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Island 'Twilight Talk' teaches about the history of Sanibel

March 6, 2014
By MCKENZIE CASSIDY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Betty Anholt from the Sanibel Public Library shared the history of the island to guests of the monthly "Twilight Talks" series at the Historical Village.

Anholt, the author of Sanibel's Story: Voices and Images from Calusa to Incorporation, shared her knowledge on Wednesday, Feb. 26 inside the Old Schoolhouse, which was full of eager history buffs.

She brought the audience back to the early 1800's when enterprising business men -- capitalizing on economic opportunities for fishing and farming -- sought to turn Sanibel Island into the next Key West.

Article Photos

Betty Anholt hosts a historical lecture in the Old School. Mckenzie Cassidy.

Anholt discussed major figures from the island's past, like Dr. Benjamin Strobel who kickstarted tourism in 1833 with an idea for a sanatorium, and when residents built and activated the historic Sanibel Lighthouse.

"It was a very different place, obviously, than it is today," said Anholt.

Throughout the lecture she described how difficult it was for early settlers, specifically with the geographical isolation, extreme heat, and swarms of mosquitoes.

"Can you imagine through June, July, August and September, in a boat, wandering through that area?" she said.

Anholt's presentation was the second in the "Twilight Talks" series. In February, the Bailey family hosted one inside the old store at the Historical Village, describing how the store began.

Two more events are scheduled for this year, including Kristie Anders from the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation on March 19 and Deborah Gleason, chair of Sanibel Historic Preservation Committee, on April 9.

Tickets for "Twilight Talks" are $5 or free for museum members, and are available at the Historical Village, next to BIG ARTS at 950 Dunlop Road.

For more information, contact Emilie Alfino at 472-4648 or visit



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