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Sun Aug 30, 2020, 06:54 AM

Americana in Florida

I usually post this stuff in the photo group but decided to stick it here as many people in Florida are unaware of the sleepy hamlet in which I reside.

It's 1936 and the new road linking Tampa to Miami was established (Rt. 41 .. the Tamiami Trail). Brothers Bill and Lester Piper established The Reptile Gardens in Bonita Springs, later to be renamed the Everglades Wonder Gardens.
Rt. 41 passed through the center of town but was realigned in 1976 by passing the sleepy hamlet.

As you drive along "Old 41" you could still spot the teaser signs obscured by the overgrown vegetation.
See Live Alligators ... Wonder Gardens Just Ahead ... For Your Enjoyment and Delight

In early 2013, the Piper family discontinued operations of the Gardens and began to seek a new owner. At that time, landscape photographer John Brady and his family leased the property from the Pipers and refreshed the Gardens.

In 2014, a group of local residents formed the Bonita Wonder Gardens Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. With generous financial assistance, in the form of a $3.5 million loan from the City of Bonita Springs, the new organization was able to purchase the property and business assets from the Piper family in April 2015, saving it from potential commercial development. Thus began a new chapter for this beloved historic attraction.

Night Shot taken about 9 years ago


IR taken last year

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Americana in Florida (Original post)
MichaelSoE Aug 2020 OP
FM123 Aug 2020 #1
Freedomofspeech Aug 2020 #2
snowybirdie Aug 2020 #3
snowybirdie Aug 2020 #4
MichaelSoE Aug 2020 #5
Clearly fogged in Aug 2020 #6
MichaelSoE Aug 2020 #8
AmyStrange Aug 2020 #7
MichaelSoE Aug 2020 #9
Callalily Aug 2020 #10

Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 07:10 AM

1. Wonderful pictures!

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 07:24 AM

2. Wow!

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 07:34 AM

3. This SW Florida treasure

is in trouble. It's director suddenly quit last week. Hope it's for the better, but who knows. These types of places hold a place in the hearts of old Floridians. Disappearing fast.

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 07:47 AM

4. This SW Florida treasure

is in trouble. It's director suddenly quit last week. Hope it's for the better, but who knows. These types of places hold a place in the hearts of old Floridians. Disappearing fast.

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Response to snowybirdie (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 08:34 AM

5. I didn't know that.

My wife and I spent a few hours there to soak in the Wonders about 3 years before the Brady's took over. Then Irma really did a number on the grounds. We haven't been back since even though we are only about 6 miles away.

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 09:08 AM

6. Hello neighbor

I sure do miss how the area once was; I'm in Collier, worked just south of Audubon, and would frequently drive past it to get wings for lunch at you-know-where.
Have you been here long?

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Response to Clearly fogged in (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 01:02 PM

8. Since June of 2010

Originally from Jersey to Aruba to Florida

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 11:13 AM

7. Wow, that B&W one looks like a fantasy world...

-

covered in frost, or is that snow?

Great photos and thanks for sharing.
==========

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Response to AmyStrange (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 01:05 PM

9. It was taken using IR (infrared sensitive)

Foliage reflects a lot of infrared light so it appears much lighter than if you had use full black & white film or digital camera in black & white mode.

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Response to MichaelSoE (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2020, 01:21 PM

10. Your are a very talented photographer!

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