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Memories of Eldred’s by Tim Dixon: Part III

August 19, 2022
By Guest Columnist
In 1992 Charlotte County decided to put a public boat ramp on a strip of property they owned along the old railroad bed in Placida. It was an old rail siding that was abandoned when the rail line shut down, and the County had acquired ownership of the property after the train stopped running. The County had built the fishing pier on the old trestle, and this would provide parking for the pier as well as a boat ramp. The property was on the west side of what is now the walk path to the pier, and adjacent to the Mercury Marine test facility. Mercury got wind of it, and they didn’t want people launching boats and parking beside their operation, so they offered to trade the current site of the public ramp for the strip adjacent to their property. Why not just pass that headache to someone else? The County took them up on the proposal and built a boat ramp right beside Eldred’s Marina, then started giving away what the marina was charging for. Now the County was in direct competition with a local business, but they were providing the service for free. Private businesses can’t compete with that. 

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