Cape Coral and Southwest Florida Feature Stories

Images of America - Cape Coral

Images of America - Cape Coral

There are several books detailing the history of Cape Coral, Florida. However, none of them are as pictorially comprehensive as the recently released Images of America - Cape Coral from Arcadia Publishing. Local journalist, Chris Wadsworth, joins forces with Anne Cull, curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum, and the end result of their efforts is an attractive and impressively compiled volume deserving of space on any Cape Coral bookshelf.

The unique history of modern Cape Coral, coupled with the rapid pace at which it grew, allows for the full story to be told in words and images. The archives of the Cape Coral Historical Museum are a true gift to this late blooming city of ours offering the type of wide perspective most communities can only dream of possessing with regards to their humble beginnings. All of it has been put to good use in Images of America – Cape Coral.

Most of what we know today as Cape Coral traces its earliest history back to the 1957 purchase of some land known as Redfish Point by Leonard and Jack Rosen. The purchase of this land represented the first concrete step the Rosen Brothers took towards actually creating a vision they had long shared -- the building of a major metropolitan area in Southwest Florida which would be exclusively marketed to northerners desiring a piece of the Florida dream. With Cape Coral's history unfolding so recently, much of it was photographed. The major events and details have all been recorded directly from the first residents of Cape Coral and the employees of the company which made it all happen, the Gulf American Land Corporation. Images of America - Cape Coral crafts the entire story together into a photo and text time-line tracing the narrative of Cape Coral from the early homesteaders who inhabited its wilderness in the early 1800s, all the way through to the modern day facts and figures of its current status as Southwest Florida’s largest city. Along the way we're introduced to the colorful personalities, powerful institutions, and iconic locations which gave way to the Cape Coral we know today.

Chapters on the early amenities of Cape Coral and the now defunct Cape Coral Rose Garden attractions offer up a breadth of seldom seen images hinting at the grandeur and excitement of our city's earliest days. Wonderful shots of the Nautilus Motel and the Surfside Restaurant are fun glimpses at what once was. The Waltzing Waters, Patriots Pavilion, porpoise show, and Aloha Lagoon pictures serve as a testament to the creativity and ambition of our forebears, and some of what would be nice to still have.

Images of America - Cape Coral is studded with early marketing pieces, sample menus, famous celebrities, business brochures, wildlife images, holiday gatherings, newspaper clippings, and all the other minutiae developing cities leave in their wake. To have it all so thoughtfully and painstakingly arranged by authors as passionate about their subject matter as Wadsworth and Cull obviously are is more than we could have ever asked for. For the citizens of Southwest Florida, this book is more than just a's a must-own. Get a copy today!

Images of America - Cape Coral, $21.99 and postcards $7.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313--2665.

-- written by Eric Taubert

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