If you arrived in Naples in 1906, 12th Ave South—then known as Pier Street—would look very different from today. However, there would be an air of familiarity. You would recognize the smell of fresh sea air mixed with the sun-kissed, woodsy scent of sea grape and dune grass, enjoy the warm sea breezes rustling the palms, and envy the bathers taking pleasure in the Gulf.
Although the bathers may be donning wool bathing costumes. As you would leave the Naples Pier back in the day, you would walk past tourists who wore linen suits and dresses, stroll by hardworking porters, and you would see the Old Naples Hotel standing sentinel, its spire piercing the sky.
Although the hotel hasn’t been there since 1964, there is one structure that would be familiar, Historic Palm Cottage, the Portal to Naples History.
Elaine Reed, Naples Historical Society’s CEO, says: “Almost every visitor to Historic Palm Cottage enters thinking they will see a little house behind a white picket fence, but they are greeted with 3,500 square feet of living space, a house originally built in 1895, that features 18-foot ceilings over original Dade County pine on the floor.” She reminds us, “There are hidden treasures everywhere!”
The Cottage has borne witness to Naples’s growth from a few sand-and-shell streets to a vibrant coastal city which includes a small handful of remarkable people who maintain their historic houses extraordinarily well.
With the help of enthusiastic volunteer Docents, Naples Historical Society’s Cottage tours provide a trip back in time.
Naples Historical Society House Tour Docent, Jerry Ruane says: “I truly believe that most of us have one overriding goal which is to give each visitor interesting and factual information in a fun way so that they leave their tour feeling as enthusiastic about this wonderful old house as we do and that it was 45 minutes of their day well spent.”
You will be pleased to know that your $13 admission fee goes directly to the professional maintenance of Historic Palm Cottage and its grounds, including the lovely Norris Gardens.
Historic Palm Cottage is open year-round for tours. Want to take a step back in time? Book a tour today: www.NaplesHistoricalSociety.org
Naples Historical Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that serves the community by maintaining Historic Palm Cottage, opening it for tours for all ages, hosting educational events throughout the year and working on major initiatives to benefit the community well into the future. It is based at Historic Palm Cottage, 137 12th Avenue South, Naples Florida 34102, one block east of the Naples Pier.