Whether you're a new resident of Southwest Florida or have lived here for many years, learning more about the area’s rich history is sure to give you a greater appreciation for the region. Luckily, there are many local historical sites where you can share educational experiences with your friends and family members. Check out the following five:
Get a little exercise as you learn about Florida's Native American heritage along the Calusa Heritage Trail. Maintained by the Randall Research Center, the path is only .7 miles long, but it is laden with architectural sites and mounds left by the Calusa people. Along the way, interpretive signs give you valuable information about each site. The trail is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Years ago, Pine Island was only accessible by boat and was home to a sparse population of fishermen. The island has since become somewhat modernized, but the Museum of the Islands seeks to preserve the land's more rural history. The museum is located in what used to be Pine Island's first public library, built in the 1960s, and open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Many of Naples' earliest settlers are buried at this historic cemetery and the area's first permanent settlers, John and Madison Weeks, are thought to be among them. The last known burial took place here in 1947. With the black iron gates and sparse grave stones, this historic cemetery makes you feel like you're stepping back in time.
With more than 20 acres of tropical gardens to explore, this estate contains the historic homes where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford used to spend their winters. The on-site museum boasts many educational exhibits, allowing you to learn more about life in Florida in the 1800s. Self-guided and guided tours are available, and the grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Have you visited any of these local historical sites? Share your experiences with Springs Apartments residents in the comments section!