The Ladies of the Summit House Condominium on Marco Island explored their third Collier County museum this season. This time, they experienced The Naples Depot as well as the train display on the grounds of the Depot.
The Depot came alive for these ladies with a private tour given by a knowledgeable guide, Jon Knickerson, who not only introduced the history of the Naples’ train era through its artifacts but made sure they experienced the sound of the approaching train. The museum provides the opportunity to board several train cars, including the vintage Smoking/Cocktail Car with its retro colors and the Caboose.
The museum at the “Gateway to Naples” location offers everyone not only a history of the trains but the history of the growing economy of the little town called Naples. The exhibits tell the story of the areas Indian population and the development of the town with its local fishermen, Frank’s Car Garage, political figures, the hotel and the pier. In particular, the antique cars and wagons were a hit with the ladies. The restoration of this original train depot was a labor of love. The expansive building is very impressive, as are the numerous displays of a time gone by.
In addition, the gallery offered an art exhibit of works by the acclaimed local artist, Paul Arsenault, who captures the unique beauty of our community.
On the property is a private miniature train display which should not be missed. With its miles of tracks and hundreds, if not thousands, of model trains, the exhibit is a wonder for any age. The ticket taker as well as the engineer are always on duty. If you are courageous, you can even ride a miniature train with the price of admission.