A Horse Named Perry McAdow

Perry McAdow of Punta Gorda

Perry McAdow was one of the founding citizens of Punta Gorda. He arrived in Punta Gorda in 1897 with his young new bride Marian.

Another Perry McAdow of the same era was a Thoroughbred race horse. Perry McAdow, the horse, is listed in the racing rosters in 1904 and raced until 1910. That’s a long career for a race horse.

We’ll probably never know who named this horse after Perry McAdow or why. Was Perry a friend of the horse’s owner? Continue reading

Who Killed Marshal Bowman? Suspect 1: Isaiah Cooper

Marshal John Bowman

According to authors U.S. Cleveland and Lindsey Williams, Isaiah E. Cooper was convicted of Marshal Bowman’s assassination, but enough doubt existed that his scheduled execution was postponed three times, and ultimately when former Punta Gorda resident Albert Gilchrist was elected governor of Florida in 1908, he commuted Cooper’s death sentence to life in prison. Continue reading

Meet the Mysterious Mrs. B

Laura Bowman has been snubbed by other local historians. According to Lindsey Williams and U.S. Cleveland, after the assassination of her husband, Marshal John Bowman on January 29, 1903, “Mrs. Bowman moved to her mother’s home at Charlotte Harbor town and died two years later. The children were placed in the Arcadia Orphanage, and adopted.” After many sleepless nights worrying about the sad fate of the orphaned Bowman children, I initiated my own independent research. Continue reading

The Dick Family Mystery

John Monroe Dick was a gentleman farmer

The Dick family’s short presence in Punta Gorda’s early history is a mystery.

Angie Larkin tellls of the Dick family arrival in her book In Old Punta Gorda. The Dick family came to Punta Gorda in 1888 by covered wagon from Texas. They spent their first night in what is now the parking lot of Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel and Suites. However, they didn’t stay long. In the 1880 Census they resided in Chambers, TX and in the 1900 US Census they were in Galveston, TX. Continue reading

Punta Gorda’s Most Famous Ghost is a Teen-Age Girl

Leah Sandlin painted by Christiane Belle Tremblay

Mary Leah Sandlin’s story is legendary in Punta Gorda. The 14-year-old was ironing clothes on the front porch of her family home when she caught on fire. She leapt off the porch and ran down the street engulfed in propellant-fueled flames. Neighbors put out the fire but Leah succumbed to her massive injuries within three hours. It is said her ghost still haunts the historic family home on Retta Esplanade. Continue reading