Tuesday , September 27 2016
Home » Tag Archives: Chokoloskee

Tag Archives: Chokoloskee

Local History & Mysteries

Submitted Ghosts of Chokoloskee? Death of Ochopee? New books with these fascinating local histories will be for sale at Art-in-the-Glades on Saturday, January 16, in Everglades City along with arts and crafts by local vendors. Chokoloskee is the home of the famous Smallwood Store & Museum, which is the setting of the killing of Mister Watson, the subject of a famous novel by Peter Matthieson. Author Rick Magers imagines, after meticulous research, what the conversations would have been like back then among all the protagonists. His book “Ghosts of Chokoloskee” is one of many historical books that will be for ... Read More »

Marie Thompson Retires from Goodland Post Office

Marie Thompson as customers saw her. PHOTO BY BARRY GWINN

By Barry Gwinn Friday, October 30, 2015 was Marie Thompson’s last day with the U.S. Postal Service. After 15 years with the postal service, Marie is exchanging her postage machine for a pickup truck and camper. She and her husband Mike plan on doing some traveling around North America. “Mike and I have always wanted to travel,” said Marie, “Our health is still good and we felt that now was the time.” Marie has been a clerk at Everglades City, Ochopee, and Chokoloskee. She was transferred to the Goodland Post Office three years ago, taking the place of Judith Pritchard, ... Read More »

The October Fishing Season in the 10,000 Islands


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com For us fishing enthusiasts in the 10,000 Islands, fall can prove to be our absolute favorite time of year! While the sun can still be strong during October, and the air will still be a bit thick, you can expect the regular rainstorms to taper off, as the changing of the season starts to take place. With warm air and water, at temperatures around 87 and 81 degrees respectively, October offers some great fishing in the area, and it can pay to know what to expect. Looking at the Solunar calendar and tides, I ... Read More »

Annual Everglades Bike Ride


By Patty Huff Once again, bicycling enthusiasts will have an opportunity to experience the “real” Everglades during the annual Everglades Bike Ride with registration beginning at 7:30 AM on Sunday, April 12 (discounted rate prior to April 4). Again, this year the ride will include options for both road and off-road cyclists with a “smooth ride” of 62 miles (starting at 8 AM) or 16 miles (starting at 9 AM). Opportunities to customize the distance of your ride are also available. The 27-mile “bumpy ride”, starting at 8:30 AM, will take cyclists down beautiful Janes Scenic Drive into the Fakahatchee ... Read More »

Local History Authors at Fest

Submitted Local historians Betsy Perdichizzi and Marya Repko will be signing their books at the Author Fest held by the Marco Island Writers on Wednesday, March 4, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Marco Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Avenue. Betsy is well-known for her publication A Girl Called Tommie; Queen of Marco Island which tells how this amazing woman was ahead of her time in the progress of the island and fought for the formation of Collier County. Marya writes about the Everglades area and has just published a new book A Brief History of the Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee, Florida. And, by the way, there will be wine & cheese to go ... Read More »



Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net A Public Hearing will be held on July 10 at the Capri Community Center (time is not certain at this time) to ask any questions regarding the future of the Isle of Capri Fire-Rescue Department. The final fire district vote will take place on August 26, and you will want to get all the information you need to prepare for the vote. Ask any questions and receive answers so that you will be comfortable with your decision when you vote. If you will be out of town and haven’t registered for an absentee ballot yet, please do ... Read More »

Remembering Animal Friends


One of the best-beloved pets in Everglades City was “Jitters, the furry white Bichon Frises doggie who made friends everywhere and left us at age 15. He adored his kittens, who were roommates and soul-mates. He idolized his human companion who described him as “my pal” – they galluted around together and took vacations to the beach where the doggie rolled in the sand while the human shuffled in the surf searching for shells. Donations in Jits’ memory and to his kitty cousins, who miss him terribly, can be made to the local 501(c)(3) animal charity: Feral Felines, Inc., P.O. ... Read More »

Everglades Seafood Festival Nears

Music and entertainment can be seen on the big stage the entire weekend.

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com The 41st Annual Everglades City Seafood Festival is just around the corner — then another three blocks down, take a left and you’ll see it straight ahead another two blocks. That’s what you’ll hear if you get there late, that is. The spectacular line-up of seafood, music, arts and crafts, rides and games draws thousands to historic Everglades City every year for this fabulous festival. The weekend-long event will take place on Friday, Feb. 7-Sunday, Feb. 9. Festivities begin on Friday night at 5 PM and end at 10 PM. Saturday runs from 10 AM-10 PM, ... Read More »

The Star of the Everglades Its Journey From the 1920s to Today

The historical Lopez home located on the Lopez River. Jim Webb recalls that at the end of mullet season there were always big parties held here; the home no longer exists. Photo by Alvin Lederer

COASTAL HISTORY Craig Woodward CWoodward@wpl-legal.com Mention the vessel Star of the Everglades to local, long-time residents, and it brings a big smile to their faces. Soon, they are flooded with memories of this fabulous boat which was aptly named the Star. Not only was the Star a luxury cruise boat for its day, but it also opened up the Ten Thousand Islands to world-class fishing. Digging into the vessel’s history, one quickly hears stories. Its first owner made money in the bird feather, or plume, trade in the late 1800s. The boat’s builder was extremely wealthy, becoming famous by running whiskey ... Read More »


The Smallwood Store has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for 39 years.

Re: Smallwood Store Public Hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 Dear Commissioners, Smallwood Store and Museum is under attack again, but this time by our own county! If you vote to vacate the 100-year old road to Smallwood Store, thereby jeopardizing the continuing existence of this historic structure, you are letting your taxpayers down! The Smallwood Store came under attack last year when Florida-Georgia Grove (FGG), a Limited Liability Partnership from Sebring, FL, bought property adjacent to the Store knowing that the deed had a public road right in the middle of it. Over one weekend, bulldozers were brought in to ... Read More »

Mamie Street Controversy

At one point, Florida Georgia Grove was forced to repave the road to Smallwood after the developer bulldozed it without warning. Now, the BCC is thinking about giving the county-owned road to Florida-Georgia Grove to maintain it, even after the company has failed six Code Enforcement inspections. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM

By Patricia Huff For the past two years, visitors to the Historic Smallwood Store and Museum have had to drive through the unsightly property owned by Florida-Georgia Grove LLC (FGG) on Mamie Street in Chokoloskee. In August of 2012, Collier County Code Enforcement Office sent a notice of violation to FGG to clean up its property. For the past four months, the county has been going through the same process as it did just one year ago. Code Enforcement has sent an inspector out to the site on six different occasions to see if the violation is still outstanding, and ... Read More »

EDITORIAL: Highway Robbery

By Patricia Huff The title of this article is not my own but came from someone who believes this is what is happening to Mamie Street. On Thursday, October 10, District 5 Commissioner Tim Nance along with County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow; Nick Casalanguida, Administrator of the Growth Management Division; and Richard Grant, Attorney for the Smallwood Store & Museum, met with Chokoloskee neighbors and the public to discuss the settlement agreement whereby Collier County would “vacate” Mamie Street which would then become the private road of Florida-Georgia Grove LLP. Thirty-six people attended the meeting, most of whom voiced their opposition ... Read More »

Mamie Street


By Patricia Huff Here we go again! On September 10, 2013, almost two years after the County Court ordered Florida-Georgia Grove LLP (FGG) to repave and restore Mamie Street, residents in Chokoloskee received a notice that the county was considering “vacating” that section of Mamie Street. The County would no longer own or maintain that portion of Mamie Street. You may recall that in April 2011 FGG bulldozed Mamie Street, denying access to the historic Smallwood Store. In May the County Commissioners directed its attorney to file suit against Florida-Georgia Grove. It was determined by the County Court in October ... Read More »

Blessing of the Fleet


Submitted Come to historic Everglades City for the Annual Blessing of the Stone Crab Fleet on Saturday, September 28, on the bank of the Barron River at the Rod & Gun Lodge. The event starts at 1 p.m.with fun for all the family and ends at around 4 p.m. There will be arts & crafts booths, music, and a frog-jumping contest for the kiddies before local pastors bless each boat at 2 p.m. Some vessels in the fleet have been operated by the same families for generations and ship their catch worldwide. The traps will be dropped on October 5 ... Read More »

Explore Our Island History!

Join us for a really unique “Olde Florida” treat. The Friends of Fakahatchee are hosting Coastal Cruises through the mysterious mangroves of the Ten Thousands Island. On the way, you will probably see dolphins cavorting with the tour boat. When you arrive at Fakahatchee Island, a naturalist will point out unusual plants on the path up the ancient shell mound to the old cemetery. On the return journey, the boat passes by a famous rookery where the birds will be settling down for the evening. We might think of “Fakahatchee” as a swamp with Ghost Orchids and Florida Panthers but to ... Read More »


Don’t know what to do with your energetic visitors? Send them on a Swamp Walk in the Fakahatchee. If they are relatively fit and don’t mind getting wet to the waist while wondering at the marvels of this primeval environment, they’ll have memories and photos to take home of a Florida far from concrete condos and shopping malls. The walk is led by naturalists who can point out the rare plants along the way and answer questions about this local state park which was saved from development in the 1970s. The Fakahatchee is called “the Amazon of North America” and ... Read More »

Making a go of it in the Glades


By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Over a century ago, families traveled to Southwest Florida, pioneering the harsh environment and extreme temperature to forge a new life. Everglades City is one of the oldest settlements of these pioneer towns, along with Chokoloskee and Ochopee. Built on trading and raised on fishing, these quiet towns still hold allure to young families looking to make a go of it in the Glades. No stranger to the stories of the pioneer days, Jack Shealy is a third generation Ochopee native. His family has been in Southwest Florida even longer. “We settled down here in the ... Read More »

Goodland USPS Under Review

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com The United States Postal Service has implemented a new system called the POST Plan to better align its service with customer demand. In order to do this, a review of nearly 14,000 Post Offices is taking place throughout the country and the Goodland Post Office is on that list. Those who have P.O. Boxes at the Goodland Post Office recently received a letter outlining possible changes to Postal service within the community. As the letter stated, “The Goodland Post Office was among the offices evaluated under the POST Plan criteria. The Postal Service is now soliciting ... Read More »

Independence Day in the Everglades

BUZZ FROM THE SWAMP  Patricia Huff  mulletrapper@gmail.com Please join us in Everglades City on Saturday, June 30, for a fun-filled day to celebrate our country’s Independence Day. We like to start the festivities early before it gets too hot. There are lots of activities to keep you entertained so bring the whole family. Opening ceremony will begin at 9:30 AM. The theme of this year’s event is “Honoring our Veterans” with prizes for the best floats in the parade which will start at 10:00 AM. Last year, one of the floats was the boat built by Everglades youngsters during the CCSO ... Read More »

Green thumb 101 with the butterfly guy

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com “My idea of a garden is to spend more time looking at it and enjoying it than working in it. That’s the key. Gardening is fun. If you’re spending tons of money on water and maintenance, it takes the joy out of gardening, and that’s when people stop.” These words of wisdom come from Mike Malloy, also know as the Butterfly Guy, and sometimes, the Butterfly Lunatic. Malloy recently spoke at a Community Day event hosted by The City of Marco Island, The Beautification Committee and the Calusa Garden Club. During the event, Malloy discussed the ... Read More »