Last week we spent several hours at the South West FL History Museum in Ft. Myers. The museum wasn’t large or fancy but they did an excellent job of covering the history of the area from the ice age to the Vietnam War. It is in the old train depot. Included in the price was an audio tour. You really had to see the tusks to get the impact of how huge they were and how massive the animal must have been.
Our favorite exhibits were the ones that talked of the Indian history for the Calusa indians which go back 12,000 and the Seminole indians. Unfortunately the Calusa indians no longer exist. Their population was wiped out in the 1700’s from diseases like small pox and measels. I continue to be fascinated by the Civil War and what happened here during the war and after and the role the indians played. This Calusa cat carving shows some of their talent. I’m going to have to get a replica of one of these.
Cattle also played a big part in Florida’s history. Did you know Fl was a big supplier of cattle to the Confederate Army during the Civil War? The cattle were brought from Spain centuries ago and are small but very adaptable to this harsh climate. This is a full size replica of the cattle.
The museum also had a restored private pullman train coach. Original price in 1929 was $80,000 and it cost almost that much a year to keep it up. It was really fun to see how efficiently they used the space. I love the combo toilet, sink, chair.
Here is one other room.
Another example of an efficient space was the replica of a Florida Cracker house. You can learn more here. http://www.oldhouseweb.com/architecture-and-design/cracker-farmhouses-1840-1920.shtml
After that we went to Joe’s Crab Shack right on the water and splurged on a huge steam pot of two kinds of crab, shrimp, boiled potatoes, sausage and sweet corn. It was a delicious but messy lunch.I bet this place is really packed in the winter. We had planned on going over to Sanibel Island again but it was raining like crazy and didn’t look like it would stop any time soon so we headed home.