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Looking Back: Historic photos from Naples

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  • Tourist-tacky is nothing new. Southwest Florida history buff Alvin Lederer shares this 1935 postcard from Collier City, named for perhaps Marco Island’s first homesteader, Confederate Army Capt. William Collier, no relation to the county’s founding family. Collier built a hotel that today survives in part as the Old Marco Inn. The Collier County Museum reports Collier City was incorporated as the whole island in 1927 and was disbanded by the Florida Legislature due to inactivity in 1957. The modern-day city of Marco, where there is lots of activity, incorporated in 1997. Upload your classic postcards and historical images at
  • Unidentified 1916 guests at Palm Cottage, preserved today as a mini-museum a block east of the Naples Pier, pose with their exotic trophy.
  • Spring break on a Naples beach — in April 1915. Residents and their winter guests turn out for Gymkhana Day, a popular local fest that featured picnic lunches, foot races and field day games. The buildings in the background, now long gone, served as beach cabanas and changing rooms. Courtesy of the Collier County Museum. Readers with memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload it online at
  • Collier County history buff Alvin Lederer shares this truly vintage scene from Everglades City, which he plans to donate to Everglades City archives: “I bought (on eBay) the original photo of the Everglades Trolley that Barron Gift Collier brought down from Coney Island, N.Y., dated 1926 — and after 81 years the photo is going back to Everglades City. ... The building in the background is the Everglades Bank,” now a bed and breakfast. The people in the photo are not identified. Upload your classic photos at
  • The ice plant — which doubled as an electricity-generating plant — was near Fifth Street and 11th Avenue South. The Collier County Museum estimates it was there until the mid-1960s. This long-ago landmark of Old Naples is brought back to life via rare family photos courtesy of Emilie Oppenheim. Readers with local memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload them at
  • The Naples water tower, stood near the old — and new — City Hall until 1977, according to the Collier County Museum. This long-ago landmark of Old Naples is brought back to life via rare family photos courtesy of Emilie Oppenheim. Readers with local memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload them at
  • Don Wynn's Sunshine Super Market (later to be Wynn's Sunshine Hardware and then Kepp's men's clothing store, is where Yabba's restaurant now operates in the Wynn Building) was at Fifth Avenue South and Seventh Street South in downtown Naples.
  • In 1950, Don Wynn, right, who founded the regional Sunshine supermarket and hardware chain, posed by Naples’ first refrigerated butcher case at the first Sunshine market on Fifth Avenue South.
  • In 2003, Don Wynn, 82, center, and wife Anne, 78, bottom right, are surrounded by their children, from left, Tim, 44, Linda Wynn-Smith, 40, Jerry, 48, Larry, 56, and Tom, 50, inside Wynn's Supermarket on U. S. 41 in downtown Naples. The well-known grocery store was opened on 5th Avenue North in 1948 and then on U.S. 41 in 1964.
  • In this magazine ad that appears to be circa 1960s, Naples was touted as only 45 minutes from Miami on Naples Airlines, which later added service to and from Tampa. The airline, also known as Provincetown-Boston Airline from its summer service in the North, stopped serving in Naples in 1987. The writing on the bottom of the ad says: “Scheduled flights also operated between Marco Island, Fort Myers and Miami.' Courtesy of Gary and Kim Price of Naples. Readers with local memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload them online at
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  • A slightly off-line photocopy of a photo and caption from a 1949 edition of the Collier County News shows drought conditions and wildfires have come and gone over the years. The caption to this photo reads: “The hot winter sky of the Glades country has quenched its own thirst this year, milking the water from the vast reservoirs of Collier County’s Big Cypress Swamp, leaving this typical checkerboard of cracked earth where water was once waist-height. Tinder-dry leaves bed the timbered townships of the Lee Cypress Co. Lumber officials fear spot fires in the forest will mature into the gray billows of overall conflagration which swept through the outskirts of the swamp in 1936 and again in 1945. Normally the entire slough is covered with upwards of three feet of water. Already muck fires are consuming truck fields to the northeast along the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Hurricane flood waters renew the soil’s vitality but there is no restoration for burned timber. Photo and descriptive article by Miss Mildred Allen of Copeland.'
  • Not a bagel or croissant was in sight when this undated postcard highlighted the continental breakfast at Naples’ Sea Shell Motel, 82 Ninth St. S., in Naples. The card, from the collection of Nina Webber, also touted the motel’s heated pool, air conditioning, heat and color cable TV with AM/FM radio. The Sea Shell Motel is still there, a block south of Central Avenue on U.S. 41. Readers with memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload it online at
  • 'Exclusive but not expensive ... Naples' finest.' That was the slogan on postcards for the Motel Stewart, razed in late 2006 to make way for a condo/office project in central Naples on U.S. 41. This view was of the interior courtyard. The undated postcard boasted of the motel's double beds, air conditioning and location — 'close to golf course, beach, fine fishing, hunting and shelling.'  Courtesy of Bill Meek of Naples. Readers with local memorabilia may upload it at
  • North Naples winter visitors notice something missing. Until the spring of 2006, palm-bordered views of the pool and Gulf were trademarks for nearly 33 years of the Vanderbilt Inn on Vanderbilt Beach. Now, its 150 guest rooms and landmark chickee bar are gone — razed to make way for a high-rise condominium south of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. This undated vintage postcard is from the collection of Nina Webber. Share your local memorabilia collection by uploading images at
  • The “T” is the start of the often-copied landmark Venetian Village condo enclave in Park Shore on Gulf Shore Boulevard North in Naples in 1970. The boulevard would eventually be continued further north.
  • Can you guess the landmark roads that form this intersection? Is the golf course taking shape a clue? What is the year? This was the scene, looking northwest, at U.S. 41 East and Rattlesnake-Hammock Road, in 1970. That is the Lely Hibiscus links being carved out of row crops. Photo courtesy of Art Ullmann
  • Here is a vintage photo that is interesting for what it shows — and what it does not show. Made by Naples pilot Jim Connell circa 1960, it looks east at Naples Municipal Airport from above Naples' River Park neighborhood. Radio Road runs diagonally at upper left. The rest is history. Readers with local memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload photos of it at
  • Jack Connell of Naples made this terrific aerial looking southwest of Gulf Shore Boulevard in 1964, three years after the beachfront Lowdermilk Park (right, with pond) opened and four years after Hurricane Donna. More and larger homes and condos populate this same area today.
  • Those were the days — the late 1960s — when Pine Ridge, left foreground, and Seagate, right, were taking shape and today's Pelican Bay, right foreground, and Park Shore above it were years away. Note Clam Pass clearly visible at lower right. That is U.S. 41 running north-south at center and Pine Ridge Road from left to right. Development east of Goodlette Road (now Goodlette-Frank Road) was rare. Photo courtesy of Art Ullmann of Naples. Readers with local memorabilia to share are encouraged to upload images at
  • Can you guess where it is? The time frame is the early 1970s. Place: Collier County. Hint: It's a transportation hub. An industrial park area takes shape at upper right. The old, white military barracks at Naples Municipal Airport are at left. A former railroad station, to which service began in 1926, is right of center on the northeast corner of today's Airport-Pulling (top to bottom) and Radio roads. Photo courtesy of Art Ullmann of Naples.

These classic photos were published in 2007 in the Sunday Perspective section of the Naples Daily News.

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