THE GULF COAST'S
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
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
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:
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 Museum
You may wish to shop at Olde
Naples or continue down Gulf Shore
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