NOKOMIS, FL (WWSB) - It's hard to tell by the look of it, but the transformed old trolley car known as the North Jetty Fish Camp in Nokomis, is a home away from home for hundreds of people. Todd Enghauser has been visiting this facility since the 1970's.
"I came here with my grandparents, I came here with my mom and dad and now I bring my kids here," said Enghauser, a Nokomis resident. "My biggest fear is that they'll tear this building down and get rid of some of it's history that's been here for a long time."
The North Jetty Fish Camp, which Sarasota County leases, has been around for nearly 70 years. It's a gathering place where folks can grab some drinks and food and even bait for fishing. Visitors say the roof needs major repairs and a blue tarp has been placed there to try and stop it from leaking, the floors also need a lot of work and the entire facility needs a complete makeover.
"If they don't something to repair it soon, it will be beyond repair and they'll have to remove it, which none of us want," said Enghauser.
Rob Bendus, Sarsasota County's Historical Resources manager met with nearly 200 concerned residents on Saturday to hear their stories.
"People one after another came up and said their hearts were in this building, their major life events took place at this spot," said Bendus.
Bendus is now looking to see if the North Jetty Fish Camp would qualify to be listed on a local or national historical register, freeing up funding to fix it up and save the popular spot, which sits on Army Corps land.
"It's certainly old, but county code has specific criteria to be designated as an historic place and that's the evaluation we're doing right now," said Bendus.
For Enghauser and so many others, they're optimistic about the camp's future.
"My hopes is that the county would do right and repair the building to allow them to keep it here," said Enghauser. "And if we're able to we can get an historical marker on the building so we could preserve it and maybe even take it back to some of it's original design."
It's not yet known when this will go in front of Sarasota County Commissioners for a decision.