Hector House Plaza: The Founding of Punta Gorda
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member rogueblack
N 26° 56.061 W 082° 03.034
17R E 395703 N 2979597
Quick Description: Commemorating the place where the City of Punta Gorda was incorporated and how it was done.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 5:55:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM514C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 32

Long Description:
This historical location, which now bears a marker, is located next to the lawfirm of Wotitzky, Wotitzky, & Ross and across the street from the historical Charlotte County Courthouse, which has been restored to its former glory and repurposed to serve several county offices. In the heart of historical downtown Punta Gorda, visitors are welcomed to enjoy the sites of the city's preserved history. The entire property where this original Hector House once stood is now a sitting garden with landscaped bushes, colourful plants, public seating and chess boards.

These chess boards beckon residents to play on them with a twinge of irony. This place was the place where men incorporated Punta Gorda as a city with the purposeful exclusion of Isaac Trabue, yet it was Trabue who sponsored the annual chess tournament in the city. Today, the tournament, which features Trabue's specialty, Four-player Chess, is named the Trabue Chess Tournament. It may be subtle, but in this park, we remember all the men who founded Punta Gorda and let their rivalries rest as ancient history.

    Hector House Plaza:
    The Founding of Punta Gorda
    On December 3, 1887, 34 men in the "Town of Trabue" met here in a two-story building, built in 1887, owned by Tom Hector. The diverse group of landlords, tenants, merchants and workers, some white and some black, were all qualified voters. At the time of the meeting, the ground floor was the location of a drug store and the second story was Hector's billiards hall. Above the drug store, at a pool table, the men passed the articles of incorporation by a two-thirds majority. They selected a city seal, a council and the corporate name of Punta Gorda. Although politically active locally and in his native Kentucky, town founder Col. Isaac Trabue had not registered to vote on this issue and was barred from the balloting. Trabue had begun acquiring land in early 1883. He had the land platted, reserving the shoreline for public use and naming streets for family members. Having given up half his holdings for rail service, a depot and a luxury hotel, he was angered by the settlers' ingratitude. The documents were filed at Pine Level, the county seat, on December 7, 1887. Trabue sued to dissolve the municipality and regain title to the public lands. Ten years later he gave up. The Hector House was demolished in 1988.

    A Florida Heritage Site
    Sponsored by the City of Punta Gorda
    and The Florida Department of State
Marker Number: F-639

Date: 2008

County: Charlotte

Marker Type: Plaque

Sponsored or placed by: The City of Punta Gorda and the Florida Department of State

Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark.

Please post a photo at the marker location.
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