In 1925, James Earl “Doc” Webb came to St. Petersburg and changed the city’s retail and tourism landscape forever. Starting with a small drug store on 9th Street South, Doc Webb expanded his retail and entertainment empire to six square city blocks, 70+ retail outlets, 3,000 parking spots and made sure everyone east of the Mississippi River knew of Webb’s City in sunny St. Petersburg. Along with his double-dip ice cream cones, dancing chickens, and famous gimmicks to undercut competitor’s prices, Doc Webb’s live Mermaid Show intrigued and mesmerized children of all ages. A beautifully painted porcelain mermaid greeted visitors to the “World’s Most Unusual Drug Store”, and when Webb’s City met its demise in 1984, Lorelei the mermaid was lowered and stored in the Museum of History’s vault. It’s time for Lorelei to return. The Museum has launched a campaign to fund the renovation and raising of the painted porcelain Lorelei on the building’s exterior wall. To help raise the mermaid, visit www.historystpete.org.
The St. Petersburg Museum of History is located at 335 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. For more information about exhibits, hours, and ticket pricing visit SPMOH.com.