While many developments in Southwest Florida have entered the market in the past 50 years, the state of Florida continues to recognize the history of the region with the addition of historical markers and historic districts.
Most recently, two historical markers were added to the Island of Captiva to honor the dual landmarks: the Captiva School and Chapel by the Sea. Originally a one-room school house built in 1901, the Captiva School became a Methodist Mission church in 1921. The building would continue as a Christian house of worship for over thirty years until 1954 when it was transformed into what we now know as Captiva Chapel by the Sea, according to the Island Sun.
Members of the Captiva Chapel by the Sea Board of Directors and the Captiva Island Historical Society Board of Directors gathered on December 8 for the formal unveiling of the official historic marker. According to the National Parks Service, the area around the Captiva School and Chapel by the Sea has been designated a historic district because of it’s cultural significance as a place of exploration, settlement and social history.
According to the NPS summary, “The site is also significant for its small historic cemetery, founded in 1897, in which a number of the early settlers of Captiva are interred. Over a hundred years old, the cemetery continues to be an active burial place.” To research the entire summary of the historical significance of the area (with pictures!), click here.
The historical designation follows a trend that can be found on the Island of Sanibel as well as the mainland. In the county of Fort Myers, the Florida Department of State lists a dozen such historical markers including such locations as the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, the Sanibel Lighthouse, and the ‘Tween Waters Inn.
Together, these historical designations contribute to the significance of the Southwest Florida region, the value of living and visiting the area, and the appreciation for those individuals who first settled the region years ago.