History of Punta Gorda Walking Tour

Travel from downtown Punta Gorda to the Victorian neighborhood hearing 30+ historical references.

History of Punta Gorda Walking Tour

Punta Gorda, Florida 33950, United States

Created By: SW Florida Walking Tours

Tour Information

The History of Punta Gorda Walking Tour is for people who appreciate true history and enjoy energetic walking. This tour takes you approximately 3 miles through the Victorian-era neighborhood and into historic downtown Punta Gorda. You’ll hear 30+ historical references including tragedies, murders, mysteries, and yes, haunted history!

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Punta Gorda used to be part of DeSoto county. In 1921, DeSoto was subdivided into Charlotte, Glades, Hardee, and Highlands counties. At that time, Punta Gorda was chosen as the capital of Charlotte county and the courthouse was built. Origi... Read more
The town's first jail, a two-person lock up cell was located in this alley. The "calaboose" served as Punta Gorda's short-term jail for 40 years and is still intact at History Park. Popular four-term marshal, John Bowman, and his family liv... Read more
As per the agreement between railroad developer Henry Plant and town founder Isaac Trabue, the railroad built a magnificent luxury hotel on a prime piece of property donated by Trabue. The Hotel Punta Gorda opened in 1886 and operated until... Read more
Three women's organziations merged to form the Punta Gorda Woman's Club in 1925, with the financial support of Judge Cooper, a beloved winter resident of Punta Gorda. His only stipulation was that the Tourist Club he founded would be allowe... Read more
The Babcocks have been ranchers in Charlotte County for a very long time. Back in the day, Mrs. Babcock and her daughters didn't care to live so far away from civilization so Mr. Babcock built this pretty town house for his women to keep th... Read more
The first building in Punta Gorda made of patent stone concrete blocks instead of wood, Abe Goldstein's store still stands proudly on the corner of Marion Avenue and Cross Street (Tamiami Trail South). In the past people have rented the liv... Read more
This double-sided statue was created by master wood carver Peter Toth of Englewood in 1973. It was carved from one of Marian McAdow's favorite trees, which she called the Monkeypod tree, after it died. The tree was across the street in what... Read more
"A.C." Agustus Clayton Freeman came to Punta Gorda in 1889 from Georgia. A big, kind-hearted young man, he was very civic minded and performed many roles including marshal, mayor, tax collector, councilman and treasurer. He was trained as a... Read more
Perry and Marian McAdow moved to Punta Gorda in 1897. They built a magnificent house called McAdow Hall. After Perry's death, Marian moved to Casey Key and summered in Tryon, NC. The McAdow's home becamse Bayshore Lodge until it was torn do... Read more
This banyan tree was planted in 1903 by Marian McAdow and her best friend Sadie Farrington.
The only bona-fide haunted house in Punta Gorda, this home was built by James Sandlin in 1893. For many years it was the most expensive house in town. The Sandlins suffered many misfortunes and the house is said to be haunted by the spirit ... Read more
This house was constructed in 1895 and most famously occupied by widow Sadie Farrington. The Farringtons orginally resided on Gill Street but after her husband's death, Sadie moved here to be closer to her best friend and fellow spiritualis... Read more
One of the oldest homes in town, the so-called Crosland House was built in 1883 by John Lewis. In 1907 the house was purchased as a wedding gift for Cecil and Emily Crosland by her father. In 1959, Cecil and Emily's sons renovated the house... Read more
This house was built in 1887 by early pioneer Sumner Hinckley who moved here from Mobile, Alabama. He died just a few years later and his wife remarried Kelly Harvey, the town's first surveyor. Kelly Harvey and town founder, Isaac Trabue ha... Read more
Built in 1900 this home is representative of many of the quickly-built fisherman's homes. They were called up-and-down or dawn-to-dusk houses because a team of two carpenters could put up a house in one day or from sunrise to sunset. The ho... Read more
This 500 square foot "dark-to-dark" bunk house on Dolly Street was built in the early 1900s. The new owners are restoring this house and updating the amenities while expanding the square footage. We have a story about this house and a paran... Read more
This house was built by the Consolidated Ice, Refrigerating and Fish Company in 1883 - the year the town of Punta Gorda (then called Trabue) was founded! So-called "dark-to-dark" houses were where workers would come at dusk to sleep and ari... Read more
Here's a lovely and unique park in Punta Gorda! Buildings that faced demolition were donated to the Historical Society and moved here for preservation. Buildings include: the town's original jail a family home a bed and breakfast house a ci... Read more
In 1980 the Church of the Good Shepherd was relocated to its current site. It's worth a visit to see the church's first piano, holy water fountain, and other original fixtures in the chapel. Mrs. Colt commissioned the magnificent stained-gl... Read more
A terrible tragedy occurred here in 1956. Hurricane Charley destroyed the existing home. Locals claim this property is haunted.
Town founder, Colonel Isaac Trabue opened the Ice Factory in 1891. The train stopped here to pick up ice to keep mullet fresh during transport. This factory produced 15 tons of ice a day. Steam driven boilers powered ammonia compressors whi... Read more
Linear Park is one of the most remarkable parks in Punta Gorda. It traverses the town from Tamiami Trail to Fisherman's Village. Once the railroad tracks, it's now a popular walking, biking, jogging and skating trail.
This house was built in 1919 and was one of the largest in Punta Gorda. It was occupied by people of high social and economic standing in the community. In 1960 Hurricane Donna damaged the wrap-around porch on the back side of the house. In... Read more
This house, built in 1956, appeared in the TV series, Route 66. A pivotal scene of the episode Shadows of an Afternoon occurred in the yard. Route 66 filmed on location in Punta Gorda in 1963.
Elizabeth Hart Colt, widow of Samuel Colt, the famous gun manufacturer, commissioned the first Episcopalian Church in Punta Gorda after the death of her beloved son Caldwell Colt. Albert Gilchrist, who went on to become a governor of Florid... Read more
This historic building is now a charming breakfast and lunch restaurant. It is listed on the historic registry.
J.K. McClelland ran numerous businesses from this building. At one time it was an ice cream parlor and sundry (or general) store. He also sold school books, post cards and other odds and ends. His motto was "Get it at McClelland's." J.K. Mc... Read more


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