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A piece of Captiva history can be purchased at Jensen’s Marina

By Staff | Oct 22, 2015

A piece of Captiva Island history – a photograph of Andy’s Pier – is now available for the public to purchase as a keepsake of old Captiva.

“It’s a nice piece of island history that we would like to share,” Ron Rosse, Andy Rosse’s grandson, said.

After John Jensen saw an original photograph of Andy’s Pier, he expressed how “neat” it was, along with the desire to share that part of history with islanders and visitors. A canvas, print and UV protected and metal backing photograph was duplicated from the original for the public to purchase exclusively from Jensen’s Marina. Ron’s signature will grace each photograph.

The print is $125, canvas is $175 and the UV protected and metal background photograph ranges from $150 to $180.

In 1919, Andy Rosse found the barrier island, Captiva before making it his permanent residence in 1921. Ron said his granddaddy was born in England and lived in Ybor City before making his way to the island.

He met his bride, Dessa, who was 14, while working on phosphate trains. The couple settled in a thatched hut on Captiva.

In 1954, Andy purchased what was then Randall’s “City Dock” with money he received from J.N. “Ding” Darling. Ron said that Darling pulled $800 out of his pocket and handed the money over. The City Dock was renamed to Andy’s Pier and became the go to place for many individuals throughout the years.

According to an article that ran in the Nov. 25, 1977 Island Reporter, every day islanders gathered at the pier to greet the mailboat that brought supplies from the mainland, as well as took items back for repair. Another gathering happened every Sunday, according to the article, when Buddy Bopst landed his aquatic plane bringing a load of newspapers to Captiva.

Every Saturday night Dessa prepared a spaghetti dinner, a memory that Ron recalled smiling.

The article also stated that shortly after Andy purchased the dock, he built a fish house that carried fish from commercial fishermen. Until the early 1960’s, the Punta Gorda Fish Company picked up the fish and left behind 1,000 pounds of ice. When the company stopped running, Andy decided to build a plywood box on the back of his pickup, so the fishermen would not be let down. He delivered the fish in the early morning hours before bringing ice back to the dock.

Andy’s Pier carries many memories for Ron who grew up on the dock with his siblings. One of his fondest memories is catching heaps of grouper off the dock, as well in a boat between the pilings.

Ron said his favorite memories of his granddaddy stemmed from the stories he shared about fishing.

“I liked hearing his old stories,” he said.

In the early 70s, when Andy became ill he closed the doors to the pier. Andy’s Pier was eventually demolished because the pilings were giving way.

On Nov. 25, 1981 Andy passed away at the Naples Community Hospital.

In 2000, the Rosse family sold the property. Ron said McCarthy’s Marina’s office used to be his granddaddy’s home.