The Palm Cottage is a small and nice museum located in Naples, Florida. It is in fact the oldest house in the city and was built in 1895 and was owned by Walter Haldeman, a man of considerable wealth and was, in fact, one of the early Naples pioneers.  The house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Parman who became its new owners after Mr. Haldeman’s death in 1916. The house was then sold down to several more owners as the century went by until it was acquired by the Naples Historical Society in 1978 and was turned into a museum. The house features the architectural style of the early 20th century and features a the furniture and curios of that time. They even have a refrigerator and other kitchen wares that were used during that era.

Even back in the day, people went to Naples to enjoy the sights and sounds nature has to offer.  They enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating to basically escape the cold winter from the other parts of the country.  Walter had a very good friend and business partner named Henry Watterson. Watterson was the editor of the newspaper company that was owned by Haldeman and was also a prolific writer whose writings and editorials were eventually used to convince the people to support the call to end US neutrality by entering the Second World War. Walter wanted his friend Henry to have a place to stay when he’s in Naples so he commissioned people to build this house for him so the latter would have a place to call home during his winter visits.

Henry spent more than ten winters in the cottage but was not there daily.  On some days, when the nearby hotel became fully booked, instead of turning away guests, the hotel, with Walter’s consent, sent some of the guests to the cottage since the place was spacious enough to accommodate many people.

Because of the house’s historical and cultural significance, it was added to the US National Register for Historic Places. The Naples Historical Society acquired the house in 1978 at the cost of $100,000. Then, by 1996, it was restored to its former glory at the cost of a staggering $300,000. Today, the Palm Cottage sits as a beautiful museum to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. You can take a guided tour inside the house and be amazed because it feels almost like time travel. It also has a nice souvenir and gift shop that may interest you. And, one of the highlights of the cottage is its Christmas season special, where the house is marvelously decorated with Christmas lights, a Christmas tree and red socks by the fire place that the kids and the kids at heart will surely enjoy. The Palms Cottage with its simple and yet beautiful architectural style is a marvel to see. Along with its lush and well-maintained landscape coupled with its wooden walls with pure white paint, it certainly gives off that lovable traditional vibe.

Things to remember when visiting:

  • The Palm Cottage is near the pier at 137 12th Ave S, Naples, FL
  • Open all year round but is only open on the first and third Thursday of each month 10:00am to 11:00am
  • Reservations are required. $12.00 for adults, children 12 years old below $5.00

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