Coastal History

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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Read More »

1873 & 1910 Hurricanes

The “Greatest Storms on Earth” – Part II 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 Calusas deemed Marco Island sacred because the hurricanes which came howling up from the Caribbean Sea spun counterclockwise and always ... Read More »

As hurricane season 2010 begins – a look back at past storms

It is now 2010, the 50th Anniversary of the infamous Hurricane Donna which, in the fall of 1960, made landfall in Collier County, literally changing overnight the history of Southwest Florida. As we begin to get ready for hurricane season, it is important to examine not only exactly what a hurricane is, but also to review the impact of several ... Read More »

Key Marco

There is a lot of confusion over where or what is “Key Marco.” Most new residents to the Island have heard of the “Key Marco Cat” and know vaguely that it is a small statue of a kneeling wooden feline image found on Marco in 1896. Others know that it was found by Frank Hamilton Cushing in his archaeological dig ... Read More »

The Legend of the Pirate Gasparilla – the REAL Facts…

The truth is that there never was a pirate named “Gasparilla.” Despite the fact that the Annual Gasparilla Festival started in 1904 to celebrate “Pirate Jose Gaspar’s” life which included numerous Gasparilla parades on both land and water and, of course, The Tampa Bay “Buccaneers” – nothing about Gasparilla has ever been confirmed, outside of one sole source: Juan Gomez also known as John Gomez. Much of ... Read More »

The Legend of the Pirate Gasparilla

According to local lore the famous pirate Jose Gaspar was born in Spain in 1756 and joined the Spanish navy as a boy until age 27 when he mutinied and commandeered a ship to the Gulf of Mexico. Gaspar’s decision in 1782 to rebel, and leave his wife and children forever, was because his theft of the Spanish Crown jewels ... Read More »

Tigertail Beach

People wondering why Marco Island’s Tigertail Beach is located where it is and how it got its name usually reach the wrong conclusions that: 1) that the property was given to the County to be a public beach by the Deltona Corporation because of environmental issues related to the lagoon, protected wildlife, etc. and, 2) it’s given name has something ... Read More »

March is Women’s History Month—Woohoo!

Did you ever wonder how women got assigned March? Many of the sayings that go along with March might be seen by some to also apply to women. March roars in like a lion goes out like a lamb. The Ides of March. St. Patrick’s Day March Madness March is a tempest March is tempestuous You get the picture.  Women ... Read More »

The Silver King

After the Civil War, there were few rugged pioneers who chose to settle on the old shell mounds that the islands of Southwest Florida offered and attempt to eke out a living. Few were willing to endure mosquitoes, heat, and almost total isolation, with towns and villages accessible only by boat and no railroad or roads within hundreds of miles.  ... Read More »

Who Dunnit: Anatomy of an Egomaniacal Con Artist – Part 3 of 3

With Barbara Mackle safe and in good condition after spending 83 hours buried alive in the woods near Duluth, Georgia, attention immediately turned to the kidnappers: Gary Steven Krist, a small time Alaska crook who had escaped from jail in California, and his accomplice, Ruth Eisemann Schier, a bright, petite graduate student.  Everyone wanted to know: who were these people? ... Read More »

The Origin of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is observed on February 14 in the USA and in many countries around the world. How and when did this tradition start? There are many different beliefs about this. Some authorities trace the tradition to an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia to ensure protection from wolves. During this festival young men struck young women with strips of animal ... Read More »

The Nerve-Wracking Rescue of Kidnapped Heiress Barbara Mackle – Part 2 of 3

Word got out that Robert Mackle’s daughter Barbara, age 20, had been kidnapped in the early morning hours of December 17, 1968. Everyone in Florida and throughout the nation who knew of the Mackles was shocked and paralyzed. Their concern and fear during the early Christmas season of 1968 paralleled the emotions felt 36 years earlier when the Lindbergh baby ... Read More »

The Daring Kidnapping of Barbara Mackle – Part 1 of 3

1968 After the grand opening of Marco Island on January 31, 1965, the Marco Island Development Corporation, a joint development venture between the Mackle Brothers and the Collier family was going gangbusters.  By 1968, with lot prices averaging $10,300, land sales were totaling $11 million, while the sale of homes had reached $3.5 million.  The value of Deltona stock, the ... Read More »

A Marine Jacket Comes Home

By Carol Glassman In September of 2005, I was privileged to share an unusual story about a very brave Marine who fought in World War II. The story came to me through his daughter Vickie Kelber, who was then a councilwoman on the Marco Island City Council. The story began: Marco Island’s City Council Chairwoman Vickie Kelber received an amazing ... Read More »