Location Map
History
Pineland Archaeology

Southwest Florida




 History
 
Collier County 
Everglades City
  Streetcars used to run here, along one of the two roads now separated by medians throughout the downtown area. Tracks can be seen in some exposed parts of the ground near the waterfront. Descendants of the Shorter and Smallwood families who originally settled here still live in this area, and some stories of their ancestors can be followed in the local museum. Look for “A Short History of Everglades City” by Marya Repko (available in English and Spanish)
Skunk Ape
  - exhibits are being prepared now, since the building is going through renovations. Currently, animals (including snakes and alligators) form the main attractions at this site. A giant (10 feet high and 30 feet long) plaster panther welcomes visitors arriving south on U.S 41. You literally cannot miss this attraction; if you see Turner River canoe launch site you have gone too far south. David Shealey will be happy to answer any questions about the site in the meantime.
Names of interest
  Deaconess Harriet Bedell
  ...born in 1875, was a missionary to the Miccosukee and Seminole Indians in the Everglades. Her first assignments were in Oklahoma and Alaska. In 1933 she was seeking donations for her Alaska mission when she was invited to speak in Florida. She visited a Seminole reservation, and decided not to return to Alaska. She was assigned to the Everglades and she sought to revive the patchwork, doll making and basket weaving skills of the Indians. Also, she traded her food for items they made, then took the native objects of art, sold them to retailers and bought food and supplies which she gave back to the Indians. Deaconess Bedell presided over her mission until it was destroyed by Hurricane Donna in 1960. Her Great Floridian plaque is located at the Museum of the Everglades, 105 West Broadway, Everglades City.
  David Graham Copeland
  ... was born in 1885. He came to work for Barron Gift Collier in 1924 as engineer and architect for the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41). Copeland oversaw the entire project and the Trail was completed in April 1928. Copeland also managed the planning and construction of Everglades (now Everglades City), which was the county seat of Collier County from 1923 to 1962. Copeland managed many Collier companies operating from Everglades, including hotels, a steamship line, the United Telephone System of Florida, Bank of Everglades (which today serves as a hotel and spa), retail stores, an ice plant and schools. He was also instrumental in bringing the Atlantic Coast Line Railway to southwest Florida. He later served as a representative, and wrote a history of the area which became the basis for Charlton Tebeau’s Collier County history, Florida’s Last Frontier. His Great Floridian plaque is located at the Museum of the Everglades, 105 West Broadway, Everglades City.
  Tommie Camilla Stephens Barfield
  ...was born in 1888. She came to Marco Island with her family in 1901.  They bought a house from James Madison Barfield, who became her husband in 1906. In 1910 she turned her home into a small hotel and produced candies and jellies for her guests. Barfield lobbied Lee County Commissioners for better roads, schools and amenities lacking on Marco Island.    At one meeting she met Barron Gift Collier and together they worked for the creation of Collier County, which occurred in 1923. She lobbied for schools and teachers and was appointed the first superintendent of Collier County Schools. She served as superintendent and remained on the school board for two decades. Tommie Barfield Elementary School is named in her honor.  Tommie Camilla Stephens Barfield died in 1949. Her Great Floridian plaque is located at the Tommie Barfield Elementary School, 101 Kirkwood Street, Marco Island.
  William David "Captain Bill" Collier
  ...was born in 1852, a son of the first American settler on Marco Island.    In 1883 he opened a mercantile store on Marco Island, when it was the only port between Punta Rassa and Key West. In 1895, he discovered one of the richest collections of Indian artifacts in North America.    This led to a major archaeological excavation, the 1895-96 Pepper Hearst Expedition.   The excavation recovered 2,500 artifacts, all of which Collier donated to museums and institutions of higher learning. Many of these artifacts are housed at the Smithsonian Institution today, or at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.  In 1910 Collier helped establish a clam factory on Marco Island. He invented a clam-dredging machine that allowed for harvesting of clams at a greater depth. Collier also served two years on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners before Collier County was formed in 1923. William David Collier died in 1934. His Great Floridian plaque is located at the Old Marco Island Inn & Suites, 100 Royal Palm Boulevard, Marco Island.
  Henry Nehrling
  ... famed ornithologist and horticulturist, was born in 1853 in Wisconsin. His early education was in a parochial school several miles from his home. During walks to school, he developed a great interest in nature. In 1890, he took the job of Custodian of the Public Museum in Milwaukee where he was given the opportunity to collect plant specimens for their greenhouse. Nehrling then used his knowledge to develop a garden in Gotha, Florida, where he had bought land in 1884. Nehrling grew and popularized many unusual and exotic plants for the general public. Caladiums, palms, bamboo, and amaryllis were all introduced to the United States by way of his Palm Cottage Gardens. Nehrling’s garden became so well known during the 1890s that people like John Burroughs, Thomas Edison, and Theodore Roosevelt came to visit and learn gardening tips from him. Nehrling had resigned his post with the Public Museum of Milwaukee and permanently settled in Gotha in 1894. In 1917, he purchased land in Naples, to pursue an interest in Caladiums. In 1922, Nehrling settled permanently in Naples, calling his garden there"Garden Solitude" and "Tropical Gardens". Henry Nehrling died in 1929. His Naples garden was preserved as the Jungle Larry’s Caribbean Gardens. Today, plans are underway to connect these gardens to the Naples Zoo, which many residents think is a bad idea, and something that alters the historic character of the gardens.
     
   
 
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