This bell was salvaged from a logging train used in Woodmere, a sawmill town south of Venice, on what is now Rt. 776. The abundant stand of pine trees in that area was dying from having been "bled" of their resin to make turpentine, a much valued commodity. The trees were then harvested for their timber and hauled south to the port of Charlotte Harbor. A community of 1500 workers and their families supported the mill at Woodmere. The mill was built in 1918 by Manasota Lumber Corporation and operated at peak capacity until about 1927, when the stand of trees was depleted. The sawmill buildings burned to the ground in 1930. The bell may have been used within the Woodmere community as a school bell or to alert the families and workers in the event of an emergency. It is assumed the bell came to Eagle Point either when the mill closed or in 1930, after the fire.
The bell was then used to summon guests to lunch and dinner at Eagle Point, a prime waterfront property in Venice, with an elite hunting and fishing resort, established in 1916 by Mrs. Bertha Honore Palmer. The resort was purchased by Mike Evans in 1918, and then sold to Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury Curtis in 1923.
Georgette Williams married Jack Duke in 1946, and the couple lived at Eagle Point where he served as maintenance superintend and fishing guide. In 1953, Jack Duke became manager of the resort. The resort was sold in 1989, and soon after that, the bell was moved to the Duke residence on Dona Bay. Until the property was sold to Glen Goodman in 1989, Eagle Point was the oldest continuously operated resort in Sarasota County. Eagle Point was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 1991.
The Venice Archives acquired the bell through the generosity of the estate of Georgette Williams Duke, the younger daughter of George and Hattie Williams, owners of the first dairy farm in Nokomis.
The bell now has a new home, here at the entrance to the Triangle Inn.
Please ring the bell