Catastrophes, accidents and calamaties featured in latest BGHS exhibit

On Tuesday, March 29 the Boca Grande Historical Society held another fascinating pop-up “History Under the Stairs” exhibit titled “Accidents, Calamities and Off-the-Wall Events of Boca Grande.” This exhibit included showcased some of the less-discussed highlights of the Island’s history. 

This public exhibit showcased three major hurricanes – unnamed hurricane of 1926, Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Charley in 2004 which caused major damage to the island.

It also featured the explosion of the Arthur Albright, a phosphate carrier that blew up at the Port of Boca Grande in 1965 (due to a faulty valve resulting in over pressurization of the fuel tank). Eight men were hospitalized with extensive injuries.

There was also information about rum running during prohibition, particularly aboard the San Fernando, a two-masted schooner, captured trying to land 200 gallons of liquor in Boca Grande in 1928.

Other catastrophic tales included the jail burning down in 1914, bloody fights and the Seaboard locomotive breaking through the dock in 1960 (needing a crane from New Orleans to pull it out).

The next event for the Boca Grande Historical Society will be on Tuesday, April 5, at 4 p.m., a free virtual discussion of Gilbert King’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning novel“Devil in the Grove.” This true story takes place in Lake County and details heinous acts of racism, murder and the law, bringing to light one of the most dramatic court cases in American history. 

A dangerous and uncertain case from the days immediately before Brown v. Board of Education in which attorney Thurgood Marshall risked his life to defend a boy slated for the electric chair – saving him, against all odds, from being sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.

Moderators will be Randy Hicks and Pat Nesser Agles.

Go to their website, bocagrandehistoricalsociety.com or call 964-1600 to find out how to register for the virtual discussion.