Monday, October 19, 2015

Who was Issac Trabue?

Issac Trabue was the founder of Trabue which became Punta Gorda.  A Kentucky lawyer descended from French Huguenots, Trabue purchased land on Charlotte Harbor in 1883 for about $1.25 an acre and in 1884 hired Kelly B. Harvey to survey and plat it.  To bring more value to his holdings, in 1885,  he negotiated a deal to have the railroad come to his town.

Trabue was a man of contradictions For example, he was a slave owner, who fought for the union.   Concerned about perpetuating his name and those of family members, he gave the town his family name and named many of the streets after relatives (names like Virginia, his wife, Chasteen, his father, Gill, a brother-in-law, and more  that still adorn Punta Gorda's street signs).  Yet Trabue, was not willing or able to pay Harvey's  surveyer's bill or to provide the residents, who moved to the town as a result of his efforts and promotional activity,  the basic infrastructure required.  In the end this cost him the very name of the  town which was so important to him.  Angry with the lack of responsiveness to their needs, Harvey and other settlers joined  together and incorporated Trabue into the City of Punta Gorda in 1887.

Issac Trabue will be one of the first inductees to the Punta Gorda Founders Hall of Honor on December 5 at the PGHC Southern Supper.


Vernon Peeples, Punta Gorda in the Beginning 1865-1900.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Punta Gorda History Center opens on Sullivan Street In October

With the intent of making a substantial part of Vernon Peeples historic collection of books, manuscripts, maps and other documents accessible for researchers and the public sooner rather than later, The Punta Gorda History Center has opened a temporary home on Sullivan Street in downtown Punta Gorda.

 The longer term plan is to occupy a larger facility on Grace Street that will be retrofitted for an archive.

The temporary Center is located at 110 Sullivan Street, Suite   Initial hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays,  10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, and by appointment. Visitors will be asked to register to use the collection.

The historical resources associated with people, events, or aspects of a communitys past give that community its sense of identity, its place in the larger world, its clues to why people came there and stayed.  Vernon Peeples, who passed away in April, knew this and carefully assembled a library and an assortment of materials as well as in-depth  personal knowledge on local history. As a result, Mr. Peeples  was heavily relied upon by those seeking information about Punta Gorda's history. His death prompted the Board of the History Center to plan an interim facility to house his collection.   The Center will through access to his collection and its volunteer researchers and historians try to fill the huge hole left by his absence.  It is also planned to digitize many of the documents in the collection for access on the internet.

If you are history enthusiast or just plain care about preserving and promoting Punta Gorda history and would be interested in volunteering to help with preservation, documentation, docenting, research, education, fundraising, publishing or other Center activities, please register at, or send an email to or phone (941)548-6170.