Dedicated to Our Unique History
In 1923, Collier County was founded by Barron Gift Collier who picked the little village of Everglade (Barron Collier added the "s" to make it "Everglades" ) as his headquarters because of the central location and wide river which he renamed after himself.
Everglades was laid out as a modern town with a grid of streets centered on a city Circle (a bit like Washington, DC, or Paris). Among the amenities he provided were the County Courthouse and a library, laundry, inn with department store downstairs, theater, and bank.
The Bank of Everglades was founded in 1923 as the “State Bank of Everglades” and housed in a little wooden building that was almost washed away in the 1926 hurricane.
Collier built a new bank building in 1927. The Bank of Everglades building sits across from the Rod & Gun Club and has weather many storms., but time has taken its toll. ESHP has started the restoration process which is expected to take many months (see more at www.SaveBoE.com)
Today, the Everglades area is frequented by thousands of visitors each year who are hoping to get a glimpse of what "old Florida" may have looked like, and they won't be disappointed! Unfortunately, the area has lost many of its historic structures...but the rich and colorful history remains, as do some of our most iconic buildings. Below, are "Walking Tour" booklets that document some of the historic structures, some of which are no longer here.
In the vast 10,000 Island chain that serves as a breeding ground for native aquatic life, there are still a few remnants of past settlements throughout many of the 10,000 islands.
On Chokoloskee Island, the Ted Smallwood Store, a former trading post that was a hub for settlers and indigineous people, still stands tall along the shores of beautiful Chokoloskee Bay.