Jan 21, 2008

During our family travels, we always take the opportunity to learn about local history, and our recent trip to Sanibel Island was no exception. Although my exuberant trek to the Sanibel Historical Village and Museum met with some groans from my kids, they know that’s part of the deal. And as usual, they found out these learning opportunities aren’t as groan-worthy as they originally thought.

Sanibel historical museum

The historical village is a small collection of buildings salvaged from the early years of settlement on Sanibel Island, and is dedicated to the pioneer families of the islands. Museum volunteers told us about life on the island in the early 1900’s. At that time it wasn’t a vacation destination, but rather a rich agricultural area prized for it’s production of tomatoes and grapefruit.

Sanibel museum post office

Sanibel was the year-round home for many hard-working residents, and they had all the necessary community amenities. This is the post office.

Sanibel museum school house

The kids also toured the old schoolhouse.

The museum caters to children as well — aware that they need an activity to draw them into the buildings. In honor of President Teddy Roosevelt, who loved to hunt on Sanibel Island, museum caretakers hid teddy bears throughout the village and challenged visiting children to count the number of teddy bears they found.

And in one of the cottages, an authentic dollhouse is set up and children are invited to play with the accessories.In all, this field trip was well-worth the time. It was a quick hour-long visit and gave us a true indication of what life was like for early pioneers on Sanibel Island. Admission is $5 for adults.

Sanibel series:
Sanibel Historical Museum Dollhouse
Cayo Costa Shells
Passing the Torch with Seashells
Four-Seat Surrey
Sanibel Island School
Sanibel Historical Village and Museum

Sandbar at Low-Tide
Guess where I’ve been?

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