(By Kim Ryan) Summer provides an excellent opportunity to visit many of the things to do in the area without the crowds that accompany “season.” One of those is the gem beautifully situated at the West end of Connecticut street…The Mound House.
Steeped in Estero Island historical significance, The Mound House sits atop an archeological treasure trove of Calusa Indian artifacts. The museum, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April 2019, consists of 6 rooms, 3 on each floor.
Each room is appointed with relics found on the property, pictures, media, and plenty of exhibits that will keep kids as well as adults engaged. A beautiful wrap around porch upstairs where visitors can sit, relax and take in the view of Estero Bay is not to be missed. There’s also a gift shop with a variety of items including books, jewelry, and ornaments to name just a few.
The home was built by the William Case family in 1906. Originally it consisted of just one room for eating while its residents lived on a houseboat. In 1909 they added on to create what they called the “Bungalow by the Banyan.” It was later sold to Jack DeLysle in 1921 who transformed it to what you see restored today.
One of the surprises this unique attraction provides is the underground exhibit “Stories Beneath Our Feet” which is not to be missed. Ceel Spuhler, who has been involved with the Mound House since its “conception” is a docent giving the tour which consists of a short (8 minute) video depicting the discovery, and subsequent dig, which she participated in.
During our conversation during my visit, she extolled the “forethought and determination” of the first town council of Fort Myers Beach in preserving this “Crown Jewel” of the beach. The amount of knowledge she has to offer is staggering and it’s all conveyed via her friendly demeanor and effervescent personality. Truly a treat for all.
In addition to all of the above there is a kayak launch which I can attest to is easily accessible and well maintained. For more information on the hours, programs, and tours offered visit https://moundhouse.org/