Chapel By The Sea awaits final decision from national register
Captiva’s Chapel By The Sea has been formally nominated to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Review Board recommended the chapel for nomination on July 25, according to a letter from the state.
“The chapel and cemetery are very important components of the history of Captiva, and what it means for the chapel itself is sort of a public recognition of the role it has played in the life of the community,” said Nathalie Pyle, president of the Board of Associates overseeing the chapel.
The building was originally a school in 1903 and the Methodist Church purchased it in 1921. The original name, Wayside Chapel, was later changed to Chapel By The Sea and it was incorporated in 1952.
Pyle said the board and chapel staff are excited about the nomination.
“It’s something that was initiated by the chapel leadership last year. The chapel is one of the only historic places on Captiva that is accessible to the public,” she said.
Although the chapel was nominated, the staff still has to wait for official approval. Their case was forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register, which has 45 days to decide. In the case that they are denied, the National Register will explain the reasons and notify the chapel of anything they can do to try again.
The board wants to establish a marker outlining the history of the chapel and cemetery. They are optimistic about being accepted.
Pyle said that the cemetery, included in the historic designation, is the final resting place for some of Captiva’s important historical figures, including the first homesteader William Binder, the Brainerd family, and others.
Captiva, Sanibel, and Lee County currently have places listed on the national register, including ‘Tween Waters Inn, the Sanibel Colored School, the Sanibel Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, and even the Lee County Courthouse.