On Friday morning, Apalachicola said farewell to the Venezellos, another remnant of the glory days of the seafood industry.
Jason White demolished the well-worn structure, and carted away the wood planes from the boat, which was a fixture at the corner of Avenue E and Water Street, across from City Hall.
“I thought that people were unhappy with it there,” said the lot’s owner, Lynn Wilson Spohrer. “I thought it wasn’t fair to tourist development and the city, so I had it removed.”
Spohrer said she allowed the boat to be placed there by the board of the former Apalachicola Maritime Museum, which preceded the current organization headed by George Kirvin Floyd.
She said she had applied to the city for a grant to build a cover over the boat, light it and display a history of the Venezellos on site, but no money was forthcoming.
Spohrer also said she had approached Floyd two years ago and offered to pay for materials if the current museum would undertake restoring the boat as a summer project for its youth educational program, but the scheme never came to fruition.
“I loved the boat. I felt it was like a historical sculpture and very important to regional history,” said Spohrer.
The Venezellos was built in Apalachicola by Demo George, a Greek immigrant and businessman, according to George’s great-granddaughter Despina Williams Parker. George built a fleet of shrimp boats for his seafood business, Standard Fish and Oyster Company, located on the current site of Water Street Hotel and Marina.
The vessel was named for Greek Prime Minister Elefterios Venizelos, a charismatic statesman of the early 20th century who helped lead the Greek national liberation movement.