Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Collier

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Location:1234 8th Street South
County: Collier
City: Naples
Description: The Naples Canal was a monumental prehistoric construction achievement. It was 4,150 feet long (0.8 miles) and bisected an area between the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay. The Naples Canal was dug perhaps as early as A.D. 200 by local American Indian inhabitants of the Ten Thousand Islands or by the neighboring Calusa Indians. The central section of the canal, dug through a sandhill with a relatively deep water table, is the deepest Indian canoe canal ever found in Florida. The Indians’ decision to dig down to access ground water demonstrates their understanding of the land and hydrology. They created a channel that was deep enough to penetrate the water table and able to consistently hold enough water for the traverse of dugout canoes. The canal shortened the distance between Gordon’s Pass and Doctor’s Pass by half, and was more efficient and safe for canoe paddlers and their possessions than open water travel. The canal’s construction would be a dramatic achievement even today. The Naples Canal was still clearly visible in the late 1800s, but by the 1960s it had been totally destroyed by land development, leaving no trace of this remarkable prehistoric engineering achievement.
Sponsors: Dorothy S. Peppe and the Florida Department of State
Location:US 41 (Tamiami Trail) just south of Monument Lake South side of Tamiami Trail
County: Collier
Description: On February 22, 1936, this pine hammock was the site of a conference attended by about 275 Seminoles and several representatives of state and local governments. Florida's New Deal governor, David W. Sholtz (1933-37), had aided the state's economic recovery from the great depression. Accompanied by members of his cabinet and D. Graham Copeland of the Collier County Board of Commissioners, Sholtz journeyed into the Everglades to discuss with Seminole leaders what the government could do to assist the Indians in those trying times. A ceremonial welcome was followed by conversations in which Gotch Nagoftee (Josie Billie) and Tush Kee Henehe (Corey Osceola) spoke for the Seminoles. The Indians appreciated the offer of aid but, fearing removal from the Everglades, gave the Governor this reply: "Pohoan Checkish" - "Just leave us alone."
Sponsors: Sponsored by the collier county historical societyin cooperation with department of state
Location:Collier-Seminole State Park off U.S. 41, near San Marco Rd.
County: Collier
City: Naples
Description: Once occupied by the Caloosa Indians and the Spanish, it was the last refuge of the Seminoles. The region is drained in a north- south direction by creeks, rivers, sloughs and swamps. Abounding in wildlife, trees, plants, shrubs and flowers, most of the area is less than fifteen feet in elevation; but fertile hammock forests dot the higher lands. The ever-present cypress is called the "wood eternal" and is the oldest living thing on earth.
Location:105 West Broadway
County: Collier
City: Everglades City
Description: The first permanent white settlers arrived in this region in the late 19th century. A community dependent on hunting, fishing and farming soon emerged. The land upon which Everglades City now stands was acquired in 1921-22 by Barron Collier, a wealthy advertising man. In 1923 Collier County was formed with the Town of Everglades as county seat. A planned town, it was built on filled land at Collier's direction, service facilities were provided, and by 1928 this building had been completed as a community laundry. That year also marked the opening of the Tamiami Trail from Tampa to Miami and completion of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad into Everglades. After a prosperous beginning, the town suffered economically during the depression and World War II. The Town of Everglades was changed by charter into Everglades City in 1953, and the community moved away from its "company town" origins. This structure ceased to function as a laundry after WWII but remained Collier-owned until 1963. In that year the Everglades Women's Club, founded in 1928 but later disbanded, was reactivated and in 1965 purchased the building for use as a clubhouse. The structure retains the typical appearance of the company town period.
Sponsors: sponsored by everglades women's club in cooperation with department of state
Location:Oil Well Park Rd, just before S.R. 29 in unmarked park
County: Collier
City: Sunniland
Description: The first commercial oil well in Florida, located just east of this site, was drilled in 1943 by Humble Oil and Refining Company. The discovery of oil at a depth of over 11,500 feet proved that there was oil in Florida. Seventeen wells were subsequently drilled near here. Sunniland was the state's only commercial oil field until 1964 although there had been extensive drilling since 1900. A vision of Barron Gift Collier was thus fulfilled.
Sponsors: Collier County Historical Society and the Collier County Historical Commission in Cooperation with Department of State
Location:1200 5th Avenue South
County: Collier
City: Naples
Description: The Naples Depot, which was completed in 1927, is one of the oldest remaining structures in the City of Naples. The Depot was built to serve as the Seaboard Air Line Railway's southern-most west coast terminal. The coming of railroads to Naples and the opening of the Tamiami Trail in 1928 gave impetus to the growth of the area as a winter resort. The Naples Depot for a time became the property of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad before a merger in the late 1960s brought it under the auspices of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. It remained a hub of activity for tourists and residents for several decades. In 1971, increased reliance upon auto and air transportation resulted in the discontinuation of passenger service to Naples. Originally designed in a style compatible with the tropical Florida climate, the terminal building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1974. Through action initiated by the Naples Jaycees, community efforts to save the Depot were started. Two years later the Naples Depot was acquired by Southwest Heritage, Inc., so that it might continue to be used by this community.
Sponsors: sponsored by the naples jaycees in cooperation with department of state
Location:12th Avenue South, at entrance to pier.
County: Collier
City: Naples
Description: Built in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock, the Naples Pier stands as a community landmark. Narrow gauge train rails spanning the length of the pier transported freight and baggage in the early 1900's. Part of the structure as well as the post office located on the pier was razed by fire in 1922. Rebuilt after damage from hurricanes in 1910, 1926, and 1960, it remains a public symbol of the area's history.
Sponsors: Naples Jaycees in Cooperation with Department of State