In 1921, a state senator suggested the Punta Gorda Herald sponsor a contest to come up with a name for one of the four new counties that would be carved out of sprawling DeSoto County later that year. The entries reflected the realization by residents that the prosperity of the fledgling county was dependent on newcomers joining them.
Fairweather, Avalon, Tourist, Fruitland, Palm, Tarpon and Harbor were among the more than 70 names the newspaper received, according to the late Lindsey Williams, co-author of “Our Fascinating Past,” a collection of local history columns first published in the Charlotte Sun, which merged with the Herald in 1989. Charlotte won with 199 of the 319 votes cast.
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