MARCO ISLAND is located in southwest Florida. Before the island
became modernized with its beautiful homes, restaurants, shops, and more, the
island was called Old Marco Island where the fierce Calusa Indians and pioneers
lived about four thousand years ago. The Indians and pioneers multiplied along
the Gulf Coast during the time Christopher Columbus was exploring the new
world. They hunted and fished for their food, and found and used other raw
materials to create tools, shelter, and clothing.
The Calusa Indians used their woodworking skills to construct
canoes, beams, and planks to build houses, docks for their small boats, and
piers. They also made woodcarvings of animals, elaborate masks, and a panther
which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.
Explorers like Juan Ponce de Leon, a friend of Christopher
Columbus, was eager to take friends and go to Marco Island. The Calusa were not
in favor of visitors. In 1521, Juan Ponce de Leon reached the island with his
friends, and they were ambushed, and he was wounded by a spear, and he died a
few days later.
The Calusa Indians died out from diseases carried to them by the
outsiders who came to the island, and Marco Island was nearly uninhabited until
after the Civil War.
William Thomas Collier is credited for having found Marco Island
in 1870. His second son, Captain Bill played an important role as a hardworking
pioneer to improve the island. He opened the Old Marco Inn in 1896, and it's
still on the island. The Barfield family also helped Marco Island flourish with
their hard work. All of them helped the island to flourish, develop, and
In the 1920's, Barron Gift Collier, no relation to William, bought
ninety percent of the island to develop.
Marco Island is a beautiful spot, and you'd enjoy the beauty of
the homes, restaurants, and other things they have to offer if you get a
Thank you for joining me here today!