Open your eyes and your mind to the nostalgia of yesteryear by visiting the Margood Museum at Margood Harbor Park. You will be fascinated.
I made my first visit to Margood several years ago before I knew anything about the area. We came to Goodland by boat, spent the night at Calusa Marina and walked over to Margood for breakfast the next morning. What an experience!
We signed the guest book, made ourselves comfortable at a cozy table, ordered our eggs and special pancakes and waited. The atmosphere was almost like a movie. We had so much to look at. All kinds of mementoes surrounded us including World War II and Calusa artifacts, posters from Ringling Brothers Circus, life size figures of movie stars and more. In fact we learned that movies were actually shown there and it mayhave been Collier County’s first movie theater. The owners, Elhanon and Sandy Combs, even had cottages, RV’s to rent or purchase, a marina and a tiki bar. It was a laid back fish camp right on the water and fishermen came from far and near. Margood offered more amenities than other fish camps and they kept their guests happy with entertainment. With our hunger satisfied we strolled around a little more and realized we had been introduced to life in a quaint little resort which was charming.
The Combs’s finally sold their resort to Collier County several years ago and now the property is a County Park. The structure which housed the restaurant and theater has been rebuilt and is the centerpiece of Goodland’s new Margood Harbor Park. Nancy Olson, Region Manager of Beach and Water for Collier County Parks and Recreation has enthusiastically spearheadedthe assembly of mementoes for display, most of which were donated by Elhanon and Sandy.
The Combs’s collection includes the Calusa artifacts which they found on the property, Elhanon’s World War II memories, the old movie projector, remnants from the restaurant, reminders of the days of live entertainment and lots of photographs and more. It is definitely a must see.
There used to be a saying that Margood was “hard to find but truly hard to forget.” It wasn’t fancy, just a touch of Olde Florida. All of that is true.
So treat yourself, visit Goodland soon and try browsing through the museum. It is tucked away on Pear Tree Avenue, still a bit tricky to find, but that makes the experience worth even more. Hours are 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday with plans to expand in the future.
Joanie Fuller is the President of the Goodland Civic Association. She and her husband of 48 years, David Fuller, are residents of Goodland.