The Museum of the Everglades is pleased to present Trading Posts of South Florida, a historical overview of the people and places that shaped our region’s commerce and culture at the turn of the last century. Trading Posts of South Florida will be on display now through November 28, at 105 W. Broadway in Everglades City.
Before there was a road connecting Florida’s coasts or railroads made their way to some of the larger towns on the frontier, trading posts and general stores throughout South Florida were doing a brisk business in pelts, plumes, and hides supplied by indigenous hunters and pioneer settlers. In turn, these local commodities fed the fashion trends in major cities like feathered ladies’ hats and alligator skin shoes and luggage. As populations grew and the landscape changed, so did the ways goods were bought and sold.
Trading Posts of South Florida focuses on locations in Collier County—the Storter General Store in Everglades City, the McKinney and Smallwood Stores in Chokoloskee, Brown’s Landing in Immokalee, and the W.D. Collier store on Marco Island. The exhibit also explores other stores further afield that were equally important to regional trade during the early days of statehood. Starting as the designations for trading posts, names like Stranahan, Brickell, Burdine, and Raulerson remain a part of South Florida’s lexicon and businesses today.
Originally a commercial laundry established during the building of the Tamiami Trail, Museum of the Everglades features exhibits that proudly tell the stories of the area’s pioneer past and its transformation into Barron Collier’s company town. Placed on the National Register in 2001, the building itself brings the region’s history to life, an extraordinary example of Everglades City’s evolution from a frontier fishing village to the Birthplace of Collier County.
For more information about the Museum of the Everglades’ Trading Posts of South Florida, please contact the museum at 239-252-5026 or visit www.colliermuseums.com/exhibits.