commercial fisherman with two crews, one black and one white. John Bull, a Black, was the man in charge of the Black crew. He died on the Bay and thus the bay was named after him.
II. How did “The Kitchen” get its name?
A. It was named after “The Kozy Kitchen”.
B. It was a stopover point for commercial fishermen.
C. It was the former name of the Gasparilla fishhouse.
D. It was named after the Boca Grande Hotel dining room.
The “Kitchen” was named because of that cove’s early use as a stopover point for commercial fishermen. Non-indigenous fishermen who anchored there to camp and prepare their meals gave it the name. Prior to that time the area was charted as Grouper’s Hole.
III. How did the Pink Elephant Get Its Name?
A. The only house paint available at the local hardware store was pink.
B. It was named after a specialty drink served at The Buccaneer Bar.
C. Pink was the favorite color of Delmar Fugate’s wife.
D. The Fugate’s daughter collected toy elephants.
According to David Futch, Delmar Fugate’s Folly all the way across town was a white elephant. Delmar disagreed. The Pink Elephant had a nice ring to it especially since the only paint on sale at the hardware store was pink and he had just covered the building outside walls with the color. And so was born one of the most famous bars and restaurants on the west coast of Florida.
TOPIC: Boca Grande, Then and Now
One of the many significant changes in the growth of Boca Grande is the make up of the business community. Your challenge is to identify the name of the current business that now occupies the same location as the following 3 former businesses: Nabers Chevron, The Galleria, and Sheer Folly.
I. Nabers Chevron
A. Boca Grande Real Estate, Inc.
B. Fugate’s Downtown Boca Grande
C. Newlin’s Mainely Gourmet
D. Gulf Coast International Properties
Clyde and his wife, Carolyn, owned this island landmark located at the corner of Fourth and Park Avenue for nearly four decades. In 1963 Clyde and Carolyn were looking for a means of making a living. The opening of the bridge meant more cars which would need fuel and repairs so owning a service station seemed to be a good choice. It was sold by Nabers in 1999 to Boca Grande Partners, Inc., a corporation owned by three island families and named Island Auto Service. The Nabers service station brings wonderful memories to many Boca Grande residents. Memories include: stopping by for popcorn, coffee get togethers, team sponsorships, and Clyde coming to the rescue for emergency car repairs.
II. The Galleria
A. The Pink Pony
B. Gulf to Bay/Sothebys
C. Michael Saunders & Company
D. Native Garden’s Florist
While other islanders set off for New England or the Midwest for the summer, Pat and Chuck Agles would fly to the Orient in search for unusual crafts and art work for their Asian art gallery. It was a wonderful place to shop for silk, wool and cotton fabrics, jewelry, handbags, furniture, paintings, and shoes. For several years they had an Asian restaurant and a natural foods grocery store. Chuck and Pat were one of the first founders of The Boca Grande Historical Society.
III. Sheer Folly
A. Third Street Bistro and Bar
B. Grande Aire Services, Inc.
C. Gasparilla’s Outfitters
D. Scarpa’s Coastal
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Heverly opened up their new restaurant at Third Street and East Railroad Avenue March 1980. Having stayed in a house named “Sheer Folly” while vacationing in Jamaica Mrs. Heverly thought she would use the name some day for something and the 34 seat restaurant seemed to be a natural. It was opened 6 days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. with take out orders provided until 3 p.m. In 1982, newlyweds Sue and Jay Spurgeon bought the business renaming it Loons on a Limb. Their friends thought the Spurgeons were crazy as Loons to go out on a limb and open a restaurant on a small isolated barrier island. When the Spurgeons opened up the restaurant there were only five restaurants on the island. Former customers still rave about Jay’s eggs benedict, fried potatoes and corned beef hash. It was the place to go for breakfast. Loons was sold in 2008.
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