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Community History


Lee County contracts with Banyan expert for report on plant conditions

June 20, 2024
Lee County has hired Certified Arborist Rick Joyce for a survey of the health of the Banyan Street banyan trees. The Lee County Department of Transportation anticipates having a full report on the…

Placida railroad bunkhouse gets structure review

June 13, 2024
Charlotte County has received a preliminary report on the fate of the Placida Bunkhouse, a 1907 cottage used to house the railroad workers of the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad. “It w…

Quarantine history from the late Capt. Robert Johnson

May 20, 2024
BY CAPT. ROBERT JOHNSON Editor’s Note: The late Capt. Johnson wrote a history of The Boca Grande Quarantine Station during the COVID-19 outbreak for the Beacon. We are reprinting the May 2020 s…

Boca Grande’s oldest house, the historic Quarantine House, hits market for $4.9 million

May 16, 2024
The Boca Grande Quarantine House, the oldest house on Gasparilla Island, is on the market for the first time in its history. The house, built in 1892, has four bedrooms and four baths. It includes…

Finding the ‘special sauce’ of our boat-mance

May 9, 2024
A thank you to Capt. Jim Hoyt for organizing the welcome to the yacht Hilarium last Thursday, bringing her back to Boca Grande Marina. As a publication, we appreciate those last minute calls. And …

Book-briefs: New regional titles

April 11, 2024
Some new local history titles out this spring: • “Three Ringling Circus: A History of Sarasota and the Famous Ringling Brothers” by Sandra Gurvis illuminates the Ringling family’s impact on…

Preservation study slated for historic Placida rail bunkhouse

April 11, 2024
Last remnant of historic Placida village  The Placida Bunkhouse, a 1907 cottage used to house the railroad workers of the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad, will get an architectural sur…

Pascua Florida, or Feast of Flowers

March 28, 2024
Of the two big religious holidays, it is Easter that is the one that makes the most sense, culturally to Florida. In the imagination, Christmas is a cold weather holiday, and a “too hot” Christmas…

Remarks on the Bridge Authority’s early years

February 29, 2024
BY GINGER WATKINS Editor’s Note: At her last meeting as chairman last month, outgoing GIBA Chairman Ginger Watkins assembled facts and history about the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority. We h…

History Bytes: Viola Dyer recalls Boca Rico, the Pass Marina and sea rescues

February 29, 2024
Closing out the season’s History Bytes series was a lively hour of story-telling by jack-of-many- trades and master of all of them, Viola Dyer. She came to the island in the 1980s and established …