■ BY SUE ERWIN
The Boca Grande Historical Society bus trip to Manatee Historical Village and Cortez Maritime Museum is filling up quickly, so if you’re interesting in going, get your tickets now.
BGHS member Jim Blaha said there were just nine spots open as of Wednesday afternoon.
“The trip to the museum and fishing village will include transportation and lunch in Cortez,” Blaha said.
The excursion is planned for Friday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $95 for members and $125 for non-members. The trip is limited to 35 people. Call (941) 964-1600 for tickets.
The current exhibit at the history center on the island is “Bridge to the Future” and it will be open through the end of the year. The interpretive and interactive exhibit takes guests on a tour of the history of how the Boca Grande Swing Bridge was originally built, and how it evolved to the current, updated bridge that exists today.
The original control board built by General Electric is part of the display, along with simulator goggles that give a 360-degree view of beneath the new swing bridge. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (during season).
“Our goal is to keep the current exhibit open through the fall of 2018, and then we’ll start putting together the next one,” Blaha said.
The next informational display that organization members will be working on will be entitled “Boca Grande: Once a Railroad and Industrial Town” and it will focus on the railroad, phosphate and how it brought tourism to our area.
“Port Boca Grande was an industrial area initially, so that exhibit will focus on the development and the uses of phosphate and how it brought real estate developers to Boca Grande,” Blaha said.
The historical society is looking for help from individuals in the community to assist with the project.
“We are trying to get more locals involved with the next exhibit and we’re starting early,” Blaha said. “Our plan is to determine how it will be staged, what it will cost and then how we will go about getting our funding. We’re going to need to get some grants first to be able to fund it.”
New York Times best selling author Tim Dorsey will be speaking at the Boca Grande Community Center on Tuesday, November 14 at 2 p.m. about Florida history and landmarks. Dorsey will present “The Sunshine State: No Appointments and A Tank of Gas.” Tickets for the event are $15.
The Boca Grande Historical Society museum is located at 170 Park Avenue.
Volunteers are needed to assist with various projects this season. Current needs include docents, photographer and videographer, archive assistants, web design and help with office duties and publicity.
For more information, call (941) 641-1600 or visit bocagrandehistoricalsociety.com.