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News Story
Updated: 03/23/2013 08:00:04AM

A beautiful day to look back at Punta Gorda

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SUN PHOTO BY CHRIS PORTER

Eunice Wiley (in character as Cornelia Ponder) and Martha Bireda (as Mrs. Minnie Blanchard) get ready to greet visitors to the Blanchard House Sunday morning. The ladies were part of the Punta Gorda Historical Society's 12th annual Walking Tour of Historic Homes & Buildings, which included the Blanchard House Museum.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRIS PORTER

Visitors to the Blanchard House learn about midwives from Eunice Wiley. They include Sue Rettig, Mary Ann and Jim Heintz, and Louanne Dawson, all from the area of Grand Rapids, Mich. Also seen in the photo are Blanchard House docent Jill Shively, and re-enactors Abe Coleman and Martha Bireda.

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For a while Sunday afternoon, I found myself speaking with Cornelia Ponder, an experienced midwife whose skills are known far beyond the Trabue Woods community that is her adopted home. We were joined in the conversation by the charming Mrs. Minnie Blanchard, whom most would consider a matriarch of that same vibrant community.

Although I had never met these lovely women, I had the feeling I was talking with old friends.

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