24 Newly Discovered Pictures from 1950s Cypress Gardens
This collection of 24 – 6×6 B&W negatives, offers a nice glimpse into 1950s Cypress Gardens.
Opened in 1936 by Dick Pope, Sr. and his wife Julie Downing Pope, Cypress Gardens may have been Florida’s first ‘Theme Park.” After decades of changing ownership and financial troubles, the park was re-opened in 2011 as Legoland Florida, retaining some of the original theme and gardens, but from the 1940’s through 2003 Cypress Gardens was dubbed the Waterski Capital of the World and these rare, likely never-before published pictures give us a sneak-peek back into that world.
The “Southern Belles” were often seen at the park and people posed with them for pictures.
Some waterski superstars like Dick Pope, Jr performed there. They practiced ski-jumping and human pyramids and it is said that barefoot waterskiing was first done and filmed there as well.
This small collection of negatives is heavily damaged. I have done some quickie photo restoration and have cropped in on some of the images, but plan to make prints from the negatives sometime soon. I’m just happy to be able to share them with you now.
As always, please contact me if you have any information about the people in these or other images in this archive or if you are interested in using these images for any reason or if you would like to purchase a photographic print.
© The Nurenberg Photographic Archive
Please do not copy or use any of these images without asking permission.