After torrential rain on the days before Class XVI’s History Day, Wednesday, October 19, 2011, relief and smiles were on everyone’s face as we started the day at Handsome Harry’s restaurant with a continental breakfast, where a delightful panel of Naples residents wove a wonderful picture of Olde Naples with their stories.

Guided tours through Palm Cottage and Paul Arsenault’s two cottages started off the morning activities with interesting facts about what life was like in Naples at the turn of the century to the 1950’s.  Our bus then brought us to the Collier County Museum for presentations about the history of Naples and Collier County from the 1500’s to post Hurricane Donna. After lunch and a self-guided tour of the museum, our bus took us to Everglades City, to the Museum of the Everglades where we learned about the building of the Tamiami Trail. Mary Jene Koenes, a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and her granddaughter told a wonderful and moving story about life in their tribe.  Our last stop was the Naples Train Depot with guided tours through the newly renovated station as well as train cars.

We rounded out the day with a wine reception back at Handsome Harry’s, surrounded by Paul Arsenault’s paintings.


Class XVI with Mary Jene Koenes and Granddaughter  ~photo by Judy Weeks

Photo of Judy Weeks, Freelance Writer for the Seminole Tribune, by Carol Jonson

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