Saturday, January 28, 2012

1/28/12 Report - Woodlawn Park & Using Old Postcards for Research

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

St. Pete Pier Postcard.

A couple of days ago I mentioned Tarzan Park, a tourist attraction in Vero back around 1900, and yesterday I suggested maybe trying to find some of the old tourist spots to detect while the local beaches are sanded in.

James F. sent me a link to a 1997 article about Woodland Park, which he has been hoping to locate. Woodland Park is not on the Treasure Coast but is the type of place I was talking about and could be a dream of a detecting site.

From what the article says the amusement park was in operation in 1917, and was a tourist haven. It was on the shores of the St. Johns River and served by paddlewheelers. It was sometimes referred to as "The Gateway to South Florida," or "The City Substantial."

Farmer Schmelz created the amusement park on top of a Timucuan midden mound on several acres of woody swamp land a few hundred yards from Lake Monroe.

It had a dance hall build on stilts over Lake Monroe and a gigantic swimming pool and many rides and attractions.

That would be a great place to research and detect. If you want to go after it, I'd suggest letting James or this blog know what you find. James was generous enough to provide the lead and said I could post what he found.

The site could provide both some good water and dry land hunting. Just finding out where it was would be a fun project and quite an accomplishment.

One reader of this blog took a lead that I provided earlier in this blog and located the site and information about the Walton Hotel and then detected the site.

That is the type of thing you can do if you are tired of detecting the same old beaches that everybody else detects over and over again. Of course you have to do some research, but that can be very worthwhile.

One tool I'd suggest using is a good old USGS topological map.

Another resource that I like to use is old picture postcards.

At the top of this post you see the St. Pete pier. I believe that postcard is from the fifties.

Can you imagine all of the stuff that is in the water below that pier? Of course there would be tons and tons of lead, but also a lot of other things.

When using a postcard like that, notice the background and all of the details such as the boats and where things were back then. It looks like there might have been a ferry or shuttle boat there, but maybe just a fishing or sight-seeing boat.

You can also see where people were gathering on the beach.

Old Postcard Showing Location of a Cabin.

This one isn't of Florida but it is a good example. Somebody marked the location of a cabin on this nice aerial view along with the mileage to the cabin.

Tresure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

The wind has shifted as a front comes through and is now coming from the north/northwest. Seas are still running around two or three feet, so conditions haven't changed yet.

We're still expecting five foot seas on Monday. That will give us some chance of improvement.

Happy hunting,