The Lonely Port Charlotte Knight

by Mike Miller
(Naples, Florida)

Lonely Knight Port Charlotte Florida

Lonely Knight Port Charlotte Florida

Port Charlotte sprawls along Florida's gulf coast for seemingly endless miles north of Punta Gorda and the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor.

It is one of the typical General Development communities in Florida that popped up after World War Two as giant lot sale programs.

In the 1960's I would fly over Port Charlotte and other similar communities and look down in amazement at hundreds of miles of roads and canals with no houses. I never dreamed anybody would actually live there.

Now Port Charlotte is crowded with people and has all the problems typical of Florida urban areas: crime, traffic problems, gangs, noise and pollution.

The main drag through Port Charlotte is US-41, known as the Tamiami Trail for most of its length between Tampa and Miami.

It appears as if Port Charlotte never had a sign ordinance or architectural standards. Strip centers, fast food outlets, and other miscellaneous buildings, some old and shabby, some new and bright, straddle the highway in a confusing visual display of signs on buildings, next to buildings, all over the place.

It is hard to pick a landmark when trying to describe the location of some place.

The only landmark that stands out is a shabby knight in shining armour standing forlornly in a vacant lot in the south part of Port Charlotte. I don't know what his story is and I don't know how long he's been there. But he at least is some interesting scenery.

An idealistic Charlotte County planner, new to the area, recently told me that his goal in life is to turn Port Charlotte's US-41 into a beautiful thoroughfare.

Perhaps the knight is symbolic of this planner, a modern Don Quixote.

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