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1955 - DR. BRAGG, THE CIVIC LEADER

THE NORTHERN AREA OF FRANKLIN STREET. a.k.a. "SKID ROW"
In the 1950s, the northern area of Franklin St. was an eyesore.  Conditions were so bad that it adversely affected commerce in the area.  It's a deterioration that has plagued portions of Franklin St. for almost as long as there has been a Franklin St.  Efforts to "clean up skid row" were frequently being demanded, discussed, dropped, or put into action, but often without much success.  There were just about as many ideas on how to accomplish it as there were merchants.  One merchant said, "The name 'Skid Row' should not be used.  If you want progress, just lay off the name 'Skid row.'"

1887 - BEFORE IT WAS SKID ROW, THERE WAS ROTTEN ROW
In 1887, a fire destroyed the area of Franklin St. between Lafayette (today's Kennedy Blvd.) and Jackson St.  The 1887 Sanborn fire insurance map shows four saloons on the east side of Franklin where this fire occurred.  One writer for the Tampa Journal considered it beneficial to Tampa that this area had burned. It was known back then as "Rotten Row" due to the abundance of wood frame shanty-like saloons.

Tampa Journal August 4, 1887
TAMPA SCORCHED

Thirty Business Houses and Residences Burned - Estimated Loss $50,000

About two o’clock this morning a fire broke out near the center of what is known as “Rotten Row,” composed entirely of one and two story wooden buildings, and occupied mostly by small tradesmen such as fruit stalls, retail groceries, barber shops, etc. on one side of the street, and principally by saloons on the the other. The fire seems to have originated either in Cole’s restaurant or Thomas’ barber shop, the flames spreading rapidly each way from the starting point and soon enveloping the entire block in flames. It was some time before any kind of effort could be made to control the fire, and for a time it looked as though the whole business part of the city must surely go, and the absence of any wind was probably what saved the best portion of it.

(See the whole piece at "Lafayette St. Bridge History" at TampaPix.)

THE FIRE
The Journal deeply sympathizes with all who lost their property in last night’s conflagration. . . . But aside from the hardship entailed upon those who directly suffered loss, the effect upon the city can not fail to be otherwise than beneficial. Two of the finest business blocks in the city are now open for substantial and valuable improvement. The real value of these blocks this morning is greater than it was yesterday; and we believe that within one year from this date, instead of the former shanties that stood yesterday [as an] eyesore to the citizens of Tampa, will tower magnificent brick blocks.

It didn't take long for this writer to be proven correct.  By 1889, this block had been completely rebuilt in brick. In the 1890s, this was known as "Tibbetts Corner" for the Tibbetts brothers who owned a confectionery where the bank once was located.

Southwest corner of Franklin St. & Lafayette, circa 1889

Burgert Bros. image from the USF Digital Collection

    

 

 

Here in the mid-1950s was another effort to clean up the "low-class bars and joints, teenage drinking and carousing, drunks, vagrants, bottles, prostitution, and human waste in the street" at the north end of Franklin St.

1955 - Nov. 2:  Merchants form the Tampa Uptown Merchants Association

About 30 merchants of the northern Franklin St. area met at the Chamber of Commerce building in order to promote the businesses in the area.  The area, commonly referred to as "Skid Row" by locals, was bars, drunks and vagrants in those times. They formed the Uptown Merchants Association (UMA) with furniture manufacturer Harry Arkus as president,  Silas G. Telander VP, Marvin Arnowitz secretary, and Dr. Bragg as treasurer. 

Telander stated that he was not a crusader against bars, and their purpose was not to close the bars, but added "Something must be done to clean up upper Franklin St.  Women can't walk down the street without being whistled at."  Another goal of the organization was to locate a new city auditorium on the riverfront between Cass and Fortune St.

1955 - Nov 14:   Oris Bragg appointed to represent Merchants' Association

The Tampa Uptown Merchants Association called a meeting to discuss the progress of the plan to improve upper Franklin St., in an effort to bring shoppers back to uptown, and the plan to locate an auditorium on Cass St. at the river.

The group chose Dr. Bragg to represent them on Mayor Hixon's Site Planning Board for a new auditorium in the vicinity.

 
 

 

1955 - Nov. 13:   During his involvement with the Merchants' Association, Bragg advertised the opening of his new clinic location with this very large ad.

Click the fine print in the lower half to see it larger.

Bragg had also partnered with two other doctors here--Robert O. Bell, specializing in arthritis disorders, and Robert C. Rank, specializing in weight control.

 

ABOUT THE "NATIONALLY KNOWN" ROCK ISLAND CLINIC

Rock Island, Illinois, is part of a metropolitan area known as the "Quad City" area. The Quad Cities is a region of four cities in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa, the states being separated by the Mississippi River. The urban core consists of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island, and Moline, (including East Moline) in Illinois. These cities are the center of the Quad Cities Metro Area.

 

Not much is found in the Quad City area newspapers about the Rock Island Chiropractic Clinic.  The most significant is that Dr. Rank was the director and on May 5, 1955 the Davenport Daily Times ran an article saying Dr. Rank set up an "information exchange" where the public could learn about the science of Chiropractic.
 

Dr. Rank's "weekly column" was actually a paid advertisement, as were all of Bragg's articles.

 

    

In 1956, Rank went on to be chief of staff and director of a health spa in Punta Gorda.
(Appropriately so, "Punta Gorda" is Spanish for "Fat Point.")

  
Today, a "Roentgenologist" is known as a Radiologist.

 

 1955 - Nov. 20:   DR. BRAGG THE "AD-UCATOR"

From his new location on Grand Central, Dr. Bragg began a series of "educational" ads in which he presented the public with a short lesson on various disorders or chiropractic topics. 

  • An analogy of the body to a clock compared the brain/nerve system to the mainspring. 

  • Worry was a "destructive force" which when allayed, "half the battle" is won.  

  • Neck pain was the result of spinal misalignment that caused impingement of the spinal chord. 

  • Don't  be misled, spine failure does not always produce pain or discomfort in the back.  In the great majority of cases the effects of spine failure are observed at some distant point remote from the spine, such as neuritis in the arm or leg; headache, or malfunction in one or more vital organs. 

  • You were excused for not immediately recognizing the location of your pain or illness being in your spine. 

  • How cathartics work and the Chiropractor's work is to "free the nerve channel of any obstruction that might prevent perfect communication between different parts of the nerve system."

  • In "Stomach weakness" nerve interference was portrayed as being caused by a "weakness of the nerves" leading to stomach diseases. 

"The responsibility of the Chiropractor to the public health is to prevent, correct or control those conditions of the spine which, by interfering with normal nerve function, cause disease."

"..might it not be wise to try something different, some new approach and means to locate and remove the cause, rather than treating the effects?  In the spirit of a sincere helpfulness it may be suggested that you consult a modern Chiropractor.  It may mark the day when you start on the road to vibrant health."

 

1957 - Nov. 6: Now and then, Bragg found time to go fishing.

 


1958 - Mar. 1:  Bragg emphasized his expertise in prostate problems

 

1958 - May 3
Bragg was elected president of the Uptown Merchants Association (UMA).

Mayor Nuccio had a plan to block off Franklin St. from vehicle traffic and make it a pedestrian mall or a park area for shoppers.  Nuccio's plan was to do this from Lafayette St. (today's Kennedy Blvd.) to Cass St.

The UMA wanted Nuccio to extend the mall two more blocks, to Harrison St.

Other officers elected by the UMA besides Bragg were Benjamin Todd as VP, Bill Johnson as 2nd VP, Harry Arkus as secretary, and Leo Guerro as treasurer.

The Uptown Merchant's Association wrote this letter to Ellsworth Simmons, chairman of the county commission, reprimanding the commission for their excessive spending and calling on them to furnish the public with clear facts concerning their expenditures, along with having the letter published in the local newspapers.  The UMA claimed that the City was the victim of gross misrepresentation which caused an additional burden to every taxpayer in Tampa.

 

WHY THE "Y"?

In an effort to increase traffic into the upper Franklin St. area, Franklin was extended in a "Y" shape to connect it to Tampa Street on the west and Florida Ave. on the east.
 

1958 - Sept. 19:  The Y ribbon cutting ceremony

Dr. Bragg, as president of the UMA, introduced guest speaker Ed Wimmer, VP of the Federation of Independent Businesses, Inc., at the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new "Y" on Franklin St.  Mayor Nuccio presented Wimmer with a key to the city, then accompanied by Dr. Bragg, Wimmer, and other VIPs, the white ribbon across Franklin St. was cut by the mayor.



Nuccio used the image below in a 1959 re-election ad to show one of a dozen road projects he initiated during is present term. Nuccio lost the election to Julian Lane.

 

The Y today

Looking north at the "Y" on Franklin St.



Looking south towards downtown from the "Y" on Franklin St. with the Y(MCA) on the left.
Skid row is gone, but so is just about everything else.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1958 - Nov. 7:  For his 45th birthday, forty guests attended a surprise birthday party given by friends at the Tarnow Country House for Bragg.  He was presented with a plaque.

Nov. 1958 - Jan. 1959 ads for Tarnow Country House



This place didn't run many ads other than the one with their logo.  They are mentioned a great many times due to clubs, organizations, etc. planning or having had an event there.
 

  
 
1959 -  July 16:  Oris and Carmon Bragg's daughters married.  Carmon Fay (19, one of the twins) married Kenneth Ford and Margaret Ann (18) married Henry Torres, Jr. in a double wedding at Sacred Heart Church.

 

 

Harry Bragg, Oris's older brother, was a Spiritualist Church preacher.  He was the first child of John A. Brag and Bessie Stevenson.  Harry married three times, each time to widows with children, but had no children of his own.

  

Harry Bragg on hypnotism

 

1960s: The Bragg Chiropractic Clinic was your one-stop shop for just about everything that ailed you.


 

1960 - January 29: The beginnings of Fantasia Golf

A short paragraph (at right) in an article on a Tampa city council meeting gives us the first hint of Dr. Bragg's next endeavor.

Though we may never know for sure what motivated Bragg to build miniature golf courses in the midst of his successful chiropractic career, we might consider that his sister-in-law's golf involvement had something to do with it, as well as his membership in the Diamond Hill Country Club, in Dover, FL. (near Brandon.)

Below are a few examples of dozens of articles mentioning Mrs. Jay or Edna Bragg that appeared in local newspapers.

   

1960 - March 25:  FANTASIA LAND AT ROGERS PARK
Fantasia Golf was an enterprise first started  on 30th Street at the Hillsborough River at Rogers Park, a "Negro park" back in the segregationist days of Tampa.  Construction was in progress by March, 1960 with plans to build another one at Lowry Park. 

HERE'S MUD IN YOUR EYE!
Worker puts finishing touch on frowning Buddha.

 

The courses were being built by Tampan Dr. Oris Kay Bragg under an agreement with the City of Tampa with a percentage of the concession proceeds going to the city.  The one at Rogers Park was part of an overall improvement of the park which also included a 9-hole expansion of the regular golf course in another section of the park.

     

FANTASIA CASTLE, BOAT IN FOREGROUND
James Presswood works on Viking-type craft.

FROM OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA
Giant octopus awaits Rogers Park spectators

Satellite view of Lowry Park and Rogers Park

1960 - May 11:
FANTASIA GOLF AT LOWRY PARK

A preview of Fantasia for the press was held May 11, 1960 at the Lowry Park course, which was to be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.

Golfing beauties ignore kibitzer, Tampa Times, May 12, 1960
Miss Greater Tampa, Carol Compola, strokes a putt at the new Fantasia golf layout at Fairyland in Lowry Park, at yesterday's review of the new city park attraction, while five candidates to succeed her watch.  All appear unmindful of the menacing looking "gorilla," one of many colorful animals, hovering over them.  The other girls, left to right, are Sue Mitchell, Patti Ford, Linda Rollins, Judy Lynn Prince, and Barbara Weiner.

 

Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf image from circa 1960 Fairyland & Safety Village brochure.
 

The big Frowning Buddha at Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf at Lowry Park
From the 1961 Chamberlain High School yearbook "Totem."

 

 

Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf at Lowry Park, King Kong with club, from the Jefferson High School yearbook, Monticello 1962

Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf at Lowry Park, King Kong with club, From postcard on eBay.

 

1960 - May 13:
City officials take heat from Tampans

For about a year now a growing number of Tampans were becoming dissatisfied because so much of Tampa's infrastructure needed repair while Mayor Nuccio (during his first term) and Mayor Lane (to a lesser degree) were spending too much money  on the upkeep and improvement of Fairyland and the upward spiraling cost of housing and feeding the zoo animals.
 

The Tribune published this article in behalf of City officials who were receiving complaints about "the city spending all that money when municipal improvements are needed."  They assured the complainers that Fantasia Golf was not financed by the city and in fact, the City was making money off the venture through the lease agreement with Dr. Bragg.

See the history of Lowry Park & Fairyland here at TampaPix.

 

Horrible Henry, the two-headed dragon at Fantasia Golf, Lowry Park, circa 1970s.
Color slide image from eBay.

The last hole of each course featured an especially difficult challenge.  At one of them, from the tee it was straight up a steep ramp about 8 feet long, then an elevated flat green about 3 feet high, about 8 ft x 8ft. On the far side of the platform was a huge turtle facing the tee. His head swayed side to side with his mouth wide open. If you made your shot into his mouth, it went down a pipe into a special bin on the floor in the office, so you would win a ticket for a free round. But if you missed the turtle's mouth, it rolled under his shell and off the back via a different pipe and no free game.

Free game card for Fantasia Putter Golf, circa 1976-79.
The manager, Henry Torres, Jr., was Dr. Bragg's son-in-law, the husband of Dr. Bragg's daughter Margaret.
Card mage provided by Christopher Mygrant.

 

JAY BRAGG RETIRES FROM THE USED CAR BUSINESS

Meanwhile, as Fantasia Golf was being launched, Jay Bragg was leaving the used car business.  On April 16, 1960, Jay Bragg put his highly successful used car business up for sale.

 

It didn't take long to sell.  By June, 1930, it had become Avis Motors.  Jay Bragg would move on to something new, and his brother would join him.

 

 

Trampoline craze spreads across the country

Bob Robinson and his wife, of Burbank, California, became interested in trampolines in the mid 1950s so they installed one in their back yard.  He dug a pit the size of the equipment and installed it so the surface would be at ground level.  Along with his brother Jess, they became more interested in it as a business, and by 1960 there were several trampoline centers in the area.

Then it spread like wildfire across the country, and by the spring (no pun intended) of 1960, it came to the ears of Jay Bragg.

The selling of the opportunity to start such a business was just as much of a craze as starting a trampoline center itself.  So Jay Bragg seized on the craze and advertized to "get in on the ground floor" with "America's fastest growing sport."  He repeatedly posted this ad dozens of times in the business opportunities section.

 

Meanwhile, Oris continued promoting his Chiropractic wonders for his Grand Central Ave. clinic.  But he couldn't help keeping an eye on the success of his brother in the trampoline center sales.

Jay Bragg set up shop at 4608 S. Dale Mabry, where he started a trampoline center.

Meanwhile, Oris Bragg continued to draw crowds to Fantasia Golf, from both sides of the bay.

Jay Bragg set up "Bragg's Supply," a trampoline center supply store at the location which was formerly his car lot and previous to that, his brother's used car lot.

 

1960 - July 31:

Jay and Oris Bragg were co-owners of "Jump Jump" trampoline center at 4608 S. Dale Mabry.


The Bragg's also had this
one on Fla. Ave.

 

Aug. 20, 1960 - Competition for Braggs

Numerous nationwide magazines
had covered the fad.

 

By the end of 1960, there were dozens of trampoline centers being advertised all over the bay area.  Bragg, along with others, continued to advertise the opportunity for sale.  In the bay area 3 top newspapers, The Times, The Tribune, and the St. Pete Times, there were 225 articles/ads about trampoline centers in 1960, mostly all in the latter half of the year.

 

Jay Bragg was on target with his predictions, because in 1961 there were only 19 articles/ads about trampoline centers.  Most were centers for sale, including Bragg's.

 

The northernmost trampoline center in Tampa.  Jim Greenhalgh was superintendant of some of the latest of some 10 to 15 centers in Tampa.  This one was operated by James Albert Harris under a lease.

 

The Braggs saw the "writing on the wall" and quickly moved to sell their trampoline centers. The craze was over.

 

"Going Trampoline Center" was located behind the Biff Burger on S. Dale Mabry by Plant High School.  It was fenced in and had 10 trampolines.

 

Maybe they were expecting the lawsuit...

 

A 3-year old girl was injured on Sept. 16, 1960, when she wandered into the center from the miniature golf course (probably Bragg's) next to it and began bouncing. According to her father, there was no supervisor there to stop her.

(Where was her father??)


April 23 & 30, 1961
By the end of June he was still trying to sell.

 

In 1962 and afterward, there were no more articles or ads about trampoline centers.


 

 

 
DR. BRAGG'S FANTASIA GOLF ADVERTISING

In the first four years after opening Fantasia Golf, Dr. Bragg would place hundreds of ads, mostly coupons.  There was one almost every day.  Below is a sample from the earliest at upper left, to later at lower right. 

 

 

 

 
1961-May 18
BRAGG TESTIFIED AT THE MURDER TRIAL OF PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM V. "RED" ROBERTSON OF ROBERTSON & FRESH

 

 

 


Read about the history of Concept Therapy

Concept-Therapy is an educational organization dedicated to teaching a correlation of the universal laws of life for creating health, happiness, peace, and success: Body-Mind-Soul.

Born in 1931 out of the traumatic WWI experiences of Dr. Thurman Fleet, who could not find solutions to his challenges from traditional medicine and theology, what is known today as Concept-Therapy has evolved into a non-profit educational organization.

Grounded in philosophical principles that trace back centuries, Concept-Therapy is a unifying correlation of the fundamental disciplines (Science, Metaphysics, Theology, Psychology, Sociology, and Philosophy). It has been taught continuously at its San Antonio Campus for nearly seven decades, where it has proven itself a viable, workable understanding of living a whole life. Over the course of this remarkable tenure, Concept-Therapy has provided an anchor of support for 1000’s of people aspiring to a life of health, happiness, peace, and success and is now taught in locations across the United States and Canada.

 

 

This ad ran continuously from January 5, 1964 through April 12, 1964, at which point there were no ads at all for Bragg's clinic until Jan. 18, 1967.

 

1964 - April: Anti-commercialization sentiment threatens Fantasia closure

In early April the board of the city parks department decided against any further commercialization in city parks when it turned down the plan to put a tourist attraction in Rowlett Park.

Mayor Nuccio was criticized for appearing to lend support to the private venture at Rowlett, but the board's study of the idea showed that some were "irked over commercial ventures placed in parks under former Mayor Julian Lane."  (Lane was Tampa's Mayor from 1959 to 1963 and was preceded and succeeded by Mayor Nick Nuccio.)

The board wanted to get rid of Fantasia Golf at both Lowry and Rogers Park but Bragg's lease would have made it difficult.

 

It was said that Fairyland had become more of an amusement park with concessions and thrill rides than a peaceful public park for restful leisure time and the "greatest expansion of concessions and rides occurred under Lane."

 

 

Dr. Bragg's son-in-law, Richard Escobio (husband of Nina Kay Bragg), drowned in Lake Lena.

Below is his May 1956 photo from Jefferson High School graduates.

 

CURTIS HIXON HALL (Convention Center)

 

1964 - June:  During Bragg's silence in the papers, the City of Tampa experienced a major development  boom along the riverfront during the 2nd term of Mayor Nick Nuccio..

The Uptown Merchants Association saw part of their dream being realized when construction began on a new $4.2 million convention center.

The plans were unveiled on Feb. 14, 1963.

HERE'S HOW IT WILL LOOK (THE TAMPA TIMES - Feb. 14, 1963)
Details of the $5 million Curtis Hixon Hall convention center are explained by project coordinator Orville Summey (LEFT) of the Dallas firm of George Dahl and Associates.  Others are (from left to right) Councilmen Sam Mirabella and Dick Bacon, and on the right, Tampa architect Norman Six, principal architect on the project.

 

 


Architect George L. Dahl of Dallas, TX, (whose company Norman Six was with), designed the first drive-in bank in the country.

May 22, 1964 - Construction progress on the convention center.
Burgert Brothers photo courtesy, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System

 


 

   


CURTIS HIXON CONVENTION CENTER LAYOUT

Click each area to see larger image, then click AGAIN to see full size.

 

 

1964 - Nov. 6:   New convention center's original name was to be Tampa Memorial Center.

 

The coordinator of the Council of Patriotic and Veterans Organizations accused the "controlled news media" in Tampa of refusing to use the proper name for the convention center.

According to Capitano, the newspapers persisted in calling it Curtis Hixon Convention Center and had also referred to it by 11 different names, but not once its correct name.

He claimed that the overall facility was the Tampa Memorial Center but the convention hall inside was named for the mayor.

 

    An old dream has become a concrete and steel reality on the banks of the Hillsborough River.  Tonight, the city's $6 million Curtis Hixon Hall in the riverfront convention center will open its doors to the public for the first time.  Tomorrow it will be for-mally dedicated.  The story of this building, and its meaning to the people of Tampa, is told in this special edition.

The Tampa Times - Jan. 23, 1965


Postcard image below from eBay


Norman F. Six, the main architect of Curtis Hixon Hall,
called the architecture "modified contemporary."

 

1965 - Feb 2:  The scent of development in the water brought forth a shark-like feeding frenzy. Not less than a week later, a plan was on the table to show how the library could be relocated so a huge department store could be built in the heart of the new riverfront.

Below shows the proposed changes to accommodate the new department store and parking, along with possible future location for a music hall.  Place your cursor on the image to see the area today.

As can be seen when you place your cursor on the area survey above, the library wasn't moved, and instead, has been expanded, Tyler and Cass were merged together, but at a point further west beyond the library existing location, and the music hall was built where suggested, and is now named the Straz Center.  The William F. Poe parking garage sits on most of the area that was proposed for the department store.  The Tampa Museum of art and Curtis Hixon Park now occupy the former site of the convention center.

The proposal to move the library from the Ashley Drive frontage of the riverfront development was dealt a strong setback when Economic Consultant Lawrence Green of Hammer Co. and Assoc, Atlanta, said the move would kill the main district.  He said all the major stores would end up moving to the riverfront district within two years and wipe out the present business district.  Green also argued that the library was a valuable research facility to downtown businesses and it should stay in the heart of the business area.

Dr. Bragg, President of the Uptown Merchants Association, disagreed on the value of the library to the businesses in the main district, arguing that "the library is valuable but it still won't bring anybody in to shop.  Moving it to the planned location would make it almost impossible for any commercial establishments to come in."  Bragg circulated a petition to move the library to the west, directly on the riverfront, and sell the existing location to commercial developers.

Green discounted Bragg's view, but Bragg said his petition stood and his Uptown Merchants Association would oppose the proposed new library site.  The Friends of the Library would still need to be convinced of the idea, as well as the City Council, who currently was opposed to the sale of any riverfront land to private developers.  It wanted all such land to be retained for public buildings.

Smith said the riverfront area needed a "major retail magnet" so that the area wouldn't become a "fringe area" of the main business district.  He added that the proposed pedestrian ramp over Ashley Dr. would prevent the thoroughfare from being a barrier between the riverfront and the business district.

 

 

 

1967 - CHIROPRACTIC ADS BRIEFLY BEGIN, THEN END

After nearly three years of not a single ad for his Chiropractic clinic, or anything relative to it, Bragg's clinic returned to the newspapers with this ad.  It was repeated almost daily through May 29, 1967.  Then once again, Bragg's ads ceased, this time for about three months

 

 

 

 

After around three months of no ads for his clinic, on Sept. 10, 1967 his clinic appeared among others listed in this ad by Life Fellowship of Florida.

 

A week later, on Sept. 17, 1967, a similar ad was placed by the Life Fellowship of Florida.  This is the last ad could be located which mentions Bragg's chiropractic practice.  It appears that he has retired.

 
 

1967 - Feb. 13 - Fantasia on the decline

NOTE:  The absence of articles doesn't necessarily mean there were none.  Not every daily issue of the newspapers were available from newspapers.com.

There were also some repeated want ads  by manager Henry Torres, Jr., Oris Bragg's son-in-law, for concessions help, in April and August of 1967, and again in 1968.

 

In August of 1969, this ad for a caretaker:

This list (below) of attractions at Lowry Park ran all year up until this last one on Sept. 10, 1973

1967- June 18: Fantasia at Rogers Park

At this point, it appears that Dr. Bragg has retired from his chiropractic practice.  The next mention of Dr. Bragg, other than the periodic publishing of residents' property taxes in the legal section, is a very brief one, in an article about the 18-hole full-size golf course at Rogers Park.

By this time, a young Dick Greco is the mayor of Tampa, having taken office in 1967 after defeating Nick Nuccio who was serving his second term as mayor (non-consecutive.).

The article says four different individuals or groups were interested in taking over the city-owned full size golf course at Rogers Park, proposing to "spruce it up" and possibly increasing the profit the city could realize from it.  Greco even went on a golfing tour of the course with one group and was convinced the course needed improvements, especially to the watering system.

Reference is made to the "old putting course that Dr. Bragg operated for several years."

 

 

1973 - Oct 10: Rick Truett won a trip to the Bahamas by scoring a 38 in Fantasia's putter tournament.  No promotions could be found in advance of it, nor any future contests, including the next one mentioned for Nov. 10, 1973.


 


1973 - Dec. 15: This is the last mention found of any kind for Fantasia Golf.

 

1978 - Jun. 25:  Oris Bragg's mother, Elizabeth Bessie (Stevenson) Bragg Steward, died on June 25, 1978 in Tampa.  Apparently, she had remarried after the death of her husband, John Auford Bragg.

In the June 30, 1958 obituary of Bessie's sister, Mrs. Alvia Stevenson Moseley, Bessie is listed as one of two surviving sisters, Mrs. Bessie Steward.  So John A. Bragg probably passed away by this time.

 

For relationships and more about the Bragg family, see the Bragg Family Tree here at TampaPix

ABANDONED AMUSEMENT
THE TAMPA TIMES - Oct. 13, 1979

Memories of putts, pars, eagles, birdies, and decaying creature statues are all that remain at Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf in Lowry Park.  Of course, the rules are also evident.

Old rules never die - nor do they fade away.

    

    

     

Times photos by August Staebler
 

 

Death of Dr. Bragg and his wife Carmon

Dr. Bragg passed away on Nov. 19, 1984.  He was past president of Tampa's Uptown Merchants Association (not Downtown.)  His membership in the Diamond Hills Country Club indicates he was into golfing and it probably is the reason he had the idea to build Fantasia Golf.  In his obituary appears that his daughter, Nina Kay Escobio, married to a Mr. Leigh after the Sept. 20, 1964 drowning of her first husband, Richard Escobio.  It appears that his daughter Margie Ann Torres has also remarried, this time to a Mr. Dearing. 
 

 

Oris's wife, Carmon (Deese) Bragg, passed away on Mar. 4, 2002.  After Oris's death it looks like she moved from Brandon to New Port Richey to live with or be closer to her daughter, Carmon Fay Ford. Her daughter "Marche" is a typo, she was Margaret Ann and it appears that she married for a 3rd time; to Mr. DeCilio of Seminole. Nina Kay also seems to have married a 3rd time, now to a Mr. Parham of New Port Richey.



 

 

Photo by Mary at Find-a-Grave.
Oris & Carmon Bragg are buried in Hillsboro Memorial Cemetery in Brandon.

FANTASIA GOLF - THE BIG PICTURE

The aerial image at right is a 1969 view of Fantasia Golf and Safety Village overlaid on a 2017 view of the area.

Place your cursor on the image to see those 1969 areas as they appear present day.

 

 

 

All traces of Fantasia Golf are gone and the property is now a parking area for Lowry Park.

 


May 2017 street view of former Fantasia Golf property.

 
1993 - July: THE DEMISE OF CURTIS HIXON CONVENTION CENTER

Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman has a vision of the Florida Orchestra playing from a barge in the Hillsborough River.

The mayor and city council agreed to demolish Curtis Hixon Center and build a riverfront park, with Mayor Freedman saying "Great cities all have this kind of green space; the citizens of Tampa are winners on this one."  The city council vote was unanimous, but two longtime Tampans did not agree.  Sam Mirabella said tearing down Curtis Hixon "would be a shame."  The building was now worth 10 to 15 million dollars.  "Groups that promote tourism could use it...creating a park will attract vagrants" he added.  Mayoral candidate Edward T. Young said that the building was named for a former mayor, and demolishing it would be "an insult to his memory."


 

At right: Dec. 1, 1993   


Dec. 26, 1993


Dec. 31, 1993

Chirobase: Your Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Practices
Operated by Stephen Barrett, MD, and Samuel Homola, DC

Chiropractic Puffery from the 1950s
A look at Chiropractic advertising in the 1950s

 


Lowry Park & Fairyland

 

Safety Village / Children's Museum / Kids City

 

Dr. Bragg's Fantasia Golf  Page 1   Page 2    Bragg Family Tree

 

Saving Fairyland!

 Zoo        2        3        4        5     

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