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‘Ding’ Darling to celebrate Woodring 100th anniversary

By Staff | Jan 11, 2019

www.charliemcculloughphotography.com Historic photographs by Charlie McCullough, such as this one of Esperanza Woodring making biscuits, chronicle the Woodring home and family on Sanibel Island.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Woodring home, now encompassed within the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge boundaries, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will partner with the Woodring family for a Woodring 100th Anniversary Exhibition in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium.

The exhibition’s unveiling will take place on Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., as part of a seated program, nationally-renowned Teddy Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand will make a guest appearance, and Ralph Woodring will recount stories about growing up in the home and on the island. Another presentation will take place at 3 p.m., with a free showing of the WGCU film “Untold Stories: Sanibel I” at 1 p.m.

In addition, costumed museum docents will be on hand to interpret exhibits.

Through March 25, the exhibition will be open Saturday through Thursday and feature historic black-and-white images by the late Charlie McCullough, a professional photographer and neighbor to the Woodrings. Also on display will be artifacts from the Woodring home and the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village that chronicle the landmark and the family’s life on Sanibel.

During the exhibition, the Refuge Nature Store will sell copies of McCullough’s book, “Sanibel Memories” and sets of notecards featuring his historic photographs starting in the 1930s. Profits from the store sales benefit refuge education and research projects.

The DDWS and Lee County Conservation 20/20 collaborated in acquiring the 6.56-acre Woodring Point property in 2013. The refuge manages the Woodring Point property as part of the complex.

“We are thrilled to host this temporary exhibit, which will demonstrate the deep history represented by the Woodring Point property and the strength of partnerships in preserving island history and wildlife habitat,” DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller said.

The following are making the exhibition possible: Mike and Terry Baldwin, Mark and Gretchen Banks, Jim and Patty Sprankle, Ralph and Jean Woodring and Bailey’s General Store as gold sponsors; and The McCullough Family, Mitchell’s SandCastles, Pfeifer Realty Group, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village and Tarpon Bay Explorers as silver sponsors.