Photo Exhibits

Photo exhibits spotlight various topics in Florida history, and are accompanied by brief text intended to place selected materials in historical context.

Alligators in the Backyard

Tourists shooting alligators from a steamship on Lake Ocklawaha (c. 1874)

Image Number: RC02126

Alligators have been hunted throughout the 19th and 20th centuries for food, their skin, for sport, and out of fear. Many steamship companies that operated in the 1800s advertised the opportunity to shoot alligators from their boats.

Alligator hunter about to bag a big one (1880s)

Image Number: N046020

Captured alligator in a mangrove swamp (1882)

Image Number: RC08273

Two hunters with alligator: Ocala, Florida (1890s)

Image Number: RC08515

Alligator shot by the captain of 4th Illinois Volunteers: Jacksonville, Florida (1898)

Image Number: N041288

The captain belonged to Company G of the 4th Illinois Volunteers, staged in Jacksonville for the Spanish-American War.

Leigh M. Pearsall and daughter Edna with alligator on dock: Melrose, Florida (ca. 1905)

Image Number: RC19775

Harvesting alligator eggs (1910s)

Image Number: RC05447

Alligator hunters in a boat with an alligator (1913)

Image Number: RC10561

Alligator hunters Hamp Hunter and Robert Burt in a boat built by Box Tedder specifically for alligator hunting.

Clifford Lucky kneeling over an alligator he captured (ca. 1917)

Image Number: RC08183

Dorothy Hedley Morris with alligator: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (19--)

Image Number: N042714

Man inspecting an alligator nest and alligator eggs (19--)

Image Number: PR00145

Alligator hunter posing with the kill from a hunt (ca. 1920)

Image Number: PR00143

"This is the man that killed the gaitors, there is 30 in the bunch. They run from 12 in. to 12 ft. long."

Two Seminoles and captured alligator (1920s)

Image Number: N027576

An Alligator Hunter: Palm Beach, Florida (19--?)

Image Number: PC0178

Alligator skins confiscated by the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission (1960s)

Image Number: FW00328

By the 1960s, alligators were hunted to near extinction, leading the Federal and state laws banning the hunting of the species.