It wasn’t easy trying to get to the site of the festivities in Tarpon Springs the other day, what with so many streets blockaded and such. Eventually I realized that I was close enough to where I was supposed to meet my son to just park (legally) on one of the side streets and walk to the meeting point. That worked well. The trick came when I had to walk back to my car with only a vague notion of where it was parked. I walked the side streets and parking lots to get there, and to my amazement I came across the lovely mural of Mother Meres tucked away on one of those side streets. Of course I took a picture and Googled her story once I got home.
It seems that Mother Meres was born Amelia Petzold Meres in Germany in 1845, and came to the US as a child of 5. In 1882 she moved to Tarpon Springs with her husband and she ran the Fern Hotel there. According to a story published in the Tarpon Springs Tribune this mural was dedicated in her honor in 2010, 84 years after her death in 1923. It credits her accomplishments as planting cyads, which eventually gave the Tarpon Springs Cycadia Cemetery it’s name. She threw the first Christmas Party in the area, and helped to plant trees to beautify the town. If I had done my homework I would have found the Kapok Tree Inn and taken a picture because she is credited with providing the seeds for the tree that gave it it’s name.
After her death in 1923 her gardens became a gathering place for the town, but they were mostly turned into parking lots in the 1950s. So this mural was created to thank her for lasting gifts her love of plants and nature have left for the town all these years later.
This statue sits in front of the library so I thought that it’s story was probably self-explanatory. But what a lovely statue it is, I wish I’d taken time for a few more pictures but we were rushing to the waterfront for the main event of the day. It seems there is more to Tarpon Springs than just the sponge docks…