The rich history of Marco Island spans thousands of years, reaching as far back as the Calusa Indians. Then there were the early settlers such as the Barfields and the Colliers. As Marco continued to grow, much of the look of the land changed, providing developers and realtors the chance to create pieces of paradise for family after family.
Needless to say, maps, aerial photos and more were taken regularly in the early days as well as today. The Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) has strived to provide as much history as possible regarding the island’s growth. The latest donation by the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR) has given the museum and the Marco Island Historical society a chance to learn more about the island and share it with the community.
The generous donation consisted of important photographs, films, and maps from the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR). The donation consists of 369 photographs, five 16mm films, and several large contour maps of Marco Island development projects.
On loan to the museum since March 2011, the formal “deed of gift” to the MIHM was signed by Shirley English, CEO, and Gerry Rosenblum, President, of MIAAOR. Present at the donation were Shirley English, Gerry Rosenblum, Barbara Rosenblum, Realtor Member, Kathy Miracco, MIHS Board Member and Chair of the MIHS Archives Committee, and Austin Bell, Curator of Collections for the MIHS.
The photographs are comprised almost entirely of aerial shots of Marco Island, most taken in the early 1980’s and 1990’s, with some dating as long ago as 1952. The dramatic transformation of Marco Island is captured vividly in these 369 prints. The five films, however, remain a bit of a mystery because the museum does not currently have access to a 16mm film projector. With titles like “Marco,” “Natural Florida,” and “Marco Island – Get Away From It All – Have It All,” the films surely offer an important glimpse into Marco Island’s recent history. The MIHS plans to convert these 16mm films into DVD’s in order to view their contents and evaluate their suitability for public viewings and future exhibits.
The generous donation by the MIAAOR was received with sincere thanks by the members of the Marco Island Historical Society. The relics received are a dream for local historians and will be around for visitors to learn from for years to come. The MIHM and MIHS are truly grateful for the gift received from the MIAAOR.