Collier County Historical Society

   Preserving History for Future Generations


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The Collier County Historical Society was founded in 1962 in Naples.  The purpose of the Society is to encourage interest in the history and heritage of Collier County and to preserve historical assets for our community and future generations.  The Society accomplishes this mission through exceptional programs, archival resources and preservation initiatives, which are focused on the acquisition, restoration, maintenance and operation of historically significant community landmarks.

 The Society relies on the dedication and efforts of volunteers who have accomplished extraordinary achievements in the past.  Here is a brief recap of their efforts:

  •  The Society acquired “Palm Cottage” in 1978.  One of the oldest houses in Naples, it was built in 1895 by Walter Haldeman, who is considered the Father of Naples.  After the death of the last owner, the property was up for sale and seemed doomed to become a parking lot.  Enter the Historical Society, who solicited funds to purchase, and later restore this property.  The house was highly significant because of its tabbie construction and was once the winter residence of the famed Henry Watterson, Editor of the Louisville Courier Journal.
  • Money and muscle have made this gem of a cottage one of Naples' premier attractions, as it is today fully air-conditioned, painted, refurbished and recently restored to pristine condition.
  • Prior to the acquisition of Palm Cottage, the Historical Society undertook a most impressive and expensive community project, the building of the Collier County Museum on the Courthouse grounds in east Naples.  This $100,000.00 museum housed, among other things, the valuable wildlife collection of Dr. Earl Baum and the model fishing boat collection of Robert Storter.  Upon completion of this project, the Historical Society presented the keys to the Collier County Board of Commissioners in 1978.
  • The Historical Society maintains a docent program which conducts tours through Palm Cottage.  The Society encourages school groups to partake of these tours to encourage an historical appreciation in our younger generation.
  • The Historical Society presents four lectures annually for its members and the general public.  These lectures, naturally, emphasize the early history of this region.




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PO Box 201
Naples, Florida 34106
Phone: 941-261-8164
Fax: 941-435-1438

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