River Steamboat "Okeehumkee" by Landing
The rivers and springs of Florida attracted tourists from the northern states of the United States, and from abroad, after the end of the Civil War. This image, from about 1886, shows the Okeehumkee, one of the Florida steamboats specially designed to navigate narrow, often shallow interior waterways to ferry tourists and merchants to cities and settlements away from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Vermont-born Hubbard L. Hart (1827–95) was an entrepreneur and developer of travel routes in Georgia and Florida who pioneered a line of Florida steamboats, which ...
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State Library and Archives of Florida
Ross Allen Reptile Institute
E. Ross Allen was a pioneer promoter and theme-park entrepreneur who achieved national and international fame for his animal wrestling. Born in 1908 in Pittsburgh, he was an Eagle Scout as a boy and later a stand-in for Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan movies. He transformed the historic, natural tourist attraction of Silver Springs into a prototype of modern theme parks. Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute opened in 1929 and catered to Florida traditions (and mythology) while employing Florida residents, including Seminole Indians. The institute later shifted its emphasis a ...
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State Library and Archives of Florida