The Interesting History involving Naples Florida
The history of Naples Florida is unusually recent even by the standards of the rest of America. The modern era of its history began in the 1880s, with the founding of what is now Naples by Walter N. Haldeman and General John Stuart Williams, formerly of the Confederate army. Williams was known “Cerro Gordo” because of his work during the Mexican War, and he had a distinguished service during the Civil War, before he went on to become a U.S Senator. Haldeman was an accomplished businessman, and published the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Naples was so named because it was described as being a place that surpassed the Italian bay of the same name. News travelled fast about its founding �” the balmy climate, and the town’s hunting and fishing opportunities. It attracted visitors and settlers from far and wide.
After the Naples Company was founded, the co-founders built a hotel, and a pier in the Gulf of Mexico. The pier still exists, as do some of the other historic buildings, and they form a wonderful focal point that tourists and residents both love. Today, they are in Old Naples, and the overall area of Naples has expanded significantly. The history of Naples Florida is something that everyone should explore if they ever visit the city. Florida itself is a popular tourist destination, and has many young towns and cities, but Naples has a charm that makes it well worth looking at, and so much of its history remains well preserved to this day.
The original Naples Company eventually fell into financial difficulties. Haldeman managed to continue to keep it running, under a much more modest system. He built a number of cottages and welcomed guests to them, and continued to grow the location on the strength of the fishing and hunting opportunities. In the early 20th century it was noted that Naples is far from being a resort �” but it is full of untouched forests and waters, with venison, turkey, and even oysters in abundance. It was this which helped it grow as a popular retreat for the rich.
In 1927, a trainline opened that allowed more people to come to the town �” and this led to an explosion in the population. There was another boom after World War Two, which saw a large number of new housing developments.
The Naples Pier was significantly damaged in 1960 with Hurricane Donna passing over the area. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but there was significant damage to buildings. The town rebuilt, though, and the surrounding area �” Collier County, became one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.
Today, there are many gated communities in the area, and there is a staggering 80 golf courses. The historic parts of the county remain amazingly well-preserved. Naples’ oldest house, which was built in 1895, is open to visitors and has been lovingly restored. Other historic buildings, such as the Commissary Building and the depot, are also still intact. The Depot serves as a railway museum of sorts, and also plays host to automobile shows.
If you are looking for a thriving place that has both modern optimism and a respect for history, with business districts, shops, restaurants and culture, then Naples is well worth a visit, and even today it remains a popular place to live, work and take holidays.
History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Collier County Museum, which covers not only the history of Naples Florida but also the broader county, and has exhibits dating back to prehistoric times, as well as things that cover more recent history. Click here to learn more about Naples, Florida.