Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

2022 Members and Visitors Guide for the Punta Gorda Area

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Page 101 of 143

Page 102 2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide vessel close to the manta and Roosevelt ironed it again. This devilfish fought longer and harder than the first, pulling the men and boat for two miles over a 26 minute period. Finally, when it tired, Roosevelt used the lance to kill her. The crew dragged this second devilfish to shore to measure both and make other scientific notations. BIG CATCH The first ray measured 13 feet, 2 inches, tip to tip, while the second was 16 feet, 8 inches. While the second was a significant size, it was smaller than the one Coles had captured for the American Museum of Natural History in 1915, which measured 18 feet, 2 inches. One of the remarkable aspects of this ex- pedition for Roosevelt was the opportunity to scientifically study these manta rays he had captured. He remarked at the roughness of their skin and the black pigment that rubbed off whenever he touched them. The mouth was large and practically without teeth. Roosevelt seemed to be impressed with how harmless they were to humans, but was equally surprised at their strength and tenacity when harpooned. Because Theodore Roosevelt was such a beloved figure in America, the country's newspapers covered his trip as closely as possible. Both the New York Times and Washington Post called the manta rays "marine monsters." CELEBRATING VISIT Punta Gorda celebrates Roosevelt's visit in a couple of ways. First, any book about the city during the early 20th century includes a mention of the presidential visit and any photographs of Roosevelt that exist. Books by local authors Vernon Peeples, Lindsey Williams, and Byron Rhode all include snippets about Roosevelt's visit, as does the Punta Gorda volume in the Images of America series. Second, the city remembers Roosevelt's visit with a mural of him and the devilfish he caught, which is located at Laishley Municipal Marina Boat Ramp in Laishley Park. The mural was sponsored by The Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society and dedicated in 2008. The city is certainly proud of the special visit Theodore Roosevelt made to Punta Gorda in 1917. Southwest Florida Historical Society Theodore Roosevelt and Russell J. Coles. Phase 2 *Pre-Opening Special $149 per month Model Center Open 9-5 Daily Florida's Newest 55+ Active Manufactured Home Community Homes from the low $100's Model Center Open 9 5 Daily 12116 King's Hwy, Lake Suzy ThePreserveFlorida.com 844-935-0264 *Not available on $119,990 home adno=3822902-1 adno=3821875-1

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