Saturday, December 4, 2010

Punta Gorda Railroad Station

After our Thanksgiving dinner, Pat drove us to Punta Gorda to see the sights. Our first stop was this Historic Punta Gorda Railroad station. The rear of the station is devoted to an antiques shop and the waiting areas up front house a Railroad museum. Terry and Pat shopped while I sketched. What caught my eye imediately were the separated "Whites" and "Colored" entrances to the station. An antiques dealer was telling Terry that in the 1970's his school was one of the first in the area to allow full integration. When the building was restored, these signs were kept in place to remind museum goers of this regions recent history of segregation.

The building was first erected in 1928. The main purpose of the railway was to ship fish to Northern markets. It also functioned as a passenger train. This is the only station remaining built by the Atlantic Coast line that features the Spanish Mission style which would make more sense in California. In 1971 the depot was closed. In 1998 volunteers began to restore the building. In August of 2004 the building was badly damaged by hurricane Charlie, but it was once again restored. The depot is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

When my sketch was done, I went back to the antique shop to find Terry and Pat. Terry had been on a shopping spree. She had bought some antique plates, an Emerald colored ring for Pat and oddly a German Concertina or accordion. Now I can honestly say, momma's got a squeeze box.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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