Longboat Key buried a piece of its treasured history March 3, 2005, when developers razed the Buccaneer Inn to build the Grand Mariner condominium.
The late Herb Field, who also developed the old Colony and Far Horizons resort, bought the bar known as the Sleepy Lagoon Rendezvous in 1957. Before that, it was known as the local dive bar, with women of “dubious reputation,” according to Ralph Hunter’s “From Calusas to Condominiums.”
Field hired a one-legged man named Ransom Webster to dress as a pirate with a peg leg and greet guests as they came in for dinner. He expanded the buccaneer theme to the resort’s décor and restaurant’s dinner menu.
Tom Hires purchased the Buccaneer Inn in 1992 and closed it in 2001.
But, there’s still a touch of pirate’s life for the Key:
The old pirate statue from the Buccaneer Inn still stands on Dream Island Road.
+ Commission names Quick Point a nature preserve
The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a nature preserve at Quick Point at its March 4, 1991, meeting.
The commission rejected uses such as picnic shelters and bicycle accesses, along with restrooms, while emphasizing the site as a place where visitors could learn about the local ecosystem.
+ Police play hardball about stolen softball
A softball used during a Longboat Key police/firefighter game, which firefighters won, mysteriously disappeared from the front desk of the North Fire Station.
According to the March 2, 2000, issue of the Longboat Observer, the fire department received taunting letters and two threatening photographs of the stolen ball.
Police Chief John Kintz assigned a detective to investigate.
Currently 1 Response
- The one legged man you named in the article was not Ransom Webster, but Frank Trefethen, my grandfather. He was from Rye, New Hampshire and moved here in 1957. He lost his leg in a hunting accident at the age of 18. Mr. Fields had a pirate outfit made for him to greet the customers. He also gave him a Vespa and Volkswagen that advertised the Buccaneer Inn as he rode around town. One interesting note was that the Pittsburg Pirates, who spring train in Bradenton, asked him to be the mascot for them in the 1960 World Series. As a Yankee fan he refused.
Commission savors the sunshine
The weather on Longboat Key was cloudy on the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 11, but the Longboat Key Town Commission stayed in the sunshine, as far as the Longboat Observer could tell.
Resident keeps eye on the pie
Inspired by her mother’s homemade banana cream pie, Bird Key resident Kim Manning had a sweet idea: key lime with a twist.
Show us your spirit this season
This week, our reporters will make our final decisions on our favorite displays of holiday cheer for our “Spirit of the Season” contest. This year’s competition isn’t limited to lights.