Nudist History Unveiled: Florida Naturist Park
The beginnings of the Florida Naturist Park, a paradise isolated enough for running around naked.
This ongoing series explains how Pasco County became the naturist capital of the USA. The third nudist venue in Pasco County was created in 1959 as Florida Naturist Park.
Ward Gulvin was looking in a garbage dump in Clearwater. A discarded newspaper advertisement for Pasco County land caught his eye: several
fishing lakes, 120 acres of forest and pasture in Hudson. A paradise isolated enough for running around naked. Rumbling up a dirt road, the pioneering nudist moved his young wife, Dorothy, and the first of their seven children to the backwoods of Hudson in the late 1950s.
He named the place Florida Naturist Park. It became a pilgrimage site for what Gulvin called the Naturist Religious Society. An obsolete double-decker bus became his "church." We don't think it's a sin to go in the nude before members of the opposite sex," Gulvin once said. "Nature worship is the oldest religion. The power of nature is the power of God." - article published in the St Pete Times Aug 10, 2003, by James Thorner.
Ward lived into the 1980s, surviving many traumas. In 1995, the Naturist Religious Society became a corporation with Art, his son, at the helm.
In 2003, 14 acres adjacent to the property was bought by Bill Martin for $330,000, including the Wynn house on Wynn Lake, to build a Christian nudist resort. Martin planned to include 300 homes, a church and a water park. Martin ran into lots of problems with the owners of Florida Naturist Park. He demanded maintenance and membership fees from residents, blocked roads, ignored county regulations and was subsequently sued by the owners of Florida Naturist Park. The suit ended up with Martin going bankrupt and losing everything.
Today the park is owned by Art Gulvin and his siblings in a corporation, which includes several acres of amenities. Sunshinebeachclub.com is the current website. Home site parcels are available for sale. The listing agent is Michelle Perkins of Realty One, 727-807-7817. You can get a membership for $140 per year, with access to the great fishing ponds, the ability to suntan your buns on the beach and enjoy good conversation in the Tiki Hut or relax in the recreation hall sans clothing. There are 12 RV hookups available and talk of future rental rooms.
Check out naturistcapitalusa.org on the web to find out more about the history of Pasco County Nudism and the PANDA charitable organization.