The goal of History Day was to provide a sense of the history of Collier County and create opportunities for team and relationship building.  The Class XVIII History Team had the following objectives: To educate Class XIX as to how and why Naples and other Collier County communities evolved and to present the past and recent history of Naples through a discussion spanning from the early Native Americans to those who eventually founded the city.

The day began at Tony Ridgway’s with coffee, tea and a brief time for socializing.  Lodge McKee presented a slide presentation on the history of Naples and a discussion of the Street People of Naples, for whom some of our local streets are named.  Following a lively question and answer session the group walked to the Palm Cottage where we met in the garden in the Chickee Hut and heard Elaine Reed, CEO and President of the Naples Historical Society, discuss the Society and its work and the challenges of preservation.  After the presentation, the class was led on a walking tour of Old Naples streets by knowledgeable and enthusiastic Historical Society docents. Upon return to the Chickee Hut, Elaine answered questions and presented volunteer opportunities.

The class and guests returned to Ridgway’s for a delicious lunch, preceeded by Tony Ridgway giving a presentation about the history of the Chef’s Garden and historical buildings on Third Street.

Jeff Lytle, recently retired editorial page editor of the Naples Daily News facilitated a panel consisting of Ray Carroll, long time Naples resident and property appraiser, Rex Storter, of the pioneering Everglades City and Chokoloskee family, and Fred Thomas, key to Immokalee agricultural and housing development.  Through discussion among the panelists and facilitator, the class learned about the history of Collier County from 1950 to present.

Todd Turrell, author of “Naples’ Area Waterfront-Changes in Time” was the final presenter and he told the story of the incredible coastal transformation of the Naples area, using slides from his book as illustration.

Following a robust question and answer period the class enjoyed a socialization hour to end the day. [by Jackie Faffer]

Click here to view the History Day photo gallery.