A Brief History of Punta Gorda, Florida

The City of Punta Gorda was founded in 1884 when surveyor Kelly Harvey began working on the subdivision of Travue. At the mouth of the Peace River, you will find our southern shore, where streets and blocks were once arranged. Every waterfront block was designated as a park, a legacy that can be seen today in our string of public parks. Gilchrist Park, Ponce de Leon Park, Laishley Park, and more are now connected by Harborwalk, a 2.5 mile long public promenade.

Hotel Punta Gorda

In 1887, after the arrival of the railroad and the construction of the Hotel Punta Gorda, the city was incorporated. Our little city thrived on winter seasonal visitors, agricultural trade, and commercial fishing.

Punta Gorda’s real estate boomed through World War II when the Punta Gorda airfield was constructed to train aircrews. After the war in the late 1950’s, another boom began with the construction of canals connected to Charlotte Harbor - what we know today as the Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles neighborhoods. These new subdivisions drew retirees from the north, attracted by winter sunshine and spectacular boating opportunities.

Punta Gorda main street

With a small town feel, waterfront parks, system of pathways for walking and biking, and a collection of independent shops and restaurants, Punta Gorda continues to benefit from the preservation of its rich and unique history.

History courtesy of the City of Punta Gorda.

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