Did you know that the Calusa Indians, who used to live here, produced one of the most world-renowned artifacts in the realm of archaeology? This is the Key Marco Cat, a carved wooden figurine about six inches high, possibly of buttonwood, and thought to be of religious significance. The little statue is half-human, half-panther, and extremely well made, considering that the Calusa had no metal tools. They worked with bone and shell implements and achieved wonderful results.
The major finds from this tribe were located at the north end of our island in the late 19th century, and more than 2,500 objects were discovered during the Pepper-Hearst Expedition, which we locally call the Cushing dig, led by Frank Hamilton Cushing. These items now reside in the Smithsonian Institutions, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida and the Oxford University Museum, in Great Britain. We hope to bring some of them to Marco when our new museum is opened.
An open letter from MIHS President Darcie Guerin
The mission of the Marco Island Historical Society is dedicated to discovering, researching, acquiring and preserving the multi-faceted history of the Marco Island and Goodland region. We’re also committed to educating and informing the community and visitors of our heritage. Our new museum is a magnificent way to accomplish these goals.
The museum represents an ongoing tribute to our predecessors and our gift to future generations. Hearty thanks to all Historical Society members, donors, sponsors, advertisers, friends, board of directors, capital campaign members and the building committee, who have worked tirelessly to fulfill the dream of a museum on Marco. Please take a moment to reflect and understand how this accomplishment could not have occurred without your contributions, financial and otherwise.
Darcie Guerin, president, MIHS
Marion Nicolay and Betsy Perdichizzi, of the Marco Island Historical Society, compile this report on a weekly basis for the Eagle. Shirley Beckwith oversees the archiving of photos for MIHS.