August 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the August Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.

Also, visit my website to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Thank you,

A Look Into the History of Tarpon Lodge
One of my favorite summer stay-cations is taking a trip over to Tarpon Lodge. While soaking in one of those gorgeous Florida sunsets, I started thinking about the history that I knew this island held. I came across this comical personification of the deep roots of Tarpon Lodge:

"Pineland is an anomaly. It claims less than 1 square mile on the northwestern edge of Pine Island, and yet it is packed with history, and the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant is its “woman with a past.”

1. She was born in 1926 to Philadelphians Graham and Mary Wilson as a fishing lodge that developed beautifully into an 18-room house on a 32-acre estate. In her flaming youth, Gra-Mar Villa sparkled with electric lights powered by a generator. In the pioneer, oil-lit little community of a scattered few, she was a show girl.

2. Twenty years later, Gra-Mar had to go to work. Between 1945 and 1968, she was Pine-Aire Lodge, a commercial establishment catering to sports fishermen. During this time, she had a love affair with John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of America and lately the most powerful labor leader in the country. He was crazy about Pine-Aire and bought one of the guest cottages as a getaway.

3. In 1968, the now middle-aged Pine-Aire feigned an air of piety. Purchased by the American Bible College, she became a retreat and school for evangelical clergy. In this role, she assumed the lofty name of “Pala Mar,” translated from Biblical language as, “Wondrous Works by the Sea.”

4. In 1980, Pala Mar was transformed yet again; the elderly lady had a face lift, performed by her new owner, the Medical Management Institute. With grand solemnity, she re-emerged as “The Cloisters,” a rehabilitation center for alcohol and drug addicts, ignoring with perfect composure the brick wine cellar that the Wilsons had installed during prohibition beneath the floor of their closet.

5. In the year 2000, the grande dame of Pineland, now in the respectful care of the Robert Wells family, reclaimed the persona of her youth as the 4-star Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant. Rejuvenated and esteemed, she yet bears, in her original oak floors and fireplace, her vintage hardware and crown moldings, the ghost of her past. These ornaments of her show-girl 20s are worn and the floor boards creak, but in the most loveable and wickedly secretive way."

The Florida Citrus industry has an economic contribution of $6.5 billion to the state of Florida and supports 37,000 jobs, according to a report developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Department of Citrus, based on the 2018-19 season. Find out more information by clicking image below:
Cabbage Key Restaurant

Known by many as “the bar with all the money on the walls”, the Cabbage Key bar has been serving up drinks to boaters for over 60 years.

The front room is the old porch with a view of the marina and sound and offers dining 365 days a year, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Safety Harbor is on North Captiva Island. This particular building was one of the Punta Gorda Fish Company’s ice huts. In the early 1900s there were two type of fish shacks built in the waters around Pine Island. There were ice huts, where fishermen would drop off their catch to be stored until the run boats from the fish company could pick up the fish. And there were fish cabins, where fishermen could live for extended periods of time while out on the water. This would save them from having to row or sail back and forth to their home each day. These huts and cabins did not have electricity, plumbing, TV and dare I say, no internet. But they offered a place to sleep each night and a shelter from storms. Water was collected from rain gutters mounted on the buildings for drinking and cleaning.

46 Acres
1422 Mahon Ave. #A Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful piece of native Florida land! 46+ acres with A-5 zoning off Hwy 70 East of Arcadia. A remote area, but still 10 minutes to town. Perfect for someone who is looking for privacy and wanting to build their dream home. Bring the horses and recreational toys! Call today for a showing!*Pending DeSoto County approval for Parcel split*
MLS: C7430425
Total Acres: 46.58
Sold for Full Price: $399,000
11.94 Acres Kings Hwy Corridor
SW Co Rd. 760 #C. Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautifully wooded 11.94 Acre homesite just off Kings Hwy. This is an ideal area to build your dream home with plenty of space for a barn and animals. Located in much sought after Kings Highway (State Road 769) area with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away. CALL TODAY!

MLS: C7428881
Total Acres: 11.94 Acres
Sold Price: $147,500

Acreage Tracts Golf Course Views
SW Cypress Bend Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
Three gorgeous 5+ Acre properties with golf course views in Desoto County. Parcels have privacy with ample space to build your dream home.
You will have convenient access to the newly upgraded public boat ramp with entry onto the Peace River and be just a short drive to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Arcadia or I-75. 
Come bring your animals and build on these beautiful pieces of land! 

Parcel 1:   5.25 Acres   $90,000  
Parcel 2:   5.80 Acres   $90,000
Parcel 3:   5.79 Acres   $74,000
30+ Acres Kings Hwy Corridor
SW Hwy 760 #D Arcadia, FL 34266
Secluded 30 + Acre wooded property just off Kings Hwy in Desoto County.. A perfect place for a private getaway cabin or your next home. Located in the much sought after Kings Highway (State Road 769) area with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away. CALL TODAY!

Total Acres: 30.90

MLS: C7431376

Listing Price: $415,000
22+ Acres Pastureland
SW Reynolds St. Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful 22+/- Acres of well-maintained pasture land with sprawling oaks. This property would make an incredible homesite with plenty of room for a barn and pond. It is zoned A-5. Bring your cattle, horses, or other livestock and enjoy this peaceful piece of land. Call today for a showing!

MLS: C7429697

Total Acres: 22.06

Listing Price: $278,000

50+ Acres Subdivided 10 Acre Tracts
3100 Martin Lane Arcadia, FL 34266
50 Acres already subdivided into Five-10 Acres tracts. A perfect piece of land for multiple family members to build. This property is located within minutes to Kings Hwy with convenient access to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Arcadia. Don’t miss this opportunity! *Seller financing may be available

Total Acres: 50
MLS: C7430693
Listing Price: $650,000
272+ Acres Recreational and Hunting Property w/Home
2333 County Rd 731 Venus, FL 33960
GET AWAY FROM IT ALL!!! BRING THE ATV’S….Recreational and Hunting Property. Approximately 267 acres in Highlands County PLUS a spacious 4 bedroom/3 bath single family home on 5 Acres. This land is full of beautiful Oaks, Cabbage Palm Trees, and improved pasture with plenty of deer, turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. The home offers over 3,300 sq ft of space. This is a beautiful “old Florida” landscape. Get out of the city and enter your PRIVATE getaway!!! Located less than 90 MINUTES from the east or west coast of Florida.

MLS: C7432000
Total Acres: 272
Listing price: $1,500,000

200-1,000 ACRES

Call me 863.990.1748 for more info
5 and 10 Acre Parcels in Charlotte Park
8292 Holmes Blvd. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
8264 Duffie Dr. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
5 & 10 Acres Shovel-Ready in growing Charlotte County Airport Park. Bring your business! Infrastructures in place such as city water/sewer and storm water retention. ECAP Zoning (Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park) allows for a multitude of Industrial, Commercial, and Office uses. 10 Acre property has ~670’ of road frontage on the front and ~670’ of road frontage on back, can be divided. Less than 1 mile to Interstate 75 at Exit 161 and sits adjacent to Punta Gorda Airport.

8292 Holmes Blvd.
Total Acres: 5
MLS: C7427867
List price: $382,000

8264 Duffie Dr.
Total Acres: 10
MLS: C7427835
List Price: $763,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
 Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 ||