The painting on cloth entitled “The Gang of Punta Gorda” shows a central figure of a young woman at the wheel of a ship. Surrounding her are signatures of famous Punta Gorda citizens from the early 1900s — from furniture store owner H. C. Goldstein to future governor Albert W. Gilchrist. Other names are not widely recognized, leaving today’s viewers to wonder about their roles in the long ago days of Punta Gorda.
The painting was believed to have originated with Charles Augustus Dean, who was president of a paper company in Maine that later became Scott Paper. In his later years, he spent his summers in Maine and winters in Punta Gorda with his wife, Minnie, daughter, Eleanor, and a crew of seven. The woman at the wheel bears a striking resemblance to Eleanor’s best friend, Florida Schultz.
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