Born and raised in Indianapolis, Dana and Sheila Voelkel have known each other since elementary…
Founded during the late 1880s and growing to prominence following the arrival of major roads and railroads in the 1920s, Naples, FL is not only home to Naples Motorcoach Resort & Boat Club but also to a variety of history-rich locations for visitors to explore.
During your next trip to Naples, step back in time via visits to any or all of these historic destinations:
Naples Depot Museum – Set in Naples’ restored Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station, the Naples Depot Museum welcomes visitors back to the railroading boom days of the Roaring Twenties and explains how generations of Southwest Floridians used technology and transportation to conquer a vast and seemingly impenetrable frontier.
Punta Gorda Train Depot – The Punta Gorda Train Depot, built in 1928, is the sole survivor of the 6 depots built by the Atlantic Coast Line in Mediterranean Revival style. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed mainly to handle freight. The passenger area occupies a small portion of the northern end of the building.
Everglades National Park – Everglades National Park protects a large portion of the Everglades, the largest marsh estuary in the United States. Native Americans took advantage of the vast resources it offered and sought refuge there from U.S. attempts at removal. Interpretive displays on Sandfly Island tell of the island’s long human history. The island itself is a shell mound created by Calusa Indians, who lived in this area over 2,000 years ago.
The Blanchard House Museum of African American History & Culture of Charlotte County – This 1925 house was originally built for Joseph Blanchard, a black sea captain and key member of early Punta Gorda’s business community, and Minnie, his mail-order bride. Upon the death of Blanchard’s last surviving daughter, African American community historian, Bernice Russell, purchased the Blanchard House. Since Russell’s death, the museum has been operated as an open access, educational institute devoted to the procurement, preservation, study and display of artifacts and materials related to the history, culture and contributions of African Americans in Charlotte County.
Big Cypress National Preserve Oasis Visitor Center – The Big Cypress Swamp became a refuge for Seminole and Miccosukee people remaining in Florida at the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858. Today, a large portion of the swamp is within the boundaries of the Big Cypress Reservation of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The National Preserve visitor center offers exhibits and educational materials on the natural and cultural history of the preserve, including its use as home to Native Americans.
Historic Smallwood Store – On the western edge of the Everglades and deep in the heart of the 10,000 Islands, Chokoloskee Island has been called one of Florida’s last frontiers. Here at Historic Smallwood Store you will learn the story of the pioneers and settlers who tamed this vast wilderness.
Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch – Originally home to cattleman Robert Roberts, this 15-acre living history museum offers a rare glimpse of daily life on an actual Southwest Florida ranch from the early 1900s. Displays and 19 carefully preserved buildings tell the story of those who struggled to tame a sprawling wilderness on the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp at the turn of the last century. National Register of Historic Places listed site.