Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pieces of History, Punta Gorda Train Depot!

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I am always interested in historic buildings and monuments wherever I travel.

If there is a sign on the side of a highway, I can’t resist stopping to read what the marker says ---no matter what it says!

Who was born here?

Who slept here?

Who fought a battle here?

What was this the site of?

On the first morning of my stay in Punta Gorda we drove past the old train depot, and I made a plan to stop when we were finished with our guild meeting yesterday so that I could take a little tour and satisfy the niggle of curiosity that dwells within ---do you hear those “gotta find out” voices too?

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Punta Gorda Train Depot, circa 1928

About the depot:
The Punta Gorda Train Depot, built in 1928, is the sole survivor of the 6 depots built by the Atlantic Coast Line in Mediterranean Revival style. 
The building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed mainly to handle freight.

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The passenger area occupies a small portion of the northern end of the building.  Separate ticket windows, waiting rooms and bathrooms reflect the segregation practiced at that time.

It chills me to the bone to think of that time ---when we separated folks based on the color of their skin.  

We may have come a long way ---but not far enough!

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The text may be small, but the sign says that “although the trans carried passengers, the main purpose was for shipping fish to northern markets.  The Punta Gorda depot is the only remaining one of this style built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.  The design incorporated the Spanish Mission style features used by Atlantic Coast Line in six Florida depots. 
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In August 2004 the depot was hit by Hurricane Charlie, but it has since been restored as a Punta Gorda landmark.  The depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
It was a quick walk back in time, but I am so glad we made time for it!

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  1. I love when you post historical accounts! I saw a youtube video of a man discussing his memorabilia of gators with black babies in their mouths! I was SHOCKED the south as late as the 1920's, 30 ' s and 40 ' s stole black babies and used them as BAIT to capture and kill alligators for luggage, shoes etc.....and ADVERTISED the fact!!! That is a sad and shocking thing that isn't taught in history! :'( Those poor innocent children and the anguish of their parents!

  2. Bonnie, I too love the history of the places that I visit. We are who we are because of those who went before. It's good to try to understand what life was like and what things were important to our ancestors. Keep exploring, learning and having fun.

  3. What I would be interested in finding out is where the name came from and what does it mean? Punta Gorda... and what language is it?
    Jean C.

  4. How very interesting. I love stuff like this as well

  5. to Genee Davis- I sure didn't know that! My uncle was in the Navy & had lots of "trinkets"- one of which was a little gator with a short pencil in his mouth. The end sticking out had a little black head on it! I had NO idea when I was a child seeing that! Yes, there were some awful things happening as our country grew & there still are today, lots in reverse!

  6. I do enjoy tracking down historic places and events also.

    Told John if they ever have a time machine to go back in time ... I will be first on the list. Wouldn't it be wonderful is actually SEE and BE there the year you were born? Or during a time connected with what we love - watching quilters 100-150 years ago make a quilt!

    One of my favorite books is Michael Creighton's TIMELINE. Not the movie, but the book.

    AHHHHH thanks for the post Bonnie


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