< 2017 >
  • 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

    416 W Green St, Englewood, FL 34223, USA

    416 W Green St, Englewood, FL 34223, USA

    Growing Up In Boca Grande: Bits-and-Bytes-of-History

    NOTE: We regret to announce there will not be a Sing-Along this month. We hope to make plans for such an event next December. This month’s public Meeting will be on Tuesday, December 12, 7pm:

    From “fish ranches” to phosphate shipping; from the “Grand Plan” with Grand Hotels to Boom and Bust and Boom again – learn about one of Southwest Florida’s first planned communities: Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island.


    Betsy Fugate Joiner, director of the Boca Grande Historical Society, will share some stories about her life growing up in Boca Grande. She is a 3rd generation member of the Fugate Family of Boca Grande (you may know of Fugate’s Drug Store and Delmar Fugate’s Pink Elelphant). She is also a 4th generation Florida Cracker. Her father was actually born on Banyan Street in 1912. Her mother, Margaret was a teacher at Boca Grande High School, beginning in 1939 and then moved to Lemon Bay School in 1963 as Librarian and Spanish teacher when the school closed.


    In addition, Betsy is Chair of the Boca Grande History Byte program which is held each season in February on Wednesday mornings at the Johann Fust Library.  The “Byte” program began with Sallie Van Italie’s idea in 2009 about having people share their stories in an informal setting.


    Betsy is also General Manager at PJ’s Seagrille in Boca Grande, located inside the Historic San Marco Theatre Building.


    Also speaking will be Pat Agles, Director of the Boca Grande Historical Society who will give a presentation on how the Society came about and where they are today. Pat, a founding member of the Boca Grande Historical Society, was owner of Galleria of Boca Grande from 1993-2005. She is Director of Product Development and licensing for the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and is also Chair of the docent program at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe, NM. There she is a Team Member/Artist for the restoration of the Cathedral’s interior murals for a Celebration with the King of Spain.


    We also expect a visit from Karen Grace, BGHS President. Karen & husband Jim are past owners of the historic Temptation Restaurant.

    A Bit About the Boca Grande Historical Society:

    “Four couples began the BGHS in 1995. It was the sesquicentennial of our state. To announce our founding, we had a fun historical/hysterical skit at the railroad depot on the train tracks. After a crowd gathered, we announced the news and the society was born. We operated for awhile in the Van Itallies kitchen. The island was growing quickly and we knew the importance of collecting stories/oral histories and photographs before these treasures disappeared.

    “We are still active in the business of collecting these priceless histories and making them more easily available for viewing to our community. We invite all to come for a visit or perhaps a docent led walking/golf cart tour of our historic village of Boca Grande.”



On behalf of the Society, many thanks to all of you who donated to Charlie Hicks’ run to be “Mayor for a Day.” The grand total is $2784 which will be added to the amount raised to move our historic building. Thanks again to all who contributed and congratulations to Charlie!!

Elect Charlie Hicks for PIONEER DAYS Mayor of the Day!
Voting will be available on the website as well as several polling places covering all areas of Englewood. (Check back here for more information as it becomes available.)


Charlie’s charity of choice is the Lemon Bay Historical Society, Inc. whose current project is to move the Historic Green Street Church Museum to a forever home adjacent to Lemon Bay Cemetery at an estimated cost of $187,000. This move will insure the 1928 building remains a community asset.


Charles W. Hicks was born in Lakeland, Florida in 1940. In Kathleen, a nearby town, he attended one of the many “strawberry schools” in the area that closed for vacation the months of January, February and March so that students were available to pick strawberries without missing school.
The Hicks family, dad, mom and three boys moved to Englewood in 1947 and dad, Wiley, became a commercial fisherman who went on to develop Hicks’ Marina in the mid 50s. The family enlarged the facility in the 1960s. Today, it is known as Stump Pass Marina.
Charlie graduated from Venice High School, enduring long daily bus rides, in the days before Englewood was blessed with Lemon Bay High School. In 1958 following graduation, he joined the Army, mustering out in 1961 and going on to a distinguished 31-year career with Delta Airlines.
He and his wife, Kathy, were drawn back to the area by his Englewood roots in 1999 and immediately got involved in the community. He is a long-time member and President of the Lemon Bay Historical Society. As a member of the Englewood United Methodist Church, Charlie is best known for coordinating the volunteers who make the $6 Wednesday night dinners so successful. He is also a member of the Secret Society of Smoked Mullets that recognizes individuals who contribute to the community.



From the Pioneer Days website:
The “Mayor for a Day” will be officially announced at the Cardboard Boat Race on Saturday September 2, 2017 and receive the “Mayor sash” prior to the start of the first race. Duties will include selecting the “Mayors Choice Award” at the Cardboard Boat Race, riding in a vehicle for the Parade on Labor Day (vehicle provided by the EPD Committee), selecting the “Mayors Choice” for the Open Car Show on Sunday September 3, 2017 and “Mayors Choice” for the Corvette Car Show on Monday, Labor Day September 4, 2017. The duties don’t stop there, the “Mayor” will proudly wear the sash and be the “Mayor For A Day” until next Labor Day weekend in 2018. Public appearances could also be part of the yearlong bragging rights and helping YOUR charity for more than a day.