Looking at the Venice area today, it may be hard to believe that just a little over 100 years ago it was still a rough, demanding place, where early settlers (who had first begun arriving here shortly after the Civil War) worked hard to forge new lives for themselves and their families. You’ll get a vivid reminder of that past with the exhibition Journey into the Wild Frontier, on view through Jan. 21 at the Venice Museum and Archives at the Triangle Inn on Nassau Street. The exhibit, which spans the years from 1867 to 1921, features more than 100 images, objects, documents and maps, including the original, handwritten 1910 census (a hardy 173 people called the area home). Here’s a peek at some of those pioneer photos; for the full show, visit the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and go to venicemuseum.org for more information. all photos courtesy of the Venice Museum and archives.
featured image, above: The Frances Knight Curry family, circa 1911, in Nokomis (known as Venice at the time). Frances (back row, seated, wearing dark coat), who died in 1945, was married to the Rev. Charles O. Curry, a circuit “cowboy” preacher.
Above: Eagle Point Camp, now a National Register Historic District, was popular with early 20th-century guests who wanted to “get back to nature.” The property included a clubhouse, boat house and tennis courts. Below: This sailing party, circa 1910, included Herbert, Albert, Walter and Spencer Blackburn (with the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Harris in the water). To the right is the Blackburn fish house, south of the present-day Blackburn Point bridge in Osprey.
Above: The original freight depot for Seaboard Air Line Railroad, built by Mrs. Bertha Palmer in 1911. The building in the background to the right is a temporary hotel Mrs. Palmer built to accommodate prospective real estate buyers. Below: The Dunnhaven homestead seen here, circa 1910, was the residence of Walter Dunn (who’s also seen in the opening spread photograph, seated on the ground).