Martin Digital History

Browse Items (86 total)

  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/HSMC-2023-018-2-b3-053.jpg

    Group sits on a dock sharing a picnic meal. Individuals identified on photo as (from left to right) Agnes Ricou, Edith Coventry, Hallie Young, Bob Fulford, Cleve Kitching, and Luette Woodward.
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/Thurlow-2023-017-2-013.jpg

    Edith Brown Coventry (1890–1979), brother Franklin John Coventry (1891–1926), his wife Ella Estelle Ball Coventry (1893–1961), and John D. Coventry (1857–1938).
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/Thurlow-2023-017-2-007.jpg

    Charlotte Turner Coventry (1863–1958) husband John D. Coventry (1857–1938), and their daughter, photographer Edith Brown Coventry (1890–1979).
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/Thurlow-2023-017-2-003.jpg

    Young John F. Coventry (1918–1984), with his aunt Edith Brown Coventry (1890–1979), and grandparents Charlotte Turner Coventry (1863–1958), and John Coventry (1857–1938)
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/Thurlow-2023-017-2-002.jpg

    Edith Coventry and parents, John Coventry (1857–1938) and Charlotte Turner Coventry (1863–1958). Handwritten at top: "When we get riled, you'd best let us be, ma, pa, me." (from Toby's song.)"
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/Thurlow-2023-017-2-001.jpg

    Two women on the beach, Charlotte Mae Coventry Axtell (1913–1997) and Edith Brown Coventry (1890–1979)
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/HSMC-2023-012-5-HP2-089.jpg

    Man and two children in traditional Seminole dress with toy canoe with photographer Edith Coventry.

    "Ugly Will Bill's Indian Village and zoo" opened in 1937, a roadside tourist attraction created by Bill and Bessie Meredith as an addition to their gas station was established. The "Indian village" included two married couples and several children. One of the men, Richard Osceola, demonstrated alligator wrestling. The tourist attraction also included a small zoo with an alligator (transported from Ward's Camp in Jensen Beach in 1937), monkeys, racoons, squirrels, possums, snakes, and a lion as well as a lunchroom and gift shop.

    In 1939, it's noted that Osceola's infant daughter, Juanita, died in Tampa at the DeSoto exhibition, and that he was the official interpreter for the Brighton reservation. It is unknown if the "Indian village" part of the tourist attraction continued.

    By 1941, Meredith encountered a series of issues, including Martin County wanting him to move his buildings back from the road for enlargement, a fired manager refusing to leave, the hotel inspector demanding rats and cockroaches be killed, and his old alligator killing a new alligator. By August 1944, it's mentioned that his main line of business was operating coin operated music and amusement machines, with an office in the Kruger Building. He and Bessie moved to Soperton, Georgia at the end of 1947, where he operated Peach State Music Company until his death in a car wreck in June 1949.
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/HSMC-2023-012-5-HP2-088.jpg

    Man in traditional Seminole dress with photographer Edith Coventry.

    "Ugly Will Bill's Indian Village and zoo" opened in 1937, a roadside tourist attraction created by Bill and Bessie Meredith as an addition to their gas station was established. The "Indian village" included two married couples and several children. One of the men, Richard Osceola, demonstrated alligator wrestling. The tourist attraction also included a small zoo with an alligator (transported from Ward's Camp in Jensen Beach in 1937), monkeys, racoons, squirrels, possums, snakes, and a lion as well as a lunchroom and gift shop.

    In 1939, it's noted that Osceola's infant daughter, Juanita, died in Tampa at the DeSoto exhibition, and that he was the official interpreter for the Brighton reservation. It is unknown if the "Indian village" part of the tourist attraction continued.

    By 1941, Meredith encountered a series of issues, including Martin County wanting him to move his buildings back from the road for enlargement, a fired manager refusing to leave, the hotel inspector demanding rats and cockroaches be killed, and his old alligator killing a new alligator. By August 1944, it's mentioned that his main line of business was operating coin operated music and amusement machines, with an office in the Kruger Building. He and Bessie moved to Soperton, Georgia at the end of 1947, where he operated Peach State Music Company until his death in a car wreck in June 1949.
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/HSMC-2023-012-5-HP2-082.jpg

    Edith Coventry and unidentified Seminole man on road.
  • https://images.martindigitalhistory.org/temp/HSMC-2023-008-256.jpg

    Edith Coventry next to canal near a barge loaded with sugar cane. Taken during Edith Coventry's 1920 Everglades boat trip on the Dixie Queen.
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