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Bill Van Arsdale

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Naples was home to the Calusa Indians until the early 1700s and remained virtually uninhabited until after the Civil War when farmers and squatters made their way south. Early pioneers fished and hunted for a living, raised crops, dug clams, and trapped otters and alligators for their pelts and hides. Trading posts started by Ted Smallwood on Chokoloskee Island and George Storter at Everglades City became important gathering places for the few isolated settlers and Indians. Throughout the 1870s and 80s, stories were being told of the area’s temperate climate, abundant fish and game, and beautiful bay and Gulf waters, and so began the creation of Naples. It is not known for sure how Naples got its name. References have been made to our shores resembling the Italian Riviera, while others think it was named after John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”. No matter how it was chosen, Naples came to be its own paradise. 

Bill Van Arsdale

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