Sanibel Island has lots of fun things to do, and a visit to the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village is one of them. Located at 950 Dunlop Road (off Periwinkle Way), the Village was founded in 1984. The idea behind the Village is to save a bit of Sanibel's history, as well as tell the story of our past. From the Village website it says, "The story of Sanibel is told from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. It tells of warriors, adventures, fishermen, farmers and proprietors."
Many buildings were moved from original island sites and have been restored. This is a popular place for visitors and locals alike. Our island's history is fun to learn about, and having original homesteads and businesses makes it a fun learning experience.
The homes and buildings are funished as they were when they were at their original locations on the island.
You can check out "Miss Charlotta's Tea House," which is a small restaurant and gathering place that was located at the ferry dock before the causeway was built. This was a popular place for locals and visitors to catch up on all the island news and gossip. The Tea House was also the island gas station.
The 1926 Post Office is a bit of history as you can see the mismatched lumber as the Post Office was built using lumber salvaged after a hurricane.
Probably one of the more interesting homes is the "Morning Glories Cottage." In 1926 you could order a home from the Sears catalog, and this home was the "The Springwoods." The home came to the island on a barge in 30,000 pieces and was assembled in 1926. This home was unusual because it had a generator for electricity and indoor plumbing. Apparently the Sears "Modern Homes Catalog" was a popular place to buy a pre-fab home in the 20s!
There is also a one-room school. The Village website says the "schoolhouse had a platform in the front where different grades took turns doing lessons with the teacher. In the center was a wood stove used to warm the room in winter as well as to heat soup and cocoa. In 1932, a second room was added, more windows installed, and the schoolhouse was able to house grades one through eight."
It's fun to explore our history and to imagine what life was like on our islands before the causeway (and before electricity and mosquito control).
Admission to the Village is $10 per adult and children under 18 are admitted free (free parking also). You can check out the website HERE, and you can call them at 239-472-2277. From May-August they are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm. From November to April the Village is open from 10-4.
Put this on your list of "things to do" when you visit Sanibel and Captiva Island!
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