History Unveiled: Tricky Title Leaves Its Mark on Nudist History
How did Pasco County become the Naturist Capital of the United States of America? Read on.
The second nudist venue in Pasco County began by a disgruntled Lake Como customer (we shall call him Al) who wanted to put Lake Como's Avery "Bru" Brubaker out of business. Al wanted to make the most beautiful place in Pasco County by purchasing 60 acres of Dupree Gardens, which was a very popular botanical garden in Land O'Lakes in the 1920s and 1930s.
Al told Bru that he would soon be put out of business due to the pending sale of Dupree Gardens to Al for the hefty sum of $120,000 in the mid 1940s. Al knew it would be a big draw for nudists across America. Bru was a title attorney for Tampa at that time. While working at the title office, Bru's assistant saw the title of the sale for Dupree Gardens pass through his office. Bru was notified and told his assistant to put into the deed the following words: "This land cannot be used as a nudist club under any circumstances,"
He then passed the title on.
Dupree Gardens was purchased by Al who told Bru, "Now I have the best naturist venue in Pasco County." Bru laughed and asked Al if he read the title and Al said yes. Bru replied he should read it again. Al saw the note about not being able to use the land for a nudist resort and became very upset. He had bought the land in vain. Gone was his dream.
Taking the deed, Al ran away to California and became a hermit. Harold Henderson found Al in 1948 brooding and bought the title from Al for only $60,000. Al was happy to at least make some of his money back.
Within Dupree Gardens was a lake. Harold asked a contractor to fill in 3 acres within the lake thus creating an island surrounded it with a 14 foot wide and 8 foot deep moat. Being new land, it was not covered by the original deed and Harold could make a small nudist resort within Dupree Gardens. By 1966 the Island Group Corporation was formed by Millard Parker, Lyle White and Harold Henderson. Today the Island Group boasts a tennis court, handball court, hot tub and pool.
The Pasco Area Naturist Development Association (PANDA) has more history of the naturist activities of Pasco County at NaturistCapitalUSA.org.