105 West Broadway
Everglades City, Florida 34139
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Museum of the Everglades - Welcome
Wind Back the Clock
Escape Naples' dazzling pace of development for a day and spend a lazy afternoon exploring the history of nearby Everglades City. Once accessible only by boat, this remote frontier trading town took an ambitious new turn in 1923 as the hub of Barron Collier's personal Southwest Florida real estate empire - with a population of fewer than twelve families.
First opened in 1927 as a commercial laundry, today's Museum of the Everglades dates back to a time when construction of the famous Tamiami Trail was well underway and the tiny settlement of Everglades served as the first County seat. The museum's permanent and rotating exhibits provide visitors with an in-depth look at over 2,000 years of human history in the area and tell the story of those adventurous enough - and stubborn enough - to settle Southwest Florida's lush "River of Grass."
Faithfully restored to its original, 1920s Collier-era appearance, the museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located 35 miles east of downtown Naples.
Museum of the Everglades - Our History
This area was settled in the late 1800s. Little communities farmed, fished, and hunted throughout the Ten Thousand Islands. The Storter family was prominent in the village of Everglade until Barron Gift Collier bought them out in 1922 to create a company town which was the seat for his new County and the engineering headquarters for the construction of the Tamiami Trail. To read more, download "Why Is There A City Here?".
The old Laundry Building was completed in 1927 and cleaned the linens for Collier's Rod & Gun Club and Everglades Inn. From about 1933, the extended Echols family operated the business, some of them living in the building as well as working there. The Laundry closed during World War II and the Women's Club took over the premises in the 1960s, eventually restoring it to be used as a Museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. To read more, download "The Old Laundry Building".
Pauline Reeves, one of the last members of the Women's Club, convinced Collier County that the old Laundry should become a museum of local history and led the movement to restore the building. With other local residents, she founded the Friends of the Museum of the Everglades who raised money for the project. The front gallery in the Museum is named in Pauline's honor. To read more, download "Our Founders".
Plaques on the front of the Museum commemorate two Great Floridians with local links. DAVID GRAHAM COPELAND was the chief engineer and manager for Collier's activities in the area and an avid historian. DEACONESS HARRIET BEDELL helped Native Americans to improve their standard of living by encouraging them to sell their craft work. To read more, download "Great Floridians".
The Everglades Museum - General Information
-Admission: Donations requested
-Approximate time required: 1 hour
-Facility Amenities: Gift Shop, Guided Tours, Parking
-From U.S. 41: S. on S.R. 29. Travel 3 mi. into the city -center, museum is just off the circle.
-To learn more about the Everglades Museum, please visit the Collier County Museum website.
All text about the Museum of the Everglades courtesy Collier County Museum