A community in Southwest Florida is celebrating because Monday marks 100 years since it was founded.
One of the parts that have changed most significantly is the number of people that live in Collier County since its founding 100 years ago.
A centennial celebration happened in Everglades City Monday morning at City Hall. The area served as the original county seat and courthouse for decades until Hurricane Donna devastated the area. Then, in 1961, the county seat was relocated to East Naples.
The outdoor ceremony showcased the history and provided information about challenges and achievements throughout the last 100 years.
Barron Collier III is part of a family patriarch who made a fortune in streetcar advertising and started buying up land in Southwest Florida after a visit in 1911. He gave a speech about Barron Gift Collier Senior, his grandfather, at Monday’s event.
“It’s just hard to believe, quite frankly, when you start to think about all that our grandfather accomplished. And in such a short time span. And when you think what wasn’t here beforehand, and everything having to be brought in, it’s amazing to know that that kind of can-do attitude, pulled off, made Everglades City put it on the map. And so, we have an awful lot to be proud of, but it’s the people that made it what it is,” Collier III said.
Collier County Museums helped put the event on and wants to remind everyone that they have five local history museums throughout the county that are free. Each one tells a different story of what’s happened in the last century, and they said they look forward to continuing to preserve that and what’s to come in the future.