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Vintage Postcards showing Underwater Mermaids from Weeki Wachee, Florida

Updated on August 4, 2017
Peggy W profile image

The southern states have a charm all their own. From beaches to deserts there is a wide array of landscapes to please almost anyone!

Vintage Postcard of Mermaid from Weeki Wachee, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Mermaid from Weeki Wachee, Florida | Source

Weeki Wachee Springs

This post will show some of the vintage postcards of underwater mermaids plus a couple of other sites in Florida that my grandparents would have acquired many years ago on their vacations, prior to the postcards qualifying for vintage status.

My guess would place these postcards as being anywhere from 50 to 60 years of age.

The first four postcards will showcase Weeki Wachee Springs which is located in the central part of the State of Florida near the west coast. This aquatic attraction is located at the intersection of State Road 50 and Highway 19 which is just north of Spring Hill and south of Homosassa Springs to put things in perspective.

None of these postcards show a copyright.

Written on the back of the postcard at the top of this page is the following:

One of the thrilling scenes to be witnessed at amazing Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida.

Color Photo by Ted Lagerberg

Weeki Wachee spring fed pool measures 165 feet by 210 feet in circumference. At its center the depth is 45 feet.

Algae and grasses grow on the bottom which can be seen in this vintage postcard.

Like so many other springs in Florida, Weeki Wachee provides crystal clear water giving unlimited visibility for this attraction which began its life in 1947.

An ex-Navy frogman by the name of Newton Perry decided to teach interested young females to learn breathing techniques getting their oxygen from an air hose as he had learned enabling them to perform underwater activities for an audience. Thus, the idea of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids was born and evolved into what tourists can still see today.

An underwater theater that currently seats 400 people was built and tourists could look through the clear glass and watch the orchestrated performances of these bathing beauties who performed.

Vintage Postcard of Beautiful Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Beautiful Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida | Source

On the back of this postcard reads the following:

Beautiful Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, famous attraction, where thrilling performances underwater of the lovely swimmers constantly amaze the onlookers.

Color Photo by Ted Lagerberg

Weeki Wachee Springs is part of a 538 acre Florida State Park.

Part of the land is leased to a private firm to operate these mermaid shows.

Obviously this took a great amount of training to be able to take sufficient air from the hose and then do their tricks like drinking soda from a bottle for minutes at a time before taking in more air. The "mermaids" would swim and do acrobatic tricks all while holding their breath underwater.

Back in the late nineteen forties and early 1950s, this became quite an unusual attraction to say the least. As a matter of fact, from what I have read, fewer than 20 people know how to do this underwater acrobatic performance today!

Now Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida has become a State Park.

Vintage Postcard of Mermaids from Weeki Wachee, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Mermaids from Weeki Wachee, Florida | Source

This card has the following on the back:

The underwater ballet troupe of shapely maidens who perform feats of grace and endurance in the crystal clear waters of Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida.

Color Photo by Ted Lagerberg

The Weeki Wachee River flows west and meets the Gulf of Mexico a mere five miles away.

Fish and turtles can be viewed in the water and even an occasional manatee might be sighted.

Vintage Postcard of Beautiful Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Beautiful Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida | Source

On the flip side of this vintage postcard reads the following:

WEEKI WACHEE "SPRING OF THE MERMAIDS"

World's original and only all underwater theatre. Florida's most exciting and amazing attraction. The Mermaids perform under water for thirty long minutes! "You must see it to believe it." Located on U.S. 19 at Florida 50; sixty miles north of St. Petersburg.

Photo by Ted Lagerberg

Today, in addition to viewing the underwater performers in the submerged theater, there are river boat cruises that can be taken as well as other boating activities on the Weeki Wachee River.

In addition there are animal shows and a water park by the name of Buccaneer Bay operates during the season.

Vintage Postcard of Mermaids from Weeki Wachee, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Mermaids from Weeki Wachee, Florida | Source

On the back of this vintage postcard above reads the following:

Poetry in Motion. The beautiful underwater ballet troupe of shapely mermaids who perform amazing feats of grace and endurance at The Spring of the Mermaids, world famous Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida.

Color Photo by Ted Lagerberg

Vintage Postcard of Underwater Theater at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida
Vintage Postcard of Underwater Theater at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida | Source

Flipside of the postcard above reads as follows:

The famous Underwater Theater at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida.

Colorphoto by Ted Lagerberg

This oversized "GIANT POST CARD" measuring 6 1/2 inches by 9 inches would have called for a 3 cent stamp. My how times have changed!

Two more old non-copyrighted Florida postcards exist in the stack gathered by my grandparents while traveling through this state. Considering how close to Weeki Wachee Springs these other locations are...they might have all been collected on the same vacation trip.

Vintage Postcard of Skyland Restaurant
Vintage Postcard of Skyland Restaurant | Source

On the back of this "Spectra-Color" postcard is written the following:

SKYLAND RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE

On U.S. 19 - 98 - 27A, South City Limits, Perry, Fla. Telephone 567 Serving from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily G.R. Gandy, Owner

Color photography by Red Kerce, Tallahassee, Florida

Emblazoned on the back in two places was the Triple A ( AAA ) logo.

Obviously my grandparents stopped to eat in this restaurant. My grandmother kept a daily log while on vacation and she would have told what they chose to eat, the price and if they enjoyed it or not.

Vintage Postcard of Florida's beautiful Suwannee River
Vintage Postcard of Florida's beautiful Suwannee River | Source

On the back reads the following:

Florida's beautiful Suwannee River, made world famous by Stephen Foster's song---"Way Down Upon the Suwannee River."

Ektachrome by Holloway

I can remember hearing about the Suwannee River from my grandparents when I was still a child. It sounded so exotic to me at the time and I was an adult prior to my getting to see it first-hand.

Now I have that Suwannee River tune whirling around in my head. You can hear an orchestrated jazz version of Suwannee River in the video below if you like.

Map showing location of Weeki Wachee Springs

A markerWeeki Wachee Springs -
6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, FL 34606, USA
get directions

Have you been to Weeki Wachee Springs or seen the Suwannee River?

See results

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 17 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      I have no idea. It has been a long time since I have visited that part of Texas.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

      Yes, I took the glass bottom boat ride as well. I was there about 1980. I wonder if it has gotten bigger or smaller over the years.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      I remember taking a glass bottomed boat ride at Aquamarina Springs in San Marcos, Texas many decades ago. I did not see the Aquamaids perform however. In reading about it, that underwater theater has been removed but the glass bottomed boat rides are still there.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

      An interesting look back at the post cards. I remember seeing this place advertised on television once. They had an underwater show at Aquamarina Spring in Texas. I wonder how it compares.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lisa,

      This is definitely a different type of site from the norm. Glad you liked learning about it and thanks for the pin.

    • profile image

      LisaKeating 3 years ago

      I have recently become interested in old postcards and the many stories they tell. I had never heard of this site, but can definitely see the attraction. It is not unlike the circus or a carnival attraction. Following WWII, Americans began to embrace the idea of leisure time, and all types of attractions began to pop up. Thanks for sharing this interesting collection. Pinned.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello kittythedreamer,

      Nice that you liked this hub about the vintage postcards showing the underwater mermaids in Florida at Weeki Wachee Springs. I do not see an earlier comment from you...so thanks for leaving one now. Come back as often as you wish! :))

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

      This was really interesting! I feel like I might've commented before so if I did sorry but too cool!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi QudsiaP1,

      The idea of girls posing as mermaids and swimming underwater performing beautiful ballet like feats is unusual and especially so when this was first presented as a show back in my grandparent's time. Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida still attracts tourists today. Thanks for your comment.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      How incredibly amazing! I have never heard of such a thing before. Yet I have to admit I love the idea of mermaids o underwater theatre.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Charlu,

      You certainly DO live in an amazing state. Florida has so many attractions including this one of the underwater mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Unbelievable finally somewhere I've been before. It was awhile ago but the place was great as you can tell by your wonderful postcards and videos. It's amazing the shows they do especially underwater. Thanks for reminding about what a great state I live in with tons of entertainment old and mew. All the ups except funny.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi SanneL,

      You saw more of the U.S. east coast than I have since you have driven all the way from New York to Florida. Nice! I agree that the old swimsuits were much sexier than the ones today which leave not much to the imagination. Glad to know that you enjoyed seeing these vintage postcards and learning about the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ben,

      Those Little Mermaid videos are beautiful if you have the time to view them in this hub. Glad that you liked this. Thanks for your comment.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      I have visited Florida. I have been driving all the way from New York to the southern tip of Key West and I loved it. However, I never got to see any mermaids.

      I think the swimsuits from the 50th are so sexy. Like the red one in the first picture.

      I loved this vintage hub. Voted up and shared!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      WOW Peggy what can I say? I am in love! You offer a lot here I'll have to come back to finish reading, great images and writing.

      Ben

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rachel,

      Florida is literally filled to the brim with great attractions. This one of the mermaids at Weeki Wachee is one of the older ones that has recently been made into a state park. Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for your comment.

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 5 years ago from California

      What a great hub! I love learning about new places -- Woo hoo!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Lucas,

      Sorry for the late response. Somehow this got labeled as spam and I just now saw it. I'm not a scuba diver and haven't been to Bonaire. The crystal clear water in Weeki Wachee, Florida would be great for diving and snorkeling as well as seeing shows like those showing the underwater mermaids. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Lucas 6 years ago

      Looking at all these postcards makes me want to go there again! I haven't been since I was probably four and I really don't remember very much. Oh, and I totally love scuba diving bonaire! have you ever been to Bonaire and is it as good as there?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello countrygirl84,

      Glad that you liked these vintage postcards and thanks for adding that useful information for people wanting to visit Weeki Wachee in Florida. Appreciate it!

    • profile image

      countrygirl84 6 years ago

      This place is really amazing, they have recently ( being in the past few decades) added a new water park what is fabulous for kids and families. And the mermaid shows still happen every day! Thanks for sharing these great cards!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mrs. J.B.,

      These vintage postcards from the past are fun, aren't they! Glad that you enjoyed these showing the underwater mermaids in Florida. If you ever travel to Florida, there is one great attraction after another...just around almost every bend in the road. Thanks for the comment.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      I just love the postcards. I loved reading this hub too. Florida is one place I have not been.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Tony,

      I agree...old postcards / vintage postcards are fun to see. Glad you liked these showing the underwater mermaids in Florida. That would have been quite something when they first started! Thanks!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Great Hub, Peggy. I really enjoyed the read and the postcards. As you might have noticed I am a big fan of old postcards myself!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Steph,

      Glad you liked seeing these vintage postcards of the mermaids who perform underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida as well as some others. Thanks for the up vote and tweet.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Really amazing photographs/postcards and I love all the history. What a unique, interesting hub! I'd love to visit Florida someday (outside of the theme parks). Thumbs up and off to share on Twitter now!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks cheap postcard printing for your interest in these vintage postcards showing the underwater mermaids in Florida from many years ago.

    • profile image

      cheap postcard printing 7 years ago

      Excellent Creative work I have never seen it before. Thanks for sharing Lovely Postcard Design Portfolio. waiting for future Designs.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi billyaustindillon,

      This was certainly a very early and unique Florida attraction...that of lovely "mermaids" performing their underwater ballet type movements. I'm glad that my grandparents initially purchased and later my parents kept these vintage postcards for me now to peruse and share with others.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      These postcard are precious - now I know where synchronized swimming came from.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings oscillationatend,

      Glad you found and liked this vintage postcards hub showing the underwater mermaids in Florida. I also enjoy looking at vintage postcards and photos. Thanks for the visit.

    • oscillationatend profile image

      oscillationatend 7 years ago from a recovering narcissist.

      Thanks for sharing, I'm a sucker for vintage. Also, love the way the colors come out on older cameras...even if they aren't exactly true-to-life, they have a warm appearance.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peter,

      Sounds as though you have had some wonderful snorkeling experiences in beautiful places around the globe. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • profile image

      Peter 7 years ago

      Hi Peggy,

      Places we have been snorkeling are Jamaica, St. Thomas, FL-Keys. From Europe, we mostly travel east, like going to the Red Sea, Maldives or Thailand. Some famous snorkeling spots in your area are said to be Bonaire, Belize and Cuba, but all depends on the actual location and your personal preference.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peter,

      I'm neither a mermaid nor diver. Will stick to admiring the mermaids at that underwater show in Florida as shown on those vintage postcards and also the videos. Snorkeling would be a fun way to see beautiful underwater sites. Where do you like to go snorkeling?

    • profile image

      Peter 7 years ago

      Hi Peggy

      Are you a mermaid or a diver? I love to go snorkeling!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peter,

      I looked at your link and there are some nice videos of the underwater performing mermaids in Florida as well as some other old time videos. Thanks for pointing me and others in that direction.

    • profile image

      Peter 7 years ago

      Hi Peggy W

      I found some vintage movies here:

      http://www.youtube.com/user/TomWills#p/u/24/-Sp4WhKfe80

      Maybe you want to publish one.

      Best regards

      Peter

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pachuca213,

      Since these are vintage postcards, and that movie is certainly vintage, it fits. Will have to look for that movie and watch it sometime. Thanks for commenting on this Florida, Underwater Mermaid hub.

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 8 years ago

      thats really cool and made me think of the movie " Mr Peabody and the Mermaid" (1948) for some reason! lol

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dolores,

      Yes...the mermaid show in Florida is certainly "campy and unique" and also a throwback to earlier times when it was first originated. Hope you get to see it someday. Thanks for the comment.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Peggy, I am listening to the song now. I love it and am very fond of Judy Garland's version as well. Those mermaids are just so lovely and campy and unique. I'd love to see that show.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello travel_man1971,

      Welcoming another new face here! So happy that you enjoyed these vintage postcards from days past in Florida. Of course the mermaids are still current although the outfits are undoubtedly quite different. LOL

      So...you are a seaman. One of my brothers was in the Navy years ago and had interesting tales to tell of his travels.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Your vintage hub reconnected me to the past of Florida. As a seaman, I was lucky to be in Miami and Tampa, but I never enjoyed the cities's attraction like this because our time are limited. Discovering your hubpage is a great find. Thank you, Peggy W.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Dink96,

      Great to see a new face here! Actually the postcards were from my grandmother...but you are correct. If my mother had not saved them, I would not have them today.

      Thanks for the tip about checking out the other hub regarding Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida.

      Yes, both Florida AND Arizona are beautiful. Have visited and done a number of hubs originating from both states. Thanks for the comment.

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Such a special window into the past and even moreso that your mom saved these postcards. You might also want to check out St. James' hub on Weeki Wachee Springs. Florida certainly has its share of beautiful spots...not unlike my own state of Arizona.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Duchess OBlunt,

      Silver Springs used that mermaid idea to great advantage. In a completely different way...so did Walt Disney. Guess every little girl of a certain "vintage" grew up thinking what it would have been like to be a mermaid. LOL Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Nice vintage hub.

      I remember when mermaids were popular too. In fact as a young girl, I read about them a lot. The stuff dreams are made of . . .

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ethel,

      My grandparents did quite a bit of traveling to the south to escape the cold Wisconsin winters. Florida was one of the states that they explored quite a bit evaluating it for retirement possibilities. They also took in many sites such as this one with the Mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs of which I ended up with these now vintage postcards. They eventually retired in Texas.

      Thanks for your comment. I agree with you as to the stylishness of the girl in the red swimsuit.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      The girl in the red swimsuit is so stylish. Thanks for this glimpse into the past.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello loveroflife,

      Guess we can guess at your age from your remark about remembering vintage postcards as being current ones. My memory goes back a loooooonnng waaaay tooooo! LOL

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pete,

      Guess they will operate the underwater mermaid show in Florida as long as they still have people who can manage learning how to breathe with the air hose...and as long as tourists still are attracted to this unusual show. It is one of Florida's oldest attractions.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mardi,

      Yes...things "sure have changed." The bathing suits worn by the mermaids on those vintage postcards tell the tale if nothing else. Hope this Florida attraction is able to keep operating long into the future. So different from the norm! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      loveroflife 8 years ago

      I remember when Vintage Postcards were just the current postcards. Great memories.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      That's definitely some old stuff. I remember when the mermaid thing was big.

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Peggy, another great hub. Things sure have changed, haven't they? I had never heard of the underwater performances but would be a great thing to see.