"Henry", the pole-vaulting fish at Wakulla Springs - Wakulla Springs, Florida

"Henry", the pole-vaulting fish at Wakulla Springs - Wakulla Springs, Florida

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/71119
(please include photographer's name when noted).


  • "Henry", the pole-vaulting fish at Wakulla Springs - Wakulla Springs, Florida

Image Number

  • C016806


  • 19--

Series Title

General Note

  • Henry the pole-vaulting fish was a feature of Wakulla Springs glass bottom boat tours. Started in the 1920s by local tour guides, boat drivers would pretend to call Henry (before the 1940s, the name Jimmy was usually used) to his pole. Supposedly a bass fish, he often was a bream or even a catfish. Taking advantage of the fishes natural tendency to clean their gills on flat surfaces, the drivers would wait over the pole for a fish to appear and rub its gills on the wooden pole (drivers made certain there were no other sticks or debris nearby). The visual effect was that the fish was pole-vaulting or jumping over the pole. The practice was continued after entrepreneur Edward Ball purchased the springs in 1935 as well as when the attraction became a state park in 1986. Much of the parks publicity highlighted Henry and his feats.
  • Wakulla Springs later known as the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park after the state purchased it in October 1985.

Additional Corporate Creator

Physical Description

  • 1 photoprint - b&w - 8 x 10 in.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Shelf Number

  • Shelf number: 16335.

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