Collier County Museum UNEDITED

June 14, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I was lucky enough to be sent on an assignment somewhere in Naples...that does not look nor feel at all like Naples -  The Collier County Museum. What I thought would be a challenge proved to be quite natural given the environs. The assignment required absolutely no editing of the images, not even a crop. This gem of a space proved that some places are naturally perfect and require no edits and filters. Pack a picnic, grab a camera, get lost in time...but DO NOT forget mosquito repellant! The best groundskeeper ever saved me from being eaten alive. All images were shot with a Nikon D750, no tripod. Indoor flash and tripod photography are not permitted. I had with me three lenses on this particular day: the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G and the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G. The time spent felt like a mini-getaway, I had a blast and learned a lot about my newly adopted home while gaining a different view of "paradise".

As you walk in, you are greeted by a giant Ground Sloth skeleton. Wave "hello" and proceed to the indoor exhibits which offer a good overview of the area's history. Especially interesting were the still photos of the 1958 film, Wind Across the Everglades, that was made right here in this area (Everglades City to be exact). Notable because it was one of the first films ever made that was based on environmental issues. The story was about an ornithologist battling a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades. The film starred an unlikely cast including Burl Ives, Gypsy Rose Lee, Christopher Plummer and Columbo...a very young Peter Falk! (Not to divert, but I had no idea until now that when he was just 3, Peter Falk's eye was surgically removed due to cancer.) More trivia: The Producer wanted Paul Newman for the Christopher Plummer role. Even MORE trivia: This film was Christopher Plummer's movie debut. 

Nestled amidst 5 acres of native and lush Florida landscaping and shady walkways, Collier County's flagship museum beautifully captures the full panorama of our local history. This gem of a place offers a tremendous amount of historical information provided through numerous, diverse exhibits--both inside and throughout the grounds. There are also traveling exhibits, info on which is available on the Museum's website. Explore on your own its native gardens, a restored, charming 1926 Naples cottage, an archaeology lab, Seminole village and a Calusa Indian camp. Kids will love discovering the Sherman tank and exploring the Seminole War Fort and the steam engine . The native Florida garden - precisely the Craighead Garden - has over 150 varieties of native Florida trees, flowers and plants. A walk through here will cause you to linger as it is lovely, restful, amazingly fragrant and lush. This garden is a living memorial and tribute to a man named the "Scholar of the Everglades" - plant scientist, Dr. Frank Cooper Craighead, Sr. 

The Museum is open Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm and is FREE for one and all. 

Address: 3331 Tamiami Trail EastNaplesFL 34112 (behind the County Government Complex) Phone:  239-252-8476

1926 COTTAGE

Explore a charming cottage from the Roaring Twenties, when the year-round population of Naples was probably less than 300 people. Rescued from demolition and faithfully restores, this home offers younger visitors a chance to experience a glimpse of family life in early Collier County. 

SEMINOLE WAR FRONT

Although military action here during the Seminole Wars was relatively minor, at least five forts were built by the army in present-day Collier County. This log stockade would have served as a staging and supply area for patrols searching the Big Cypress Swamp for Seminole strongholds.


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