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CIHS commemorates opening of The Island Store

By CIHS - | Dec 23, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Captiva Island Historical Society Board President Tom Libonate speaks during a dedication ceremony held for The Island Store on Dec. 10.

On Dec. 10, the Captiva Island Historical Society commemorated the 105-year history of Captiva’s iconic The Island Store, as part of the Bailey family reopening ceremony.

CIHS Board President Tom Libonate opened the ceremony with remarks featuring highlights of the various roles the building has played in the island’s colorful history since it first appeared on the county tax role in 1915.

“Starting as Mrs. Miller’s boarding house, the building has been a beauty parlor, a dormitory for younger classmen of the Snyder School for Boys, a general store, a restaurant, hurricane shelter, architect’s office, polling precinct — and rumored at one point to even feature a brothel,” he said.

Libonate thanked Richard Johnson, with the Bailey family for preserving the building’s historic look and design through the recent, extensive year-long renovation. On behalf of the CIHS’s board of directors, a commemorative plaque was presented to Johnson and his daughter, Calli Johnson.

Following the presentation of the plaque, Richard Johnson took the microphone for remarks which included thanking the Captiva community and the Roberts family — the building’s owner — for their support. Calli Johnson then cut a ceremonial ribbon representing the store’s official grand reopening.

PHOTO PROVIDED Board President Tom Libonate presents a commemorative plaque from the Captiva Island Historical Society to Richard Johnson and his family, which now operates The Island Store.

Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel is the operator of The Island Store.

The CIHS reported that there is no family more apropos to be the stewards of the historic Captiva building than the family. It is hard to talk about island history without mention of them. They hold an enduring place in island history having owned-and-operated Bailey’s since 1899. Johnson and his family represent the continuation of the historic family legacy.

The ceremony was well attended by many from the community, including the CIHS, Captiva Civic Association, Captiva Community Panel and Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

The Island Store is at 1500 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva.

PHOTO PROVIDED Calli Johnson, whose family operates The Island Store and owns Bailey's General Store on Sanibel, cuts the ceremonial ribbon during a dedication for the Captiva store on Dec. 10.

PHOTO PROVIDED Former and founding Captiva Island Historical Society Board President Jim Pigott with current Vice President Mike Boris and current President Tom Libonate.

PHOTO PROVIDED Captiva Island Historical Society Board President Tom Libonate speaks during a dedication ceremony held for The Island Store on Dec. 10.