The History of Fort Myers, FL is as rich as any other state, if not more.
Estero Island’s history dates back to more than 2,000 years ago when the natives called the Calusa Indians started to construct their community here by building shell mounds on the Fort Myers Beach bayside.
The Calusa Indians resisted the colonization of the Spaniards, including Ponce de Leon’s quest on 1513 and 1521. 150 years later, the Calusas met their demise due to a growing number of diseases, economic upheaval, increasing hostilities and political strife.
As the territory evolved between the control of the British and the Spanish, many Creek Indians and Cuban fishermen called the Ranchos slowly populated the area. Florida eventually went on to become the 27th state of the United States in 1845 while the locals and their families continued to stay and blend with the new population of American families.
For many visitors, Fort Myers is not just a historic place. It is a destination of fun, sun, and seafood. Here are some of the unique facts and features of the area that you might be interested to know about.
All In The Name of Love
According to several sources, the name of the city was coined by General David Twiggs, the very man who was in charge of overseeing the fort built along the river of Caloosahatchee. His daughter fell in love with a staff officer named Colonel Abraham C. Myers. Soon thereafter, the two lovers were betrothed. As a gift to his daughter and his soon-to-be son-in-law, General Twiggs named the area as Fort Myers.
There are some people living in the Fort Myers who have a passion for the unique hobby of shell-hunting. These people bring back boat-loads of stunning shells to the shores of Fort Myers, and many of them are carried by the Atlantic currents.
Because the undersea geography and the Gulf’s tepid waters work together in carrying shells to the area, people actually do find some of the most unique shells around here. If you want to learn more about this hobby, head over to the Sanibel and check out the Shell Museum.
The Palm Treatment
Fort Myers is also famous for its majestic Royal Palm trees. These were originally imported from Cuba by Thomas Edison. Because of its beautiful palm trees, this city has been nicknamed the “City of Palms”. Each year, 90 palm trees are planted by the city officials, in the hopes of promoting a greener environment and attracting more tourists.
Haunted Cayo Pelau
The beaches of Fort Myers, Florida are widely recognized and are consistently ranked as one of the most visited beaches in the country for their shelling, bird watching, kayaking and beach combing activities. It has been said that the Cayo Pelau is haunted by Jose Gaspar’s ghost. He was a legendary pirate who was buried here with his personal wealth. People say his soul still lingers here to ensure that no treasure hunters loot his old wealth.
If you have a slight obsession with feathers, visiting the SA Feather Company might be an interesting trip to take. They have been in business for more than a decade and they are one of the most sought-after suppliers of feathers for boas and headdresses for the Las Vegas showgirls. They are also the main source of decorations for the Mardi Gras Floats in New Orleans.
The next time you want to personally admire stunning palm trees and scenic beaches, go visit Fort Myers, FL as the developments of this city continues to this day. You will surely find seasonal residents, business communities and island visitors coexisting harmoniously in this Floridan city.