(Collier County)


NAPLES remained a "Last Frontier" except for Cuban fishermen and adventurers until 1885 when General John S. Williams and Walter N. Haldeman, publisher of the Louisville Courier-General led a group of families to a bay which reminded the General of Naples Bay. They started a sixteen room hotel and built a 1,000 foot dock to attract steamboats.

The region gained more permanent residents by 1914 when Edward Crayton began the Naples Improvement Company to develop waterways and wide palm-lined avenues.

By the time of the arrival of the railroad, Naples was known as a subtropical paradise.

WHERE TO START: Start at the corner of US41 and Fifth Avenue, the heart of Naples, and travel a few blocks west to the historic:

(1) NAPLES DEPOT (1926), 1051 5th Avenue South, the logical start of a tour since the arrival of the Seaboard Coast line assured the winter resort's growth. The three sided open arcade of Spanish Colonial style, designed by L. Philips Clarke, contains a museum of local history and the popular Bardley Gallery. STOP to also tour the railroad cars.

To the left across US41 on the west bank of the Gordon River is:(2) TIN CITY MARINE MARKET PLACE, 1200 Fifth Avenue, a forty shop rustic mall with tourist shops and appropriate seafood places You can take a boat tour to Keewaydin Island or Naples Bay with TIKI ISLANDER BOAT TOURS and other firms on the docks.

DRIVE back WEST ON FIFTH AVENUE across US41 into NAPLES' FIFTH AVENUE SHOPPING DISTRICT, ten blocks of the most exclusive shops outside of Worth Avenue, Palm Beach.

If it is the winter season a trolley will be commuting along for shoppers. It is hard to imagine this was once a landing strip for Charles Lindbergh.

Continue toward the Gulf on Fifth Avenue to GULF SHORE BOULEVARD. If you go north you'll reach newer resorts and LOWDERMILK PARK, a 1,000 foor urban beach with full facilities. To tour the older areas, turn SOUTH ON GULF SHORE BOULEVARD.

Naples Beach has access for limited parking on some streets to your right. Drive in and out as you like, but I'll point out some of the older or historic homes.

At (3) 670 GULF SHORE BOULEVARD (1935) is a two story Spanish- Mediterranean house with a big garage and standard red tile roof, designed by Addison Mizner, the builder of Boca Raton. Naples is one of the rare West Coast spots with Mizner homes.

Another Mizner gem is at the foot of 8th Avenue, the (4) TIMKEN HOUSE (1925). a two story Spanish-Mediterranean. As you REACH 9TH AVENUE, you are nearing the original Naples development. At 926 Gulf Shore Boulevard is the (5) OLD HEWITT HOUSE (1913), a one story frame heavily shuttered beach place.
TENTH AVENUE was the site of the Old Indian Canal. At 1144 Gulf Shore Boulevard is the (6) MANDALAY HOUSE (1908), reached only by alleyway, and a large beach place. Nearby at 88 11th Avenue is the (7) WHAYNE HOUSE (1933), one of the earliest luxury residences built in neighborhood.

If you GO EAST ON 11TH AVENUE across Gulf Shore, you'll reach OLDE NAPLES, several blocks of interesting shops and restaurants mostly along THIRD STREET SOUTH. A delightful board and batten home is (8) MARTHA'S COTTAGE (1922) at 205 11th Avenue.

         Naples in 1928 – The Commercial District


Turning south on Third Street, you'll pass Naples' oldest commercial district. Among the key buildings is the: (9) NAPLES MERCANTILE BUILDING (1919), 1117 Third Street, a two-story frame structure covered with stucco. On the opposite side of he road is the (10) OLDE NAPLES BUILDING (1922), 1148 Third Street, the headquarters of the Naples Improvement Company, the first town hall, and the village's first movie house.


TURN WEST ON BROAD AVENUE, which has many old structures. At 107 Broad Avenue is the (11) DR. EARL BAUM HOUSE (1947), home of the doctor and naturalist whose collections since 1922 attracted countless wildlife lovers to region to study. The (12) McKEE HOUSE (1928), 53 Broad Avenue, is a two story frame beach house with a stamped, metal roof.

Across the road at 38 Broad Avenue, is the (13) JOHN S. JONES HOUSE (1922), an Ohio railroad and coal executive who served as head of the Naples Improvement Company.

CONTINUE SOUTH ON GULF SHORE TO 12TH AVENUE where you see the symbol of the community, the: (14) NAPLES PIER (1960), at the foot of 12th Avenue. Started in 1888 as a passenger dock, once with a narrow gauge railroad and then with a post office, the pier has been rebuilt after hurricanes in 1910, 1926, and 1960, and in 1922 after a terrible fire.

At 60 12th Avenue is the (15) GENERAL JOHN S. WILLIAMS HOUSE (1886), built by the first developer of Naples and sold to his friend William Haldeman who did most of the additions: seven bedrooms and four baths.
CONTINUE EAST ON 12TH AVENUE to see the historic: (16) PALM COTTAGE (1890), 137 12th Avenue, the two story tabby home of Walter N. Haldeman who built the first hotel right where 12th Avenue ends at Gordon. Louisville Editor Henry Watterson was an owner, but today the house serves as a museum and center for the COLLIER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

     Palm Cottage & Historical Museum                                                                Martha’s Cottage

You may wish to shop at Olde Naples or continue down Gulf Shore Boulevard.

OTHER HOUSES TO NOTE INCLUDE: (17) SEA VILLA (1887), 40 13th Avenue, once a three story house built by Walter N. Haldeman, publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal; (18) SAGAMORE COTTAGE (1919) 14th Avenue, a long one story home owned by Philadelphia cotton broker N. P. Sloan, who owned a Western gold mine called Sagamore; and the (19) SLOAN-TROUT HOUSE (1918), on 12th Avenue at Gordon Drive, a two story board and batten with wood strips covering the wall gaps.

You should visit the COLLIER COUNTY MUSEUM, 1 mile west of FL3l at 330l East US41, the local history collection in the Collier County Government Center complex.