Celebrating Centuries of Captiva History

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Book
'Gift from the Sea'

Over a thousand years ago Captiva and Sanibel Islands, once joined, became separated when a powerful storm swept the peninsula and opened Blind Pass between the two barrier islands.

Captiva's natural features, together with a climate that is subtropical in summer and temperate in winter, has created an excellent habitat for a diversity of birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and sea shells.

The Calusa Indians were the first known residents of Captiva over 2,500 years ago. In the 1500s the fierce Calusas collided with the Spanish. By the 1800s the Cubans aggressively fished the surrounding waters. Captiva also has a rich folklore, somewhat undocumented, around pirate activity and sunken treasures. In the early 1900s the island supported flourishing farm communities.

From its unique beginnings to its evolution into a tropical paradise that attracted artists and writers, fishermen and Presidents, regular folks and off-beat Island characters, Captiva stories are colorful. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote “Gift from the Sea“ on Captiva. Teddy Roosevelt often fished the waters off Captiva, and renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg called Captiva his home and studio.

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