Leslie Hayden Guthrie

Leslie Hayden Guthrie, 97, of Sarasota (Manatee County), Florida, died
November 19, 2011. He was born in Cortez, Florida and was a lifelong
area resident. He was a commercial fisherman and he served in the
U.S. Navy during World War II. He is survived by his daughter, Diane
L. McAnally of Sarasota and two grandsons, Geffrey and Jason Leach.

Les is predeceased by his parents,William Raymond and Frances (Johnson)
Guthrie of Cortez, two younger brothers , and his Grandparents, Capt James
Edward and Charlotte (Foreman) Guthrie , one of first five families to settle in
Cortez .

The first Guthrie families trace their ancestry to Forfarshire , Scotland,
where the imposing Guthrie Castle stands today. The first four brothers
arrived in the Unites States in the late 1700′ s

Visitation is 6 to 8 PM, Friday, December 2, 2011, at Brown & Sons
Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel, 5624 26th Street West,
Bradenton, Florida 34207. Graveside services will be 11:00 AM,
Saturday, December 3, 2011, at Palma Sola Cemetery in Bradenton.
Memorial contributions may be made to TideWell Hospice, Inc., 5955
Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238. Online condolences may be made at

Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Free Ride’ films in village


The “action” in Cortez Nov. 14 wasn’t just on the fish docks where stone crab claws and other catches were unloaded. Filming for “Free Ride” took place in Cortez that day.
Filming also has taken place in Sarasota.

“Free Ride” stars Anna Paquin of “True Blood” fame, along with Brit Morgan, Cam Gigandet and Drea de Matteo.

SCAMP, the production company founded by Paquin and Stephen Moyer, is behind the picture, which is set in 1970s Florida and is about the mother of two girls who flees an abusive relationship and gets involved in marijuana trafficking.

A casting call for the extras in the area requested “all types, all sizes, all ages, all ethnicities. Really unique faces a bonus! This is set in 1978 — men with longer hair and facial hair a plus! Tough biker types, clean-cut types, kids, teens, families, and seniors. This will be a very fun project with well known industry professionals!”

Cortez isn’t known for Hollywood-like glamour, which is why multiple movies have filmed in the location — including “Out of Time” starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes and, the best of the offerings, the 1998 version of “Great Expectations” starring Robert DeNiro, Anne Bancroft, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke and Chris Cooper.

Filming for “Free Ride,” a film starring and produced by Anna Paquin, took place in Cortez Nov. 14. Islander Photo: Karen Riley-Love

Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Cortez folk arts festival is Saturday


By Cindy Lane | sun staff writer

CORTEZ – Mullet, music and more is on the menu at the Fifth Annual Cortez Folk Arts Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez.

The Cortez Village Historical Society will provide mullet dinners with sweet tea and all the fixin’s, and Jose’s Real Cuban Food will offer Cuban dishes, with Tyler’s Ice Cream sponsoring an ice cream eating contest for children and adults.

Musical entertainment includes the Myakka Blue Grass Band, Brain Smalley, the Burke Brothers of Have Gun Will Travel, Soupy Davis and Friends and the Main Hatch Motleys sea shanty singers.

More than 20 arts and crafts vendors will exhibit their wares. New this year, the Cortez Post Office will have a booth selling Disney Forever stamps, with characters from "Ratatouille," "Cars," "Toy Story" and other Disney favorites, along with holiday stamps in books of 20 for $8.80 each.

Disney artist Al Konetzni will sign autographs and has donated art work to be raffled to benefit the museum. Frames were donated by Picture This, 8615 Cortez Road W.

Visitors can take guided tours of the museum, which features new displays, the FISH Preserve and the new boat shop where traditional Florida wooden boats are built.

Cortez photographer Richard Estabrook also will be on hand to take free family and group photographs in the museum’s Secret Garden.

The museum is located at 4415 119th St. W. in Cortez. Parking is available in Cortez village and just east of the village off Cortez Road in the FISH Preserve.

Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

The event is sponsored by First America Bank and co-sponsored by the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), Manatee Clerk of Circuit Courts Chips Shore and the Cortez Village Historical Society.

For more information, contact Ted Adams at Ted.Adams@ManateeClerk.com or call 941-708-6121.

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Johnnie Fulford Provost

Johnnie Fulford Provost

Johnnie passed away on November 4, 2011 at her home in Bear Creek, North Carolina.

She was born February 14, 1930 to the late John and Vera Fulford in Manatee County, Florida. Sister to Mona Bennett of Columbus, Georgia and Shirley Moore of St. Petersburg, Florida. Mama to Jo Provost, Beckie Street, Pattie Cox and Drexel Salmons. Nannie to Bryan Salmons, Baker Street and Stormy Salmons. Aunt Johnnie to many nephews and nieces. Friend to many, especially her dear friend Ms. Wilma Midgette.

She was preceded in death by husband, Garland Provost, greatgrandson Jackson Salmons and son-in-law Peter Street. Graveside services will be at 11:00 .am.. Monday, November 7th at the Russell Family Cemetery in Bear Creek. Visitation with the family to follow services and all are welcome at the home. Flowers are welcome or donations may be made to the Harold “Butch” Webb, Jr. Liver Transplant Foundation c/o Jennifer Kettner at 114 S. Water Street, Swansboro, NC 28584. The family wishes to thank mama’s dear friend and wonderful caregiver, Ms. Mary Jones. She has helped us in more ways than she will ever know.

Services Provided By
Jones Funeral Home
303 Chaney Avenue
Jacksonville, NC 28540
Ph – (910) 455-1281
Fax – (910) 455-1292
Email: info

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maurice Guthrie


In Rememberance of Maurice H. Guthrie

Maurice H. Guthrie

Jefferson Township, PA October 13, 1931 ~ October 30, 2011 Date of Service: November 3, 2011

Maurice H. Guthrie, Jefferson Twp., died Sunday morning in Moses Taylor Hospital. His wife is the former Carol Martarano.

Born in Florida, son of the late James and Grace Fulford Guthrie, he was a veteran of the Air Force serving during the Korean War. While living in Florida, he was part of the family business, Captain Jim’s Fish House. A loving father and husband, Maurice would do anything for anyone. He loved spending time outdoors, gardening and his dogs. He was a member of St. Eulalia’s Church in Elmhurst.

Also surviving are a daughter, Lisa Guthrie and husband, Eric Deabill, Moosic; a sister, Geraldine Cross, Tombstone, Ariz.; a brother, James Guthrie and wife, Betty, Cortez, Fla.; a brother-in-law, Louis Martarano and wife, Jo Ann, Dickson City; many nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by an infant son; a sister, Barbara Holmes; an adopted brother, Ralph Scalzo; and a brother-in-law, Robert Cross.

The funeral will be Wednesday from the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home, 318 E. Drinker St., Dunmore, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Eulalia’s Church by Monsignor John W. Jordan. Interment, Fairview Memorial Park, Elmhurst. Friends may call Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society , 712 S. Keyser Ave., Taylor, PA 18517.

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ghosts of hurricanes past


By Cindy Lane | sun staff writer

If you haven’t left Anna Maria Island by now, it’s too late, warned the announcer on WTRL-AM 1490, broadcasting from the Pier in downtown Bradenton.

It was 1972, and we were listening in the second floor kitchen of a wooden, two-story cottage called East o’ the Sun in Bradenton Beach, near where the Anna Maria Island Club is now.

The owners, Bruce and Jackie Curtis, had already brought in the furniture, all but the heavy concrete tables and benches inlaid with colorful, broken tiles. Their son, Jack, had secured the little boat he had been teaching me to sail a couple of days before.

My family was staying there for a week as a summer break from everyday life across the bridge. With a kid’s perspective, I figured we had a boat we could jump in if the water got too high, so it only seemed exciting, not scary, with the waves crashing and the wind howling through the cracks in the wooden siding.

But it wasn’t long until the Gulf of Mexico began to pour into the apartment downstairs, and the folks down there came upstairs looking for shelter.

I started to wonder about how many people could fit in the little boat.

That storm, Hurricane Agnes, turned one of the concrete tables into rip rap, and it was only a Category 1 hurricane as it swirled far out in the Gulf of Mexico, barely sideswiping the Island.

Hurricane season peaks

The height of the Gulf hurricane season is now.

And true to the calendar, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1921, a Category 3 hurricane whipped the Island and Cortez with its tail before making landfall in Tarpon Springs to the north.

Hurricanes didn’t have names 90 years ago, but it’s commonly called a monster, with 115 mile-per-hour winds, said Tony Reynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

When it was over, one newspaper headline screamed: "Death Rides on Winds," with at least eight people in the Tampa Bay area killed and several narrowly escaping death, one in a rowboat, one clinging to a palm tree, although his elderly wife drowned when he lost his grasp on her, and in the case of a lucky two-year-old, riding on his dad’s back as he swam for land.

In 1921, about 160,000 people lived in the Tampa Bay area; now, it’s 3.5 million, according to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

The storm caused between $3 million and $5 million in damage in Tampa Bay, the equivalent of $20 billion to $30 billion today, Reynes said.

Only a few beach houses were destroyed on Anna Maria Island because, fortunately, it was sparsely inhabited, he said.

But at the time, Cortez was a busy fishing village.

The big blow

Today, lifelong villagers who were raised on family stories talk about the hurricane of 1921 as if they had lived through it themselves.

The 1912 Cortez schoolhouse, which is now the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, not only survived the storm, but saved many of the villagers who fled there in boats seeking higher ground, according to Mary Fulford Green, of the Cortez Village Historical Society.

Green remembers her neighbor, Luther Guthrie’s mother, telling her she had to wade in waist deep water to carry him to a boat to take him to the schoolhouse.

Green’s cousin, Doris Green, was 6 years old when the storm hit. She recalled in her book, "Fog’s Comin’ In," that she saw houses and boats floating by their Cortez home, the village’s first schoolhouse. The whole family piled into a skiff just before their house floated off its pine pier foundation. They eventually made it to the 1912 schoolhouse, where several of their neighbors had already tied their boats to the railing outside.

Everyone had thought it was too late in the season for a hurricane.

A telegram had arrived at the Albion Inn, the community store, on the night of Oct. 23 warning of a storm, according to Green.

But on Oct. 24 at noon, it changed to a hurricane warning, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s monthly weather review dated November 1921: "Key West to Apalachicola. Increasing winds and gales and hurricane velocities along the coast. Emergency: warn all interests."

It was too late. By Tuesday morning, Oct. 25, Cortez was underwater, five feet deep at the docks, according to a Bradentown Herald newspaper report, which apologized for the paper being a day late "on account of the power being turned off Tuesday and Wednesday."

The Albion

When the winds died down, nothing was left on the Cortez waterfront but pilings embedded deep into the mud of Sarasota Bay.

And the Albion Inn.

Today, behind the 1912 schoolhouse museum, the Bratton store is all that’s left of the sturdy Albion Inn complex.

William C. Bratton built the structure in the 1890s at Hunter’s Point, the original name of Cortez. The building had a store, a U.S. Post Office and a steamboat wharf. When hotel rooms were added at the turn of the century, a new section opened, the Albion Inn.

The inn survived the hurricane only to face demolition in 1974, when the property was sold to the U.S. Coast Guard, which planned to tear it down. The Cortez Village Historical Society and the Organized Fishermen of Florida raised $12,000 to save the store portion of the building in 1991, moving it from its site near U.S. Coast Guard Station Cortez in 2006 to the museum grounds, where it is still under restoration.

The hurricane robbed store owner Joe Guthrie of $15,000 in damages with the loss of the store, dock, fish house and boats, according to the Herald. M.F. Brown also lost his store and the family home above the store, another $15,000 loss, according to the newspaper.

"Practically everyone at Cortez had some loss, either from wind or from the water which was in all the houses," the report said.

People from Bradentown (one of the former spellings of Bradenton) drove out to the water line near Palma Sola to help Cortezians arriving in boats to move inland.

In the strong current running down the streets, it took three men wading to push a boat full of women and children two miles to land, the Herald said.

Two people turned up who had been reported missing from Cortez, but they had only evacuated without telling anyone, Reynes said.

Villagers began to untangle their nets and salvage some fishing gear and boats. They shored up the Albion Inn with rocks blasted from the dredging of Longboat Pass and the Jewfish Key channel.

They were disheartened to see that the first bridge under construction from Cortez to Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach had been destroyed by the storm, according to Anna Maria Island historian Carolyne Norwood.

The fishermen soon discovered that a favorite Tampa Bay fishing ground, Passage Key, also was destroyed. The key, which had a freshwater spring, was a bird sanctuary monitored by boatbuilder Asa Harmon Pillsbury. His boat shop, now 114 years old, was relocated in 2007 from Snead Island to the grounds of the 1912 schoolhouse museum.

Storm warning

If a hurricane like the 1921 storm hit Anna Maria Island today, "Some have said the fragile barrier island would have so many passes cut through it that it would be unrecognizable," Green wrote in her book.

But as for Cortez, villagers say it has survived depression, war, red tide, fishing regulations and encroaching development, and is just too tough to die, come hurricane or high water.

If another hurricane approaches, the 1912 schoolhouse museum will no doubt be crowded with villagers, who to this day hold it as the safest place to ride out a storm.

While no hurricanes are on the radar heading this way at the moment, wind patterns are favorable for a hurricane before the season ends on Nov. 30, warned Reynes, of the National Weather Service.

"Historically, this is the time of year we get hit more," he said. "Don’t lower your guard."

And put the 1912 schoolhouse museum in Cortez on your evacuation shelter list, just in case.

Published in: on October 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Folk Arts & Music Festival – November 19, 2011

The 5th annual Cortez Folk Arts & Music Festival will be held on Saturday November 19, 2011 from 10 AM to 4 PM. It will be on the grounds of the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, 4415 – 119th Street West in Cortez, FL.

Come enjoy some wonderful music, original art and crafts on display and for sale, guided tours of the FISH Preserve and Maritime Museum and fresh seafood! Complete details are on the attached brochure. Hope to see you there!


Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Music on the Porch – September 24th 1-4 pm

Come down to the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez for “Music on the Porch”.

Bring your instrument and/or voice and join in for a great jam session or just bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music.

Saturday September 24, 2011 from 1-4 PM.

Music on the porch.pdf

Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Museum Speaks

The newsletter for The Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez is now available on the FISH web page.

Follow this link to download it:


Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  

2012 Fishing Festival Vendor Applications

The 2012 Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival vendor applications are now available on the FISH web page.


Published in: on August 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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