Museum of the Islands

Preserving the past for the future on Pine Island, Florida

St. James-on-the-Gulf Era

Except from Prudy Taylor Board’s book Remembering Lee County, Florida: Where Winter Spends the Summer.

Fort Myers News-Press article from June 13, 1885 telling of Mr. CA Boardman purchasing 3,000 acres of land on the southern shore of Pine Island.  In this article there is no reference to the St. James-on-the-Gulf Corporation that was formed to pursue this venture.  That entity was incorporated May 16, 1885 in the St. James Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.


Credit this Article Joanne Miller Southwest Florida Historical Society

According to Lee County’s first tax roll in 1887, the St. James-on-the-Gulf Corporation owned 3,872 acres of land on the southern end of Pine Island.  This stretched from the waters of San Carlos Bay north to the present day KOA Campground and included the entire southern end of Pine Island.

According to Priscilla Brooks in her book St. James City-The Early Years, the main part of the town went north as far as Eighth Avenue, east to Coconut Street and west to Sanibel Boulevard.   The east/west streets were 80 feet wide and the north/south streets were 60 feet wide.  The streets were paved (unfortunately) with shells from the Calusa mounds that were in the area we learn from Frank Cushings book Exploration of Ancient Key-dweller Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida

The St. James Hotel in Jacksonville where the St. James-on-the-Gulf corporation was conceived.


Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

San Carlos Hotel
Pictures of Those Early Visitors to the San Carlos Hotel
Whiteside’s General Store
The Annex
St. James-of-the-Gulf Tarpon Tale
Picture of a Road Making Machine
The Koreshans Acquired St. James City Property from Irving R. Todd
The Koreshans Briefly Own the San Carlos Hotel

This Section St. James City
This Chapter Pine Island Communities
Next Chapter Surrounding Islands
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