Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Changing Attractions

I received a great gift in the mail last week of Florida postcards purchased by a friend in Cambria, California. I had always thought that it might be easier to buy Florida ephemera outside the state, but never would have expected it on the west coast. Included in the batch were three from subjects of past blogs, The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Bok Tower in Lake Wales and Sunken Gardens in St. Pete. While these vintage attractions are still in operation, none of them match the images on the postcards.

My guess is that this is the original spring located on the Fountain of Youth property which has since been plugged up. When the owner of the property unearthed a cross made of rocks in the ground with a nearby silver vessel holding a note from Ponce de Leon inside, the location of the fountain was moved there and they dug a well from which to produce water.

I'm not sure where this Sunken Garden postcard was based on; there was nothing resembling it on my recent trip to St. Pete's Sunken Garden. I love the text on the back, it reads:
"Florida is a delightfully sunny place, fashioned by nature in her happiest mood, endowed with super fine gifts of climate, beauty and salt-ladened health-giving winds and smiling skies."

My favorite thing on the Bok Tower postcard are the two prominent flamingoes, Florida tourism's unofficial state bird. While the reflecting pond below the tower still is home to a pair of beautiful swans, the flamingoes have gone the way of the Dodo.


  1. The Fountain of Youth is a lost-Florida gem. Bad Tour-guide jokes. Old Department store mannequins re-dressed as Hernando Desoto. An experience only outdone at Tarpon Springs' "Sponge-O-Rama". Beautifully preserved wooded waterfront location, though.

  2. I've yet to visit Spongeorama but it's on my list!