LABELLE, Fla. — On a quiet stretch of land sits a piece of LaBelle history, that was vandalized at the end of June.
“The house was built by Captain Francis A. Hendry in 1914,” Said City of Labelle Public Information Officer Jessi Zubaty.
LeBelle locals like John Bartelmo said the Captain Hendry House is known throughout the community.
“I mean everybody knows about it,” said Bartelmo.
Captain Hendry, the city of LaBelle’s founder and county namesake
Hendry’s historic home, the location of a crime scene according to Zubaty, who showed me the damages around the home.
“This particular window was broken, we had to clean up the glass from the inside of the house, this shelf was completely off as you can see…there are also burn marks, we noticed on the ceiling of the house,” said Zubaty.
The damages according to Zubaty, were reported to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) about a month ago and she says are presumed to be done by teenagers.
“We believe that the vandals came in through the nature park next door, there is a trail that leads up to the Captain Hendry House,” said Zubaty.
A spot with a lot of foot traffic from locals like John Bartelmo.
“We all use the nature trails in the park,” said Bartelmo.
As for the cost of the damages, Zubaty said, “the city does have to incur the costs of this.”
A price tag Zubaty said the city has not received yet, but is looking at ways to keep this from happening again–including help from HCSO.
“They have increased patrols, we are looking into getting cameras, the solar-powered camera so they don’t require any energy,” said Zubaty.
On Friday, Zubaty said the Captain Hendry House is normally availabe for private events but says due to restoration projects around the property and the damages done, plans have been postponed.
“We haven’t been able to in quite a while due to the restorations being done and we were very excited about being able to have private events here so that the whole community can enjoy it again however the vandalism continues to push back the progress,” said Zubaty.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office
As for a timeline for when the path leading to Captain Hendry’s House will once again welcome visitors, Zubaty said that’s also a work in progress.