It was 1896 when Mrs. Lampp, a widow lady from Punta Gorda, accepted a proposal of marriage from Henry Kelly, an early Englewood pioneer.
Mrs. Lampp’s four sons from her previous marriage would become important members of the Englewood community. All seemed to have unusually good business sense, ambition, drive and a sincere dedication to the proper growth of the small village of Englewood. In different ways, all the Lampp boys contributed to the development and building of the town.
The oldest son was named Wade, but called “Hamp.” He was 19 when his mother married Mr. Kelly and was working as a commercial fisherman.
In 1916, when Pete Buchan opened his store, Buchan’s Landing — Englewood’s only store — there were no roads leading into town. Therefore, nothing played a bigger part in early Englewood history than the small sailboats that brought in needed supplies.
Buchan leased a sharpie rigged schooner named the “J. W. Booth” for his supply boat. It was owned by the Chadwick family, but captained by Wade “Hamp” Lampp and was the main schooner bringing supplies into the area once a month from Tampa. Since the town relied so heavily on those supplies, the captain of the J.W. Booth was indeed a very prominent person.
An interesting item from the Sarasota newspaper dated January 25, 1917 concerning Hamp Lampp illustrates the harshness of life in this area at the time. For one thing, there was no medical help available locally.
“Capt. W.H. Lampp met with a painful accident early Monday morning. In going aboard his schooner, the ‘J.W. Booth’ he slipped and fell cutting his arm badly on a handsaw, which was in a box of tools he was carrying. He was taken, by his brother Stanley, in his Ford, to Venice in time for the 5:30 a.m. train to go to Sarasota for medical attention.
Hamp Lampp was again mentioned in the Sarasota paper of August of 1921. It was reported Hamp, along with five other fishermen, had caught 2,300 pounds of mullet.
Wilburn Lamp was 17 at the time of his mother’s marriage. He soon became one of the area’s earliest mailmen, or mail carriers, as they were called then. On horseback he picked up the mail at Miaka City, which was anything but a city. Today’s location would put it near where State Road 776 and County Road 771 meet. There was a dock there for loading cattle, hence the name of the road that still exists, Cattle Dock Road. Mail was delivered from Punta Gorda to the dock. Wilbur brought it back to the post offices at Grove City and San Casa. Eventually he upgraded to a horse and wagon. His salary was $25 a month.
His various careers included commercial fishing and cooking for fish camps. Wilbur served in the State Militia and, during World War I, was a merchant seaman. He worked in orange groves, for a company that built orange crates and did land clearing. In later years he became known as an excellent boat builder. For a while he worked for the well-known Royal Palm Nursery in Oneco. It was there he developed a great interest in hydroponics, becoming one of the first hydroponic growers in Florida. He liked to illustrate how productive this method was by telling people he had produced more than 1,000 pounds of tomatoes one year in four cement containers 25 feet long, 3 feet wide and 9 inches deep.
Jesse Lampp was 12 when his mother moved to Englewood with her new husband. He was called “Pat.” He did commercial fishing, like most of the young local men at the time, but had a reputation of being an exceptionally good carpenter. That talent eventually led him to becoming a prominent builder in Englewood. Several of the homes he built remain today.
In 1925, he worked on the construction of the Lemon Bay Woman’s Club’s new building, donating his services for free. Today the club building on Coconut Street has the distinction of being on the National Register of Historical Places.
Another house Pat was responsible for constructing, with a little help from his friends and family members, that remains today is the home he built for himself and family on Perry Street. Lottie Lampp, Pat’s daughter said the house was built during the late 1920s, being finished in 1928. It was originally called the Pat Lampp House, now simply the Lampp house. Recently part of the house became the new home for the Englewood Museum, which allows you to get a peak inside the fine old home that is one of Englewood’s oldest structures.
The Lampp house is at 604 W. Perry St., just off of Old Englewood Road near West Dearborn Street. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Museum is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Call 941-460- 1561 or visit www.eahmuseum.org for more information.
There are Lampp descendants still living in Englewood.
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Tune in next week to learn about the fourth Lampp brother, Stanley, who was for a time mayor of Englewood.
Diana Harris is a Sun columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.