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Book examines city’s history through old photos

By Staff | Sep 29, 2009

A new book capturing the history of Cape Coral, along with 15 historical post cards, will be available Monday.
Local authors Chris Wadsworth and Anne Cull and the Cape Coral Historical Society have put together the pictorial history using vintage photographs of model homes, roads, the airport, police force, Cape Coral Country Club, Nautilus Motel and famous Rose Gardens.
Wadsworth said he is a journalist by trait who has always been a history buff. He has covered Southwest Florida news for more than a decade as a television, newspaper and now freelance reporter.
Cull has worked as the curator of the Cape Coral Historical Museum for the past 10 years, which provided her with the opportunity to expand the museum from one to three buildings.
Wadsworth said he had his first taste of creating an “Images of America” book through Arcadia Publishing for the city of Bonita Springs, which came out earlier this year.
According to Cull, the “Images of America Cape Coral” book illustrates the unique history of the Cape.
She said those who read the book will learn about how Cape Coral came to be, along with learning the different characters who took part in the early history of the city.
“We got firsthand information from people who actually lived in Cape Coral,” Cull said, adding that most of the information came from the Cape Coral Historical Museum and archives.
Wadsworth agreed, stating that the museum had a wonderful archive for them to work with to put together the book. He said it was also nice to reach out to families in the community for photographs and information.
“It was so much fun going through the photos,” Wadsworth said.
He said the book is best described as a “community photo album” filled with a ton of photographs from the early days of Cape Coral.
Wadsworth added that the book is very approachable and assessable, providing individuals an opportunity to learn the history of the city.
By putting the book together he hopes “to turn people’s opinions around” about Cape Coral and introduce them to the interesting history of the city.
Cull said the book was finished in March. It took a few months to put it together, research and sort through thousands of pictures.
“It will be a nice addition for the Cape Coral residents,” Cull said. “It really will, especially for someone who is moving into the community.”
“I hope we did Cape Coral justice and I hope everyone enjoys the book,” Wadsworth said. “It was a great experience.”
He added that Arcadia Publishing was shocked at the size of the city and was eager to get a Cape book on its list of cities.
There may be a bit of a lag time before the book appears in stores.
“It is on the online sites already,” Wadsworth said.
There will be a book signing, along with a PowerPoint presentation by Wadsworth, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Cultural Park Theatre, 528 Cultural Park Blvd.
“Everyone is invited,” Cull said.
For more information, call Cull at 772-7037.
“Images of America Cape Coral” costs $21.99 and postcards are $7.99 through Arcadia Publishing.
Both items are available at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia Publishing at: www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.