Historie

CAPE CORAL - The town of waterways  
A short summary of Cape Coral’s history

50 years ago on this peninsula in the middle of nowhere the snakes wished the alligators a good night sleep. In those days Cape Coral with its actual size of 300 km²; was marshland, partially covered with pine trees and palmettos. And you could not find a soul except for some hunters and people making illegally their moonshine schnapps.

But in 1958 life came to this area. The brothers Jack and Leonard Rosen bought the area and started to make it accessible. Never before in the history of Cape Coral so many excavation machines were in use. Waterways with a total length of 400 miles were excavated, the soil served as a filler to dry out the marshland. A masterpiece of a site plan was laid-out, more than hundred thousand lots were mapped, feed lines were installed and 1700 miles of roads were tarred.

In the northern and thus colder states of the US mass promotions were started. People who did not know about Cape Coral either were from the moon or were living in another country. Today’s six-lane wide Del Prado Boulevard was not tarred at all but served as a runway for the planes that flew in with prospective buyers. A lot (at least 0.25 acres) was sold starting from 900 dollars and the turn-over in lot sales of the first year reached a total of 9 million dollars.

The first houses were built in South East Cape Coral, along the Caloosahatchee River, which is today’s area of the yacht club. The houses mostly were simple constructions with two or three bedrooms and an open garage.

The first residents of 1958 had to drive 20 miles to get a dozen of eggs. But soon the first shopping center was built which is today’s Town Center at Cape Coral Parkway.

There was another boom in 1964. The Cape Coral Bridge with its two lanes was opened and thus the southernmost point of the peninsula had a direct connection to Fort Myers. One year later 500 prospective lot buyers per day were counted.

In 1970 Cape Coral was declared a town. The number of citizens had risen to 11,470. Today more than 125,000 people live here, all of them in a colorful mix from different parts of America and of course a huge number of Europeans, led by German and British people.  

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