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Coastal History

The Maroons of Lostman’s Key & Capt. Jocelyn

By Craig Woodward If you are a frequent reader of this column you know that the last issue mentioned how Lostman’s Key and River were named. That information piqued my interest into researching this story and finding out more of the details. It turns out that the villain in the story was a notorious character in Southwest Florida around the late 1800s. Captain Jocelyn (also sometimes spelled Joselyn) was described in 1875 as having “fame in Florida rivaling that of the most bloodthirsty pirate of the China Seas.” While he claimed to be an Englishman from Plymouth, the locals believed ... Read More »

The origin of local place names

By Craig Woodward A few issues back I wrote an article about a former settlement known as “Grocery Place,” now located in Collier Seminole State Park, and pondered about how this name came to be given to such a remote location considering it was never a place to get groceries! As it turns out, persistence paid off, as a series of four articles written in January of 1927 for The Koreshan Unity’s newspaper “The American Eagle,” published in Estero, provided the answer: Grocery and Sugar Bays, at the entrance to Palm River, were “named by a mishap to the supplies of ... Read More »

William R. Maynard, the rest of the story…

COLLIER COUNTY’S FIRST SHERIFF By Craig Woodward It was a case of history repeating itself and, frankly, sort of surreal:flying 2,000 feet over Marco Island with Wayne Riley Maynard taking aerial photos out of the pilot’s window as his son and co-pilot, Ryan, flew the single engine Cessna we were in, a repeat of what had occurred exactly 85 years earlier when their respective Grandfather and Great Grandfather, the first Sheriff of Collier County, William Riley Maynard, also flew a single engine plane, shooting the first ever aerial photos of Marco Island in 1926! I had written my December 2010 ... Read More »

Are You REALLY a Marco Old Timer? Conclusion

By Craig Woodward Time to announce the BIG WINNERS…. Drum roll…… and they are…… (in no particular order): Roy Bartlett, Lou Woessner, Tara O’Neill, Diane Chestnut and Roy Radlovacki!! We gave up trying to select Grand, First, Second, and Third place winners as everyone was coming in so close on scores. So, the major gifts, certificates from Bistro Soleil, The Blue Heron, Café de Marco and DaVinci’s were supplied by Coastal Breeze News and were randomly given out to these winners. Further prizes of Marco Movie tickets, the Chamber’s Marco History Books, etc. were given out to many other winners. ... Read More »

Are you a “Marco Old Timer”?

By Craig Woodward We want to thank everyone who has submitted their answers to the “Are you a Marco old-timer quiz” by the March 25th deadline. The Coastal Breeze staff is currently reviewing them and will be announcing the winners in our next issue – so be sure to look for that issue. Meanwhile, I know from all of your comments, that many of you enjoyed this tour through the “old days,” recalling memories of Marco’s past that not many current residents know of or have even heard of. The work that went into compiling the questions and the photos was ... Read More »

Are you a “Marco Old Timer”? FINAL QUIZ! – PART 3

By Craig Woodward This is your last chance to take this professionally and scientifically developed test to see if you are an “Authentic Marco Old Timer” or a simple “Wannabe.” You need to combine your scores on Parts 1 & 2 & Part 3 (below) so you have a total of 75 questions answered, complete the form at the end of this quiz and submit everything by March 25, 2011 to Coastal Breeze by either mail to 310 Royal Palm Drive, Marco Island 34145 or by hand delivery to their offices Mon-Wed-Fri 9-12 or call 393-4991 for the hours they ... Read More »

Are you a “Marco Old Timer”?

By Craig Woodward Hope you did well on Part One! Now take Part Two to pick up points to find out if you are really an “Authentic Old Timer” or just a “Wannabe.” Remember you take the test at your own risk, understanding that it might bring back a flood of nostalgia. If you are Newbie, please take the Quiz to learn more, someday you may be anointed as an “Authentic Old Timer.” (See Part One at Coastalbreezenews. com – under Coastal History) SIMPLE RULES: Grade yourself 1 point for YES on an “Old Timer” question and an additional 1 ... Read More »

Are you a “Marco Old Timer”?

By Craig Woodward How many times have you been at a party to hear someone telling everyone they moved to Marco in 2003 (or so) and are a “know it all.” This test has been both professionally and scientifically developed to sort thru the “Wannabes” and find the “Authentic Old Timers.” Take the test at your own risk. WARNING: it may bring back old memories and a flood of nostalgia. If you are new to the Island, not to fear, you can take the Quiz to learn more so you can someday be anointed as an “Authentic Old Timer.” SIMPLE ... Read More »

Biking the Picayune and Fakahatchee Strands

by Craig Woodward Last Saturday morning, Matt Walthour, from Island Bike Shop joined me and we biked along with 21 members of the Naples Mid-Day Optimist Club from Naples to Everglades City. The club had done the same ride last year, and the enthusiasm to see the incredible scenery so close to Naples had spread, resulting in ten more riders this year. We left from Sabal Palm Drive off of SR 951 (just north of Verona Walk) and biked east about 4. miles, turning to the left on a meandering road that was in very poor shape. We continued through ... Read More »

A Reflection on the Year 2010

by Craig Woodward The year 2010 is now concluded, and as one looks back, it is sad to reflect on the incredible loss of so many of Marco’s leaders, community and business titans. We are closing not only another decade, but also closing a chapter on Marco’s recent history, and it leaves one to wonder if the large void left by these larger-than-life leaders can really be adequately filled? Looking back, we review a group of citizens who left a legacy here, each in their own way, making our island a better place to live. The most recent to pass, ... Read More »

The Flying Sheriff and Maynard Island

by Craig Woodward In July of 1923 the Florida Legislature carved Collier County out of Lee County as its own County. Appointed by the Legislature were the five officers required by the Florida Constitution to operate each county – the Clerk of Court, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector and the Sheriff. Handpicked for the job of Sheriff by Barron G. Collier (the county’s namesake) was William Riley (“Clyde”) Maynard. He and the other constitutional officers set up their offices in Everglades City, the new county seat. Maynard’s job was to patrol the largest county east of the Mississippi ... Read More »

Southwest Florida Cable News Flash

See Coastalbreezenews.com under Coastal History if you missed Part 1 of this story on the installation of the submerged cable to Key West. The successful installation of the Trans-Atlantic cable in 1866 started the first revolution in telecommunications worldwide; submerged cables sunk through the seas and telegraph lines installed over land allowed residents of civilized countries to be only a “few clicks away” and, for the first time in human history, information was transmitted almost instantaneously. After the installation in 1867 of submerged cables from Ft. Myers to Key West and Key West to Cuba, there was regular direct communication ... Read More »

The submerged cable to Key West

Our local Collier County history normally starts with: W.T. Collier and his family traveling by schooner down the coast, settling on Marco Island in 1870, finding four black squatters on the Island and paying their way to Ft. Myers. In addition Collier reported finding no white person living between Punta Rassa (the point of land that is now the east side of the Sanibel Island causeway) and Marco. John Weeks near Chokoloskee was said to be the only person living at that time between Marco Island and Key West. The above description is typically provided to show how isolated Southwest ... Read More »

“Grocery Place” – the remote pioneer settlement located between Royal Palm Hammock and Goodland

It is difficult to believe, as one travels by boat through our local mangrove islands, that many years ago almost every high piece of ground in the Ten Thousand Islands was inhabited by early pioneers who chose to settle on property that had once been inhabited by the Calusa Indians.  As we traveled down the Blackwater River through Palm Bay (formerly known as Grocery Bay) and then headed up Royal Palm Hammock Creek, it seemed unreal that this extremely remote location would be where people might choose to live. But, as we approached Grocery Place, we could clearly spot the ... Read More »

The Next Hurricane

This is a continuation of a series on the history of hurricanes in our area.If you missed part you can find it online at coastalbreezenews.com under Tales told Twice archives. The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part VIII If you are the least bit superstitious, then 2010 is not a good year. Not only is it the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Wilma, which was the last hurricane to make landfall in Collier County; but also it is the fiftieth anniversary of Hurricane Donna, whose impact in a lightly populated Collier County is still legendary. In addition, 2010 is also the ... Read More »

Hurricane Wilma 2005

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part VII This is a continuation of a series on the history of hurricanes in our area. If you missed a part, you can find it online at www.coastalbreezenews.com under Tales told Twice archives. 2005 Hurricane Wilma Wilma, the most recent hurricane to affect our area five years ago, was also the most unusual in many ways. On October 18 at 11 p.m., the storm was upgraded to a Category Two hurricane. Throughout that night, Wilma, then located southwest of Grand Cayman, continued to intensify to the point where, at midnight, it had jumped ... Read More »

Hurricane Andrew 1992

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part VI In the afternoon of August 23, 1992, highways were jammed as over 700,000 people in South Florida were evacuating due to Hurricane Andrew that was still offshore and bearing down on Miami. By midnight, the eye of the storm was starting to have cycles of eye wall replacement, a phenomenon that occurs in very intense hurricanes (meaning this Category 4 storm was strengthening), while Andrew, the first hurricane of the season, was still 100 miles east of Miami.  Indecisive residents quickly found that their window of opportunity was gone forcing them to ... Read More »

1960 Hurricane Donna

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part V This is a continuation of a series on the history of hurricanes in our area. If you missed a part, you can find it online at coastalbreezenews.com under Tales told Twice archives. Similar to other major hurricanes described in this series, Hurricane Donna’s impact was much more than just the physical damage it caused as it passed through Southwest Florida the storm had enormous social and economic impacts as well. While other hurricanes ended chapters in our local history, Hurricane Donna closed the book completely on the pioneer era and opened a ... Read More »

1935 & 1940s Hurricanes

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” Part IV This is a continuation of a series on the history of hurricanes in our area. If you missed part, you can find it online at coastalbreezenews.com under Tales told Twice archives. 1935 “The wind, it was tremendous. You couldn’t hear. And the pressure inside the packing house was so much greater than what was outside that the windows blew out. My nephew was pulled right out of my arms. My mother went, too. I never saw them again. I managed to grab hold of the doorway. I felt the house start to rises ... Read More »

1920s Hurricanes

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part III This is a continuation of a series on the history of hurricanes in our area if you missed part you can find it online at coastalbreezenews.com under Tales told Twice archives. 1926 “We had about thirty people that night to care for. Waves were washing in on the front porch and coming under the door. All of the chickens were drowning and one of the boys crawled out a back window and got what he could and we cleaned them.” Ted Smallwood, Chokoloskee, September 1926 In the U.S. the Great Depression started ... Read More »