Marco Island Historical Museum presents ‘Camera Girl’

Will Watts

The Marco Island Historical Society has a new exhibit opening Tuesday at the Marco Island Historical Museum, “Camera Girl: Saloma Olds’ Marco Island.” It is on display through June 25. The exhibit is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held from 4:30 until 6 p.m., Thursday.

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The exhibit provides a very special view into Marco Island of 1913 to 1915 as seen through the eyes of teenaged Saloma Olds.

Olds was the middle daughter of Drs. Charles and Mary Olds. In 1902, the family packed up and moved with their three small daughters, Saloma, Rosalie and Orida, from Philadelphia to Marco Island. Philadelphia was the then a city of more than 1.3 million and Marco Island had a population of approximately 270.

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Saloma was an avid photographer and kept a detailed diary. Her images and engaging diary entries provide a captivating snapshot of pioneer life on Marco Island. One of her diary entries follows: “In the morning I cut up guavas and Orida put them through the sieve after they were cooked. After dinner we had to stir the guava butter continuously and it was very hot in the house. Pap made it easier by having each stir five minutes so that we had twenty minutes between to practice or study” (Sept. 6, 1913).

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“Camera Girl” explores how Saloma developed as a photographer and the challenges she experienced in developing her own prints in the frontier that was Southwest Florida over a hundred years ago. The exhibit includes Saloma’s photos, original manuscript drafts, and Brownie cameras similar to the ones used by Saloma.

The Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and the site is handicapped accessible. For general information visit or call 239-642-1440.

If you go

  • Opening reception: “Camera Girl: Saloma Olds’ Marco Island”
  • 4:30 until 6 p.m., Thursday
  • Marco Island Historical Museum, 180 S. Heathwood Drive
  • Information: