At the March 6 edition of History Bytes, marine historian Charles Fuss spoke about the long history of the oil terminal at the south end of Gasparilla Island. Over the 43 years the terminal was in operation, 3.9 billion gallons of oil was pumped into the tanks and then onto barges for transport to the Orange River power plant, all with no measureable oil spills. From the time the phosphate docks closed until the plant in Fort Myers changed to natural gas as its fuel source and the terminal was closed in 2002, ships from around the world brought the fuel oil that kept southwest Florida lit.
Next week’s History Bytes will see the return of Florence Jelks, a Boca Grande native who will reminisce about the black communities on the island.
That will be the final History Bytes of the season, and will be held Wednesday, March 13 at 11 a.m. at the D.L. Moody Fellowship Hall at the First Baptist Church of Boca Grande. There will be refreshments afterward, and the event is free and open to the public.
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