2018 Florida Road~Trip Part 3 (Continued)

19 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 3 Sunday 10/21/2018


Now I headed northwest on SR-865 to visit the Mound House located on Estero Island, known today as Fort Myers Beach.  This Restored 1898 Tudor house is situated on top of a huge ancient 2,000 year old Calusa Indian shell mound.  Over the years, It has become a unique historical and archaeological site to study the Calusa Indian culture, which was first discovered by the explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513.



Heading northwest another 15 miles on SR-865/867, I crossed the San Carlos Bay to visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum located on Sanibel Island.  Known as one of the best shell collecting spots in the world, Sanibel Island is the natural location for this shell museum.  I found this to be a very interesting and impressive museum. In addition to the 34+ shell exhibits displayed, the museum collaborates with science and research institutions from around the world in the study the marine science, biology and ecology of the world’s shell and mollusk cultures.



Next I headed northeast on SR-867 to visited the Edison & Ford Winter Homes located adjacent to the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers.  This rambling 20+ acre home and gardens, started in 1886, was the vacation homes to Thomas Edison and his good friend Henry Ford until their deaths in 1931 and 1947 respectively.   The museum displays artifacts and memorabilia of the two men dating from the early 1800s in the historical buildings, and includes Edison’s Rubber Laboratory and the 1928 Botanical Laboratory.  (Google each of these visionary men for many fascinating details).





Heading north on U.S.-41, I crossed the Caloosahatchee River on my way to visit the Punta Gorda Railroad Depot Museum. This small museum is situated in the restored 1920s Atlantic Coast Line Depot, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the development and growth of this area, on the Pearce River, in the early 1920s.




Just across the street from the Depot Museum was what looked like a restored 1930s Texaco service station. The property was fenced off and there was no sign on the fence or the building to identify what the building was. So I took a photo and was on my way, wondering if I had missed a service station museum or something else.



While I was in Punta Gorda, I visited the Military History Museum located in the Fishermen’s Village complex on the south bank of the Peace River.  This small museum displays authentic one-of-a-kind artifacts and exhibits related to all branches of U.S. Military Services.  As a point of interest, for those of you who are familiar with WWII, I learned from their website that Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr. famed pilot of the B-29 Super Fortress “Enola Gay” was the museum’s first honorary chairman.



By now it was getting late and I gave Greta (my Garmin) instructions to take me to the motel in Port Charlotte for the night.  As I was pulling into the motel parking lot I noticed a Cracker Barrel down the street. After I got checked in, I drove down and enjoyed one of their delicious Grilled Catfish dinners, with green beans and fried okra.  And there is always one of their fresh baked biscuits, with butter and honey for desert.




—–To Be Continued—–


Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2018 Florida Road~Trip Part 3 (Continued)”

  1. divoran09 December 19, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    I like your blog


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