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Historical Markers

New Point Comfort

 The Englewood Museum’s application for a historic marker commemorating New Point Comfort has been approved.
The official Charlotte County marker is in place and will be dedicated at 9 a.m. May 22 by Charlotte County Historian Jennifer Zoebelein.
Located on Lemon Bay Road just south of Merchants Crossing shopping center, much of the property in the area was owned by A. Stanley Lampp, who developed New Comfort during the 1920s. The plot was donated to Charlotte County by Stanley’s nephew, Jim Christman.
Museum board members Don Bayley and Betty Nugent compiled historical research on the area. Additional work on the marker application was done by Jim Christman and Donna Stogsdill.
New Point Comfort was place to "raise pineapples, hunt quail and collect samples of marine life for scientific study by its previous inhabitants."
Historically, the area was promoted as “The Largest Point on Lemon Bay,” and was the first subdivision in Englewood on the Charlotte County side.
Col. James McArthur Lewis platted the area into lots for winter residents when A. Stanley Lampp bought numerous lots from the colonel’s son most likely and Otto Gottfried. He promoted this area as New Point Comfort.
In 1931, the area housed The Bass Biological Laboratory which was considered the first full-time marine station on the Florida mainland until it closed 1944. John F. Bass Jr. wanted to “furnish research facilities to investigators in biological fields, where the fauna, flora and climate play an important role in the problem under observation.” 
Located on a 10-acre site on Lemon Bay, the lab facilities included three one-story log labs, one known as the “Cookie House,” two large frame houses used as a dining hall and dormitory for visiting scientists, administration living quarters and more.
The lab provided specimens to research facilities around the world.  They also had a small profit making subsidiary “Zoological Research Supply Company” that sold shark teeth, jewelry, shark liver oil and shark skins.
Bass Jr. lived and worked at New Point Comfort from 1933 to 1939. An estimated 75 scientists visited New Point Comfort to collect specimens and perform environmental research in Florida’s unique environment.
A second lab, the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, was built a few miles south in Placida in 1955. It eventually moved to Sarasota and was renamed Mote Marine Lab.
One of the most unusual homes in New Point Comfort was called the “Shipwreck House” where Sam and Diana Harris resided in a ship’s hull, and slept in half of a giant water tank. Their fireplace mantle was made of timber from the first bridge to Englewood Beach. Diana Harris, who wrote history columns for years for The Englewood Sun, still lives in the house.
Today, the historic neighborhood full of Englewood history and pioneering families contains virtually all the remaining structures in Englewood and Charlotte County that have any historical value. The first homes built in New Point Comfort are gone, but most of the remaining homes in the neighborhood are at least 60 years old.
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