County was created from the southern portion of Lee County by an act of
the Florida Legislature on May 8, 1923. The decision was signed into
law by Governor Cary A. Hardee, Florida's 28th governor. It is
Florida's 62nd county and the third largest in total land area - 2,305
Juan Ponce de Leon set sail from Puerto Rico with 200 colonists to
explore and settle Southwest Florida's lower Gulf coast. Calusa Indians
immediately pounced on the uninvited newcomers, driving off the
Spaniards and mortally wounding Ponce.
|March 24, 1837:
||Old Fort Foster, the
earliest military post in present-day Collier County, was activated by
the U.S. Army during the Second Seminole War.
|March 23, 1873:
||Barron Gift Collier,
the founder of Collier County, was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
|November 6, 1886:
||The Naples Town
Improvement Company was organized in Tallahassee, Florida.
|June 25, 1888:
||Work began on
building the first Naples pier.
|May 8, 1923:
Legislature partitioned Lee County to create Collier County.
|July 7, 1923:
||Collier County's new
Board of County Commissioners held their first meeting at the Rod
& Gun Club in Everglades.
|July 25, 1923:
||The County's first
newspaper, The Collier County News, began publication.
|April 13, 1925:
||First meeting of the
Naples Town Council.
|January 7, 1927:
||The Seaboard Air
Line Railway's flagship locomotive, the Orange Blossom Special, became
the first passenger train to arrive in Naples.
|April 26, 1928:
||The Tamiami Trail
was officially opened to traffic in Everglades, completing the first
paved highway from Tampa to Miami.
|August 1, 1933:
Deaconess Harriet Bedell opened the Glade Cross Mission in Everglades
to begin her work with the Seminole Indians of Collier County.
|April 24, 1938:
||The ferry boat to
Marco Island was replaced by a new bridge and highway across Marco
|March 13, 1939:
founder, Barron Gift Collier, died in New York City, ten days before
his 66th birthday.
|September 26, 1943:
commercial oil well was drilled near Sunniland, in eastern Collier
|December 23, 1943:
||The U.S. Army
activated a military base at Naples Army Air Field to train combat
pilots during World War II.
|December 6, 1947:
||President Harry S.
Truman dedicated Everglades National Park in Everglades City.
|May 25, 1949:
||The Florida State
Legislature approved a new charter for Naples, changing it from a town
to a city.
|November 28, 1951:
||The State Farmer's
Market was opened in Immokalee.
|July 4, 1953:
||Naples Airport was
dedicated as the Naples America Airport.
|October 14, 1954:
first commercial broadcasting station, WNOG, went on the air.
|September 10, 1960:
scored a direct hit on Naples and Collier County.
|April 7, 1962:
||The Naples Hotel,
one of the city's oldest landmarks, was closed after 73 seasons.
|September 30, 1962:
seat of government was officially moved from Everglades City to East
|February 11, 1968:
||Alligator Alley was
opened to traffic.
|February 15, 1978:
||The Collier County
Museum was opened at the County Government Center.
|August 29, 1997:
incorporated to become Florida's 398th city.
|Source: Collier County Museum