Santa Claus underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs

Santa Claus underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
(please include photographer's name when noted).


  • Santa Claus underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs

Image Number

  • C006955


  • 1948

Date Note

  • Photographed on December 11, 1948.

Series Title

General Note

  • Santa, played by Newton Perry, gets a hug from a grateful mermaid, possibly Mary Dwight, who has received a new pair of fins for Christmas.
  • Newt Perry worked as a performer and promoter for Silver Springs and managed Wakulla Springs before opening Weeki Wachee Springs, famed for its underwater mermaid shows, which Perry designed. He was also instrumental for the filming of MGM's "Tarzan Finds a Son!" (1939), originally titled "Tarzan in Exile", at Silver Springs and "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" (1941) at Wakulla Springs through his friendship with filmmaker Grantland Rice and actor-swimmer Johnny Weismuller (who played Tarzan). He also influenced Universal Studio's decision to film the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and its two sequels in Florida (including Wakulla and Silver Springs) as well as the hiring of local swimmer Ricou Browning to portray the Creature. Perry spent much of his later life working as a swimming instructor in Ocala, Florida.

Physical Description

  • 1 photoprint - b&w - 3 x 2 in.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Personal Subject

Shelf Number

  • Shelf number: 010185.

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