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‘Island House’ celebrates 100 years, receives historical plaque

By Staff | Mar 30, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED A celebration was held on March 28 for the home of Tom and Jenni Baer Terrill, also known as the Island House, to mark its centennial.

It is rare that a Captiva building survives 100 years of hurricanes and development intact.

So when the house belonging to Tom and Jenni Baer Terrill turned 100 this year, they wanted to celebrate its accomplishment. On March 28, the couple hosted a gathering of friends with connections to the house, as well as family, for a tour of the residence and catered reception in the backyard.

Neighbor Lee Childers, director of the Captiva Island Historical Society, initiated support from the organization for the event. The CIHS provided photographs from its archives, volunteers for the event and an official plaque, which was donated to the Terrills, to commemorate the home’s centennial.

The couple and Jenni Baer Terrill’s late parents, Nan and Joe Baer, also collected old photographs, a plat documenting a 1916 survey of the Lane Subdivision and other historical memorabilia for display. The celebration honored the house and the Baers’ fond memories, which many of the guests shared.

The so-called Island House, built by F. A. Lane in 1918, was later owned by Pastor Rowell. The Baers bought it in 1978 and made modest renovations. The Terrills added their own changes. Soft tropical colors enliven the dcor, and they opened the interior to much more light, while completely respecting the antique bones of the home.

PHOTO PROVIDED A celebration was held on March 28 for the home of Tom and Jenni Baer Terrill, also known as the Island House, to mark its centennial.

Over the years, the family has rented the second floor suite to island residents including:

– Paul McCarthy, owner of McCarthy’s Marina

– Doris Schoonmaker, painter from Booth Bay Harbor, Maine

– Jay Halvorson, Captiva fire chief and his wife, Karen

– Sean Kilgore, Captiva firefighter and his wife, Beth

PHOTO PROVIDED A celebration was held on March 28 for the home of Tom and Jenni Baer Terrill, also known as the Island House, to mark its centennial.

– Naomi Pastor, Captiva librarian

The new plaque in the yard will acknowledge the history of the Captiva landmark.