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When is the best time to begin a brief history of the Placida Harbour Club? Should it start thousands of years ago because the Calusa Indians spent enough time on the property to amass a substantial midden (shell and refuse pile). However, there is so much history that we best start with 1955, when a young marine scientist opened a research laboratory just over the fence from today's condominiums. Dr. Eugenie Clark received funding from the two Vanderbilt brothers, William and Alfred. Dr. Clark's research on sharks was so comprehensive that her friend, Jacques Cousteau, considered her a leading world expert. Needing larger quarters, the lab ultimately moved to Sarasota, Florida where it is known as Mote Marine Laboratory.

In 1958 a banana importer built a large and palatial home which is now the clubhouse for the Placida Harbour Club. At his death, his heirs sold the property to William Mote. Mote along with his business partner had revolutionized the shipping industry with the concept of containerization. Then in 1980, a member of one of Sweden's most powerful and influential families, Peder Wallenberg, learned that Mote was interested in selling. Wallenberg bought the property on beautiful Gasparilla Sound and added to its size by purchasing undeveloped land for house lots (Placida Pointe) and additional acreage on Little Gasparilla Island (which became Placida Beach Condominiums.) These unique properties when combined created the Placida Harbour Club.

We close this history with a quote from Phil Moate, a former condominium owner who talks about the owners taking over the property from the developer, Peder Wallenberg, and what the location meant to Phil: Members have spent a lot of time and money improving the club's various facilities and establishing reasonable reserves. But the end result is unique--modern luxury facilities for member activities on the mainland and the island, beautiful landscaping, boat docks at your doorstep, private direct beach access-all done in a way that reflects and respects the heritage of our predecessors. And all the local manatees and dolphins know it, love it, and share it with us.


11000 Placida Road | Placida, FL 33946
(941) 697-4500

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