Historic cottage moving to Fort Myers? We’ll find out soon

June 9, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

A local television news station reported recently that Lee County is looking to move a 1920s cottage once owned by Katharine Hepburn to Fort Myers Beach.
The report stated, “The Boca Grande Historical Society next month will discuss allowing the County to relocate the cottage. The plan is for its new home to be in the Matanzas Pass Preserve. County commissioners must also approve the move before the cottage makes the 2-hour journey south.”
Staff at The Boca Grande Historical Society said they are not the ones who would make the decision if it were to be relocated, but rather the Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board. Lee County Communications Director Betsy Clayton said the plan is to have it on the agenda at the Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board’s June 14 meeting.
“The agenda item would authorize Lee County Parks and Recreation to relocate the historic cottage from Boca Grande to Matanzas Pass Preserve, which Lee County Parks and Recreation owns and which is located on Fort Myers Beach,” Clayton said. “Plans for the structure are to use it as an educational center for the Preserve.”
Lee County has discussed this relocation with stakeholders, including the Town of Fort Myers Beach Local Planning Agency, Town staff and the nonprofit Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve.
The Board of County Commissioners will consider an agenda item at a future meeting to accept the cottage as a donation. The donation is to include the cottage itself and relocation costs. If approved, the date of the relocation will be determined. The cottage was built in 1925.
“At one point, the property on which the cottage is located was owned by actress Katharine Hepburn. Ms. Hepburn did not stay in the cottage; the cottage was located on her property,” Clayton said.