September 23, 1923 ~ July 14, 2017
The community of Cape Coral has lost a very important member. Paul Sanborn, first appointed City Historian, passed away surrounded by his loved ones this last Friday. Born in Massachusetts, educated in Washington, D.C. and Michigan State College, Paul came to Cape Coral in 1962 to become the Assistant Managing Director for the Rosen's company, Gulf American Land Corporation. The rest, as they say, is history.
Paul's life in Cape Coral is almost completely documented due to his constant activity within the community. He spent his time and effort helping this community develop into the functioning city it is, having been involved in the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral and the Cape Coral Hospital. Awarded the honor of being selected Cape Coral's Citizen of the Year in 1968, Paul also served as the Cape Coral Historical Society's President from 2004 to 2013.
Our hearts are heavy at the Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum, and out of respect for Paul and his family we are flying our flags at half-mast this week. We have prepared a memorial video in honor of Paul Sanborn's life, his dedication to Cape Coral, and for the lasting effects he has had on this Museum.
If you would like to pay your respects, services will be held on Friday, July 21st, at 10am at Faith Presbyterian Church on Coronado Pkwy. All are welcome.
The Museum will be CLOSED for the month of July! Normal hours will resume on August 2nd, 2017. For information on upcoming events please visit the "Events" page of this website.
History in the Making
Welcome to the Cape Coral Historical Museum. Cape Coral is a vast, modern city that grew out of land-deals and salesmanship. Our campus in Cultural Park features three exhibit buildings, a sustainable Florida landscape and our historic rose garden.
We invite you to view our exhibits, where you can experience the way it was “back in the day.” Examine our collection of ancient Native American artifacts. Trace our transformation from cattle ranches and farms to a city of canals. Learn about the developers who created a global marketing machine and enlisted Hollywood stars to invent our tropical paradise. Join us!
Summer Time Livin'
Summer has returned! Which means hurricanes, heat, and vacation are here!
Ready for some family fun? Come to the museum this summer! Open for the whole months of June and August, CLOSED for the month of July!
"I Didn't Know That!"
One of the most common things you hear at the Museum is "I didn't know that!"
Our archives and exhibits reveal Cape Coral's fascinatingly dense history! Our city is still young, but we have been home to generations of families and businesses that have left their mark and made us who we are today.
If you come by the Museum we guarantee that something you learn will make you say, "I didn't know that!"
What Is This?
One of the joys of the museum experience is finding artifacts of days gone by and learning the role they played in daily life many years ago.
Here's this month's puzzler. What is this device?
This is a Cattle Brand!!
Free-roam cattle were abundant on the large acres of pioneer land, so it was very important to have a system put in place to identify whose cows belonged to whom. These symbols were turned into licensed brands for each farmer, and the brands were burned onto each of the cattle owned. At the museum we were fortunate to receive many donations from one of the original pioneer families, the Nelsons. This brand is a long iron pole with a crafted “N” inside of a diamond shape, standing for Nelson. The handle is a cow leg bone, most likely from one of the Nelson’s earlier cattle.
We have a wonderful exhibit of old Cape Coral Pioneer farm tools, and we invite you to come and examine them at the museum!
From the Director
The Bluegrass Jamboree was a hit for it's second year running! Thank you to our many sponsors and to all the wonderful people who came out to support the museum and have a great time!
Our collection and archive inventory projects are underway. Our volunteers are busy working on artifact inventory and archive organization. We greatly appreciate the Cape Coral Community Foundation and the Giving Alliance of Women, for helping to fund this project.
Looking for somewhere to get involved? There is no better place than the museum! You can learn about Cape Corals colorful history while volunteering for a great cause!