Exploring the History of Naples, Florida

naples history

Exploring the History of Naples, Florida

March 7, 2023

Naples, Florida is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous areas you could choose to live in but how did it become the beautiful city it is today? Read on to find out:

From Naples, Italy to Naples, Florida

Naples history (at least its modern history) really begins in 1885. That’s when Louisville senator John S. Williams began an expedition to find his own slice of American paradise. As he sailed down the coast, he was struck by an area with miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a stunning secluded bay. Reminiscent of the sunny Italian peninsula where the city would garner its name: Naples.

Naples Becomes a Vacation Destination

It didn’t take long for Williams to realize the potential of Naples as a tourist destination. In 1889, Williams opened the first hotel in the area. Rose Cleveland, the sister of President Cleveland, was the hotel’s first guest! However, it would be another 60 years before tourism really began to take off in the area.

Naples’ Military Might

Naples’ history is a lot more than tourism. In fact, one of the most interesting times in Naples’ history was during WWII. The U.S. Army used Collier County and Naples to train combat pilots during the war. As you can easily imagine, many of the military members stationed in the area fell in love with Naples and chose to permanently move to the area after the war. By the 1960s, Collier County became one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation.

The Varied History of Each Naples Community

Each community in Naples has its own unique history. For example, in 1938, John Glenn Sample purchased the area that is now known as Port Royal. At the time it was two square miles of marshland, but Sample had the goal of making it one of the finest places to live. With $3.5 million dredged the marshlands, created numerous man-made peninsulas, and constructed homes with deep water access overlooking Naples Bay. Now, his dream has come to life and Port Royal is indeed one of the finest places to live!

To learn more about Naples’ history and the specific history of the Naples area communities, reach out to Realtor Annie Hagstrom. Annie loves not only sharing her knowledge of the real estate market and current homes for sale but also information about Naples’ history, events, shopping, and dining!


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