The Captiva Island Historical Society (CIHS) is committed to the gathering, preserving, interpreting and sharing of Captiva Island history, while providing education about the remarkable people and events that have shaped its past.
Established in 2011, the CIHS was an outgrowth of the pioneering and well-received oral history work done as part of the Captiva History Project, founded in 2010 by Stella Farwell.
In 2013, CIHS was granted space in the newly renovated Captiva Civic Center to recognize and remember Captiva’s unique, diverse history. Through generous donations the History Gallery was completed in April 2014.
CIHS is recognized as an established non-profit 501(c)(3) by the federal government and State of Florida. Governed by a Board, CIHS support comes from the generosity of donors from the extended community.
From 1936 to 1963, Captiva and Sanibel Islands were serviced by mailboats, one of which was the“Santiva,” the replica on which the History Gallery of the Captiva Island Historical Society is based.
The “Santiva” delivered more than mail. A passenger’s first glance of Captiva was often from their perch on a bench set atop the boat’s roof.
Departing from Fort Myers, the mailboat ferried passengers and carried orders to eager recipients who waited dockside for the vessel’s arrival and retrieved everything from beer to bloomers.
The captain was fined 3-days pay if the boat was late. In all its years the “Santiva” missed just a handful of trips due to hurricanes.
We are probably best known for our programs. This is one of the fundamental ways we deliver on our mission of sharing the history of Captiva. Each season the CIHS showcases a schedule of programs designed to educate, enlighten and entertain. Visit www.captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org for a schedule of upcoming events as well as information about documentaries and other offerings. Periodically, we recognize sites / buildings of historical significance on Captiva. This recognition consists of a plaque and a reception.
The Captiva Island Historical Society has produced a collection of film documentaries. Told first hand, these full-length documentaries capture the spirit of the island. DVDs of the complete collection can be acquired for a donation to the CIHS.