New from Arcadia Publishing is Port Charlotte, by local author Roxann Read. Boasting more than 200 vintage black and white photographs, Port Charlotte offers a fascinating look at the area’s colorful history of progression from John Murdock to Arthur Frizzell to the General Development Corporation.
In the 1950s General Development Corporation created Port Charlotte by expanding the canals previously dug by John Murdock to drain the swampy land. The Mackle Company carved Arthur Frizzell’s 80,000 acres into small, perfectly rectangular lots for resale to middle-class retirees who were the targets of mass advertising and sales practices that included displaying models of Port Charlotte in department stores throughout Chicago and New York.
Encouraging retirees to come to Port Charlotte resulted in the area having one of the highest concentrations of residents aged 65 and older in the nation. Port Charlotte’s boom-and-bust history is a microcosm of the frenzied social and economic growth that occurred in Florida in the second half of the 20th century.
The author hopes her book “will raise awareness of local history for the citizens of Port Charlotte and that they will come to appreciate the history and legacy of the area.”
Highlights of Port Charlotte:
• Charlotte Harbor was inhabited hundreds of years before Punta Gorda
• Several turpentine camps existed in the Port Charlotte area
• The first four model homes built are still standing
• Two first ladies have visited Port Charlotte
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.