A new online exhibit showcases artifacts and stories from 70 years of mermaid and Florida history
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We’re going back to the legendary mermaid attraction, Weeki Wachee Springs! In this episode, host Laura von Holt interviews emerging museum historian, Rebecca Schwandt, about her project, The Women of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, an online exhibit of artifacts and oral history about the experiences and history of the mermaid performers who have worked at Weeki Wachee over the decades. Rebecca shares what she discovered about the fascinating intersection of Florida history, women’s history, labor rights, environmentalism, and American roadside attractions…plus plenty of surprises that happened while cataloging pieces of Weeki Wachee’s seventy-year history.
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♡ Important Links
- View the online exhibit at University of Central Florida’s RICHES website: https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/the-women-of-weeki-wachee-spri?fbclid=IwAR3y049AZ6KhRE6ZtNvIGO6T7cjxA0V9Ws69ewI0ruLP47Pl0naSdn9WPAo
- Some highlights of the exhibit, as discussed in the podcast:
- Florence McNabb: https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/the-women-of-weeki-wachee-spri/item/11153
- Beetle at May Museum of the Tropics: https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/11186
- Trained racoon at Weeki Wachee Springs: https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/10475
- Mermaids pose on the original shell roof of The Mermaid Theater:https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/ome: ka/items/show/11191
- Listen to our past Weeki Wachee episodes: Mermaid Camp, The World-Famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids, Mermaid Vicki: Legendary Siren
- Read more books by Laura Lovely: lauralovelybooks.com
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This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the podcast! Image via Rebecca Schwandt/University of Central Florida.