Cape Coral, FL (Images of America Series)

Cape Coral, FL (Images of America Series)

4.0 4
by Chris Wadsworth, The Cape Coral Historical Society
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Many are surprised to discover that Cape Coral's history dates back further than the boom of the 1960s. Indeed, homesteader families were living a rough-and-tumble life in the Cape's wilderness for much of the 20th century. Still, there is no denying that the city took a turn with the arrival of Jack and Leonard Rosen in 1957. These visionaries brought their Gulf

Overview


Many are surprised to discover that Cape Coral's history dates back further than the boom of the 1960s. Indeed, homesteader families were living a rough-and-tumble life in the Cape's wilderness for much of the 20th century. Still, there is no denying that the city took a turn with the arrival of Jack and Leonard Rosen in 1957. These visionaries brought their Gulf American Land Corporation to Southwest Florida and built a modern city from scratch. Model homes, roads galore, an airport, a police force, the Cape Coral Country Club, the Nautilus Motel, and the famous Rose Gardens-all rising out of the woods on the north shore of the Caloosahatchee River. Hundreds of miles of canals were dug so that nearly every home was on or near the water. Hollywood celebrities turned out to promote properties to Northerners looking for the good life in sunny Florida. It was one of the largest planned developments ever in the United States-and it was a rousing success.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Tropicalia: Lee County author, curator write about Cape Coral

Author: Amy Bennett Williams

Publisher: News-Press

Date: 11/15/09

Forget the snarky nickname (Cape Coma), the jeering dismissals (home of the newly wed and nearly dead) - even the so-called common knowledge (it's a town without a history).

The fact of the matter is, Cape Coral has a rich and quirky past, something Chris Wadsworth and Anne Cull, curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum, were reminded of over and over as they put together the new book: "Images of America: Cape Coral."

The 128-page book is full of images of the city's history, from shots of barefoot early settlers to swinging '60s publicity stills of big names like Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller celebrating the Cape's charms.

"It truly was a very exciting place," says Wadsworth, a freelance writer who also writes a media column for The News-Press. "To promote it, they had so much going on - beauty pageants, golf tournaments, celebrity appearances - anything to get them a mention in a Northern paper. So there was always something happening and it was because of that excitement that people bought property there."

The book has generated some decidedly contemporary excitement of its own: It has a page on Facebook with more than 500 fans and old-timers contributing their own recollections and photos. For example, here's what Debbie Cooke wrote: "My husband's grandfather (Seth Daniels) and his brothers owned this land and it was called the Matlacha Cattle Company. It was a working ranch for years. ... brimming with deer, turkey and wild hogs. I can't remember what year they sold it. ... it was a beautiful place to see, huge oaks and pines (and) lots of rattlesnakes too! Pappy brought in a barge full of wild hogs to kill the snakes. ... There were places to sleep the men and a big Ranch House. ... Big Mama drove a wagon with a top on it to follow them with food and water and other supplies.

"It was truly a part of history forgotten by most. "

But thanks to Wadsworth, Cull and their fans, Cape Coral's vivid past is still close at hand.

Title: New history book records rapid growth of Cape Coral

Author: Chris Wadsworth

Pubisher: Florida Weekly

Date: 10/21/09

Cape Coral is such a new community -- developed by the famous Rosen Brothers in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- that few realize its rich history dating all the way back to the 19th century.

This oversight could change for many Southwest Floridians thanks to the release of a new history book written by local author Chris Wadsworth and Ann Cull, the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum.

Titled "Images of America: Cape Coral," the paperback book features more than 200 historical photographs from the early years on the Cape. The authors trace the community's development -- from the years as a cattle farming wilderness at the turn of the century to the arrival of the Rosens, the rapid rise of neighborhoods and the city's incorporation in 1970.

"Some of my friends laughed when I told them I was writing a history book on Cape Coral. They thought the Cape didn't have much of a history," Mr. Wadsworth says. "However, I got the last laugh. Cape Coral has a fantastic history, one that is really unique in the United States."

Another bonus for the authors was the rich archives kept by the Cape Coral Historical Museum. A century ago, many people didn't appreciate historic preservation. Photos weren't regularly taken of buildings and parks in a town and most old photos and newspapers were thrown away.

On the other hand, Cape Coral is so new that by the 1960s, people were recognizing that history was unfolding in front of them as the city developed. To this end, thousands of old photographs, newspapers, marketing brochures and city incorporation papers were saved.

"It was really an embarrassment of riches," Mr. Wadsworth said. "We had thousands of images to consider and we were able to pick the very best to go in the book."

To help market the book, Mr. Wadsworth created a Facebook page for the book, which now has more than 400 fans and is still growing. Many early residents of Cape Coral have joined the page and are reconnecting and sharing their own photos and stories from the Cape's formative years.

"Images of America: Cape Coral" is the latest in a large series of history books released by Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C. The company has more than 5,000 titles covering many large cities and small towns across the country.

The authors of the Cape Coral book feel their work is like a family album -- one filled with nostalgic photographs and great stories of a time gone by.

"It's wonderful how these Arcadia books allow us to capture these moments in time -- these early residents and their priceless memories -- and share them with a wider audience," Ms. Cull says. ?

"Images of America: Cape Coral" is available at the Cape Coral Historical Museum, 544 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral, 772- 7037. The proceeds from books purchased there support the museum. The book is also available at local bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks, as well as at online bookstores.

"Images of America: Cape Coral" will be for sale and author Chris Wadsworth will sign copies and chat with guests about the history of Cape Coral at an upcoming event at the Cape Dog & Deli. The book signing is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday Oct. 26, at Cape Dog & Deli, 1227 Cape Coral Parkway East in Big John's Plaza. For details, call 471-2396.

Title: Cape 'Images of America' book signing announced

Author: Meghan McCoy

Publisher: Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Date: 10/22/09

Local author Chris Wadsworth will be sell and sign copies of his latest history book, "Images of America: Cape Coral," on Monday and Nov. 7.

Wadsworth, Anne Cull and the Cape Coral Historical Society have put together the new pictorial history of Cape Coral through vintage photographs of model homes, roads, the airport, the police force, the Cape Coral Country Club, the Nautilus Motel and the famous Rose Gardens.

Wadsworth said he is a journalist by trait who has always been a history buff. He has covered Southwest Florida news for more than a decade as a television, newspaper and now freelance reporter.

Cull has worked as the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum for the past 10 years, which provided her with the opportunity to expand the museum from one to three buildings.

Wadsworth said the book is best described as a "community photo album."

He said it is filled with a ton of photographs from the early days of Cape Coral. The book is approachable and assessable, providing residents an opportunity to learn the history of their city.

Wadsworth said that by putting the book together, he hopes he will "be able to turn people's opinions around" about the Cape and introduce them to its interesting history.

"I hope we did Cape Coral justice and I hope everyone enjoys the book," he said.

"Images of America: Cape Coral" is $21.99 and postcards are $7.99 through Arcadia Publishing.

Both items are available at local retailers, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at: www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.

The book signing Monday will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. at the Cape Dog & Deli, located at 1227 Cape Coral Parkway E.

The Nov. 7 book signing will be held from 9 a.m.-noon at the South Cape Street Market, located on Vincennes Boulevard and Southeast 47th Terrace.

Title: Book examines city's history through old photos

Author: Meghan McCoy

Publisher: Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Date: 9/29/09

A new book capturing the history of Cape Coral, along with 15 historical post cards, will be available Monday.

Local authors Chris Wadsworth and Anne Cull and the Cape Coral Historical Society have put together the pictorial history using vintage photographs of model homes, roads, the airport, police force, Cape Coral Country Club, Nautilus Motel and famous Rose Gardens.

Wadsworth said he is a journalist by trait who has always been a history buff. He has covered Southwest Florida news for more than a decade as a television, newspaper and now freelance reporter.

Cull has worked as the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum for the past 10 years, which provided her with the opportunity to expand the museum from one to three buildings.

Wadsworth said he had his first taste of creating an "Images of America" book through Arcadia Publishing for the city of Bonita Springs, which came out earlier this year.

According to Cull, the "Images of America Cape Coral" book illustrates the unique history of the Cape.

She said those who read the book will learn about how Cape Coral came to be, along with learning the different characters who took part in the early history of the city.

"We got firsthand information from people who actually lived in Cape Coral," Cull said, adding that most of the information came from the Cape Coral Historical Museum and archives.

Wadsworth agreed, stating that the museum had a wonderful archive for them to work with to put together the book. He said it was also nice to reach out to families in the community for photographs and information.

"It was so much fun going through the photos," Wadsworth said.

He said the book is best described as a "community photo album" filled with a ton of photographs from the early days of Cape Coral.

Wadsworth added that the book is very approachable and assessable, providing individuals an opportunity to learn the history of the city.

By putting the book together he hopes "to turn people's opinions around" about Cape Coral and introduce them to the interesting history of the city.

Cull said the book was finished in March. It took a few months to put it together, research and sort through thousands of pictures.

"It will be a nice addition for the Cape Coral residents," Cull said. "It really will, especially for someone who is moving into the community."

"I hope we did Cape Coral justice and I hope everyone enjoys the book," Wadsworth said. "It was a great experience."

He added that Arcadia Publishing was shocked at the size of the city and was eager to get a Cape book on its list of cities.

There may be a bit of a lag time before the book appears in stores.

"It is on the online sites already," Wadsworth said.

There will be a book signing, along with a PowerPoint presentation by Wadsworth, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Cultural Park Theatre, 528 Cultural Park Blvd.

"Everyone is invited," Cull said.

For more information, call Cull at 772-7037.

"Images of America Cape Coral" costs $21.99 and postcards are $7.99 through Arcadia Publishing.

Both items are available at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia Publishing at: www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.

Title: Book examines city's history through old photos

Author: Meghan McCoy

Publisher: Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Date: 9/29/09

A new book capturing the history of Cape Coral, along with 15 historical post cards, will be available Monday.

Local authors Chris Wadsworth and Anne Cull and the Cape Coral Historical Society have put together the pictorial history using vintage photographs of model homes, roads, the airport, police force, Cape Coral Country Club, Nautilus Motel and famous Rose Gardens.

Wadsworth said he is a journalist by trait who has always been a history buff. He has covered Southwest Florida news for more than a decade as a television, newspaper and now freelance reporter.

Cull has worked as the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum for the past 10 years, which provided her with the opportunity to expand the museum from one to three buildings.

Wadsworth said he had his first taste of creating an "Images of America" book through Arcadia Publishing for the city of Bonita Springs, which came out earlier this year.

According to Cull, the "Images of America Cape Coral" book illustrates the unique history of the Cape.

She said those who read the book will learn about how Cape Coral came to be, along with learning the different characters who took part in the early history of the city.

"We got firsthand information from people who actually lived in Cape Coral," Cull said, adding that most of the information came from the Cape Coral Historical Museum and archives.

Wadsworth agreed, stating that the museum had a wonderful archive for them to work with to put together the book. He said it was also nice to reach out to families in the community for photographs and information.

"It was so much fun going through the photos," Wadsworth said.

He said the book is best described as a "community photo album" filled with a ton of photographs from the early days of Cape Coral.

Wadsworth added that the book is very approachable and assessable, providing individuals an opportunity to learn the history of the city.

By putting the book together he hopes "to turn people's opinions around" about Cape Coral and introduce them to the interesting history of the city.

Cull said the book was finished in March. It took a few months to put it together, research and sort through thousands of pictures.

"It will be a nice addition for the Cape Coral residents," Cull said. "It really will, especially for someone who is moving into the community."

"I hope we did Cape Coral justice and I hope everyone enjoys the book," Wadsworth said. "It was a great experience."

He added that Arcadia Publishing was shocked at the size of the city and was eager to get a Cape book on its list of cities.

There may be a bit of a lag time before the book appears in stores.

"It is on the online sites already," Wadsworth said.

There will be a book signing, along with a PowerPoint presentation by Wadsworth, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Cultural Park Theatre, 528 Cultural Park Blvd.

"Everyone is invited," Cull said.

For more information, call Cull at 772-7037.

"Images of America Cape Coral" costs $21.99 and postcards are $7.99 through Arcadia Publishing.

Both items are available at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia Publishing at: www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.

Title: Cape Coral's history comes alive in new book

Author: Lindsay Downey

Publisher: News-Press

Date: 10/30/09

3:27 P.M. -- As they sorted through file after file containing old city minutes, brochures and historical photographs, Chris Wadsworth and Anne Cull stumbled across a snapshot that perfectly epitomized Cape Coral.

They knew instinctively it had to be the cover of "Images of America: Cape Coral," their book on the history of the city.

The 1962 cover photo features three locals taking a drive through the Gulf in one of the "Amphibicars" Cape Coral developer Gulf American Land Corporation reportedly purchased to help promote the city in the '50s.

Wadsworth spent about six months conducting research at the Cape Coral Historical Museum and worked with Curator Anne Cull to gather information for the book, which was released this month by Arcadia Publishing. His work helped him realized just how hard Jack and Leonard Rosen pushed the glamorous image they created for Cape Coral.

"It was all about the gimmicks," said Wadsworth, a freelance writer who contributes to several local publications, including The News-Press.

"They had celebrities come down, they did beauty pageants, they hosted golf tournaments … anything they could do to get the word out and make people go 'Oh, Cape Coral? Where's that?'"

The Rosen brothers used celebrities and bought late-night TV airtime to promote their hair care products in the '50s -- a method some say made them, essentially, the inventors of infomercials.

So when it came time to market Cape Coral, they employed the same strategy, bringing stars such as Bob Hope, Hugh Downs and Anita Bryant to town to draw press coverage.

Cull and Wadsworth's 128-page book -- which Wadsworth said is more like a historical family photo album for the Cape rather than an exhaustive, text-heavy history -- is filled with 207 photos, plus historical information and stories recounted from locals.

Writing the book allowed Wadsworth -- who spends his free time reading and watching The History Channel -- to combine his journalistic research skills with his love of history. And because he spent so much time researching Cape Coral's past, Wadsworth revels in his newfound knowledge as he passes historical sites when he drives down Cape Coral Parkway or Del Prado Boulevard.

"The old misnomer that Cape Coral doesn't have a history -- it's just not true," Wadsworth said, adding that the city is unique because it was strategically planned and didn't grow organically, the way many towns do.

"When you compare it to a lot of cities in the United States, Cape Coral's history is really different," he said.

Wadsworth also wrote "Images of America: Bonita Springs," which was released in January.

Title: Tyler Postcard History Book Signing At Queen's Tea

Author: Staff Writer

Publisher: Tyler Paper

Date: 10/2/09

Robert Reed, author of last year's photographic history book Images of America: Tyler, recently completed a second work with Arcadia Publishing titled Postcard History: Tyler. The new book contains 226 vintage postcard images covering Tyler's history through the first seven decades of the 20th century, with a majority coming from the author's personal collection.

Reed will have a book signing at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, located at 400 Rose Park Drive, on Tuesday, October 8, from 3 pm to 5 pm. It will be one of the activities during the Queen's Tea, which is an event of the Texas Rose Festival. The Tyler Rose Museum gift shop will have copies of each of Reed's books available for purchase.

Born and raised in Tyler, Reed graduated from Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, and is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 23. He is serving his second term as President of the Smith County Historical Society and is a member of the Tyler Tap Chapter of the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society.

For more information about this event, please e-mail tylertexas@sprynet.com or call the Tyler Rose Museum gift shop at 903-597-3130.

Title: New history book records rapid growth of Cape Coral

Author: Chris Wadsworth

Pubisher: Florida Weekly

Date: 10/21/09

Cape Coral is such a new community -- developed by the famous Rosen Brothers in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- that few realize its rich history dating all the way back to the 19th century.

This oversight could change for many Southwest Floridians thanks to the release of a new history book written by local author Chris Wadsworth and Ann Cull, the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum.

Titled "Images of America: Cape Coral," the paperback book features more than 200 historical photographs from the early years on the Cape. The authors trace the community's development -- from the years as a cattle farming wilderness at the turn of the century to the arrival of the Rosens, the rapid rise of neighborhoods and the city's incorporation in 1970.

"Some of my friends laughed when I told them I was writing a history book on Cape Coral. They thought the Cape didn't have much of a history," Mr. Wadsworth says. "However, I got the last laugh. Cape Coral has a fantastic history, one that is really unique in the United States."

Another bonus for the authors was the rich archives kept by the Cape Coral Historical Museum. A century ago, many people didn't appreciate historic preservation. Photos weren't regularly taken of buildings and parks in a town and most old photos and newspapers were thrown away.

On the other hand, Cape Coral is so new that by the 1960s, people were recognizing that history was unfolding in front of them as the city developed. To this end, thousands of old photographs, newspapers, marketing brochures and city incorporation papers were saved.

"It was really an embarrassment of riches," Mr. Wadsworth said. "We had thousands of images to consider and we were able to pick the very best to go in the book."

To help market the book, Mr. Wadsworth created a Facebook page for the book, which now has more than 400 fans and is still growing. Many early residents of Cape Coral have joined the page and are reconnecting and sharing their own photos and stories from the Cape's formative years.

"Images of America: Cape Coral" is the latest in a large series of history books released by Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C. The company has more than 5,000 titles covering many large cities and small towns across the country.

The authors of the Cape Coral book feel their work is like a family album -- one filled with nostalgic photographs and great stories of a time gone by.

"It's wonderful how these Arcadia books allow us to capture these moments in time -- these early residents and their priceless memories -- and share them with a wider audience," Ms. Cull says. ?

"Images of America: Cape Coral" is available at the Cape Coral Historical Museum, 544 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral, 772- 7037. The proceeds from books purchased there support the museum. The book is also available at local bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks, as well as at online bookstores.

"Images of America: Cape Coral" will be for sale and author Chris Wadsworth will sign copies and chat with guests about the history of Cape Coral at an upcoming event at the Cape Dog & Deli. The book signing is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday Oct. 26, at Cape Dog & Deli, 1227 Cape Coral Parkway East in Big John's Plaza. For details, call 471-2396.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738567716
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
10/05/2009
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
127
Sales rank:
717,766
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author


Veteran Southwest Florida journalist Chris Wadsworth, author of Images of America: Bonita Springs, has joined with Anne Cull, curator of the Cape Coral Historical Society Museum, to produce this treasure trove of remarkable images. The duo pored over thousands of photographs and archival materials to capture the excitement and energy of Cape Coral's unique history.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Cape Coral, FL (Images of America Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok. I have to do stuff too. Be back at like 9
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"What do youbthink." Looks at his confused expression and purrs. "Of course." Gtg bb in 1+1/2 hours
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TO RITE A REVIW