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History of the Cape Coral Historical Society

April 12, 2019
By DOUG MUNRO - Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum (Special to The Breeze) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Cape Coral Historical Society was founded in 1978 when the editor of the Cape Coral Breeze, David Hobe, discovered that it was difficult to find material about Cape Coral's formative years even though the city was but 20 years old. He discussed this matter with Betsy Zeiss, who was then writing "The Other Side of the River," a history of the community. Betsy along with David, Jerry Ladner, Paul Fickinger and Tony Zeiss met to discuss how to proceed with establishing a historical society. A notice they placed in the Breeze drew almost a dozen interested community members. On July 20, the non-profit organization was created at a meeting at the Cape Coral Yacht and Racquet Club.

The founding group met in their homes until January 1980, when they began meeting in the Cape Coral Library's Bicentennial Room. Their efforts led to incorporation. On June 12, 1980, the Articles of Incorporation established the Cape Coral Historical Society Inc. as a Corporation Not for Profit.

The board held regularly scheduled meetings and their highest priority was acquiring a building to house the museum. The city owned and planned to raze a building at Four Free-doms Park that had originally been the snack bar and pro shop at the Cape Coral Country Club. The city was willing to make it available, and, at the board meeting on May 31, 1983, the board decided to move forward on it. They worked with the city to develop a plan to move the building to the board-preferred location, the park at Jock Boulevard (now Cultural Park Boulevard), where the theatre group was building. The building was moved on Aug. 22, 1983. It took almost four years to get the building up to standard and to get the certificate of occupancy issued on Dec. 23, 1986.

Article Photos

Betsy Zeiss

The museum then opened on April 12, 1987.



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