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 89 of 143

Page 90 2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide BY MARK SURRUSCO Research Associate, Punta Gorda History Center Isaac Trabue, the founder of the town which became the present Punta Gorda, was a lawyer, coal mine operator, Union soldier during the US Civil War, and land developer. He was born, raised, and died in Kentucky but the 22 years he lived in Florida saw his greatest achievement and his greatest disappointment, both of which were embodied in the town he founded. As a young man Trabue showed an aptitude for business as his father entrusted him with the management of at least some of his Kentucky coal properties. In the decades leading up to the Civil War Kentucky was a border state with divided loyalties. Some 35,000 Kentuckians served in the Confederate army, but over 125,000 fought for the Union. Among these was Trabue whose primary contribution to the federal war effort was logistical; he helped supply coal to Union transport steamships operating on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. After the war ended Trabue married Virginia Scarborough Taylor of Savannah, GA and the couple moved to Kentucky where Trabue had inherited his father's coal mines. Isaac began a successful law career in Kentucky and actively participated in Republican politics. His successful law practice provided the funds for his next business venture: land development. He became interested in land investments as his coal mines began to be less productive. In the 1880's Southwest Florida was still sparsely settled. Transportation was primarily by coastal ships with railroad service limited to the northern part of the state. The site of the future town of Punta Gorda was still primarily covered with palmettos, saw grass, and bush. However, the climate (as today) made the region attractive to settlers looking for cheap land and therefore to developers hoping to profi t from expected growth. Isaac Trabue's participation in this "boom" began with his purchase of a total of 380 acres along the Peace River in 1883. This land was surveyed in 1884 and registered in 1885 in Manatee County as the site of the town of "Trabue", but its owner and namesake did not come to Florida until the next year, January 1886. Their fi rst residence was a cabin Isaac Trabue was the founder of Punta Gorda He was a lawyer, coal mine operator and land developer Photo provided by Punta Gorda History Center Isaac Trabue, founder of Punta Gorda, had a passion for chess. OUR HISTORY

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