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Sanibel Historical Museum docent helps bring history to life

By Staff | Jul 5, 2016

Annette Pacyga, a docent at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, is a wealth of information when it comes to the village and the history of Sanibel.

She can tell you everything from how Sanibel used to be famous for its tomatoes to the history on the Rutland’s.

Pacyga was born in Hammond, Indiana. She lived there until she was 55, then moved to Punta Gorda Isles. She remained there for 10 years until she made a visit to Sanibel.

“I drove around Sanibel and decided that this is where I want to spend the rest of my life,” Pacyga said.

Four years ago, she bought a house on the island.

According to Pacyga, history has always piqued her interest. “I’m very interested in the history of Sanibel. I thought the museum did a fantastic job,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in every area I’ve lived. I like knowing how things once were.”

She began working at the museum last October. Since she’s been volunteering there, she never stops learning. Her favorite building is the Schoolhouse for White Children, which is the oldest building in the village.

“I feel it shows how far we have come as a town and as a country. Our idea of education has changed. All children deserve the best education available,” she said.

Although the museum closes soon, there’s still some time left to visit. Pacyga plans on returning after she spends some time up north with her daughter. The museum will close Aug. 1 and re-open again Oct. 18.

Adults are $10. Children are free. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (239) 472-4648 or visit sanibelmuseum.org.