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Captiva Historical Society adds new directors, prepares for history museum opening

March 24, 2014
Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Island Historical Society (CIHS) welcomes three new board members to its existing ten members.

Don Adams, Molly Downing, and Marilyn Klaskin join Chairman Jim Pigott, Kristie Anders, Molly Barbee, Denise Beggs, Dave Jensen, Meri Kulina, Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sargent, and Shirley Stanton. All three bring experience and new perspective to CIHS and its commitment to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Captiva Island, while providing education about the remarkable people and events that have shaped its past.

Don Adams has held senior positions in several museums around the country, handling many responsibilities such as marketing, development, strategic planning, exhibits, and public relations. In addition to being involved in museum management, he has served on faculties at the University of California, Historical Williamsburg, Smithsonian Institute, University of Colorado, and the University of Kansas.

Article Photos

New interpretive and touch screen panels inside the Captiva History Gallery. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Molly Downing has been on Captiva for 18 years and a resident for twelve years. She has a degree in the History of Art from Smith College, and her volunteer involvement includes research at Ding Darling, being a guide at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, and acting at BIG ARTS. Downing, for the past 20 years, has worked as a project manager, career counselor, and an outplacement trainer for a major talent company.

Marilyn Klaskin has lived all over the United States and with each move has had an interest and involvement in the history and preservation of each area. She worked in marketing for eight years followed by several years of doing design work for an interior design firm and then on her own. Klaskin and her family have been coming to Captiva for thirty years and have been permanent residents for ten years.

Since its inception in 2011, The Captiva Island Historical Society has worked on archiving over 2,500 documents and photos; has released three "captivating" DVDs of charming oral histories; and presented special programs during Captiva Holiday Village and for civic organizations on both Captiva and Sanibel.

At the end of March the new Captiva History Gallery will open. The new exhibit room will illustrate Captiva's unique, diverse history. It is located in the Captiva Community Center on Chapin Lane and will be accessed through the Captiva Memorial Library. Its other neighbors include Chapel-By-the-Sea, and the Captiva Cemetery. The History Gallery takes on the wooden look of the interior of the old mail boat, the Santiva, which serviced the islands prior to the construction of the Sanibel Causeway in 1963. The boat windows will feature interpretive panels and touch screen access to historic photos sure to pique one's historical interest. In addition the space will have a launch pad area where visitors can learn more about other historic sites and museums in the area such as Useppa Museum, Boca Grande, Randall Research Center at Pineland, and the Sanibel Historical Village.

The three new board members, Don Adams, Molly Downing, and Marilyn Klaskin, with their interests in history and preservation along with their experiences in museum work and valuable time spent on Captiva is very relevant and valuable to the mission of CIHS and the development of the new Captiva History Gallery.



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