The Everglades is a place thriving with history and culture. From the Native Americans that fed off the land and made use of its bountiful resources, to the pioneers and frontiersmen of the late 1800s that sought to bring development to the region and made it inhabitable for a larger number of people. All these wonderful stories make up for southwestern Florida’s vibrant heritage; heritage that have been beautifully captured in the Museum of the Everglades.
The Museum of the Everglades is housed in a lovely historic building that was initially constructed in 1927. When this building was first constructed in 1927, its purpose was to serve as the laundry building for all of Barron Collier’s employees. It remained a commercial laundry until the 1940s, when it had no choice but to close because of a lack of workers caused by the United States’ entrance into WWII.
Then in the mid-1990s, the old laundry building saw serious renovations and restorations to turn it into the Museum of the Everglades. Since then, it is the only Collier County Museum in Everglades City that focuses on the history of this area.
The interior of the museum is very intimate, yet has exhibits that tell a very concise, focused history about Everglades City. When you first enter, you will see the Pauline Reeves Gallery, which normally has art by local artists that are inspired by the natural splendor here in the Everglades. Then you enter the main exhibit area, which is free of charge to the public. The tour through the exhibit area is self-guided. The exhibit area is organized so that visitors learn about the history of Everglades City in chronological order. For example, visitors will learn about the area’s pre-history and Pre-Columbian period, when the Calusas were in their prime. Then, visitors will learn about the Spanish conquest, the Seminoles and the Seminole Wars, and then about the early settlers. Then, you will learn how Everglade, became Everglades City under the leadership of Barron Gift Collier and how Hurricane Donna changed Everglades City’s future forever.
At the far back of the exhibit room, don’t forget to check out the 1920s era laundry equipment, and the brief exhibit on the history of the laundry building. Next to this exhibit, visitors can also watch a few films about the area, and also about the film industry in Everglades City.
Today, this beauty is located at 105 West Broadway in Everglades City, Florida and is open to all who wish to take a glimpse of the life that once flourished in this interesting city. On September 22, 2001, the site was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The memories of this city are countless as they are timeless and now you have the chance to visit these precious memories by taking a short stop by the Everglades Museum. The place has an old traditional homely American vibe to it which gives it its uniquely elegant yet at the same time humble charm. Come and visit the Everglades and see what this truly lovely place has to offer.