Chokoloskee Island, Florida
Eric: Chokoloskee Island is so quaint you’ll want to slap yourself silly. It is starting to get over-run a bit with people who all want in on the quainty action. I’m sure Velma will be giving you it’s history and all those details. There isn’t a strip mall, motel or fast food joint anywhere. In fact, there is basically just little houses all over the place. One large section of it is taken up by the Chokoloskee RV Resort. Our plan was to stay at the RV resort and explore the island some more, but never got around to it. If you want to live as close to your boat as possible, then Chokoloskee Island is for you.
Velma: As you might be able to tell from the photo captions below, the history of Chokoloskee Island is closely tied to the history of the Smallwood family. In the 1890s Ted Smallwood opened the area's first post office and general store, which today comprise the Smallwood Store (Museum) and is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Also closely tied to the island's history (as well as the 10,000 Islands in general) is the infamous Edgar Watson, about whom so much hyberbole has been written that it's difficult to know the truth. He was generally held to be a villain and met his end in an ambush by his neighbors near the Smallwood store. For more about Edgar and the area in general, read Peter Matthieson's trilogy Killing Mr. Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone.
We liked the place and drove around looking at property and houses. Although there are some homes in the $500,000+ range, most of them were modest dwellings on relatively small lots (the entire island is less than .5 square miles). We were told there's a strong sense of community on both Chokoloskee and Everglades CIty. It seems that people who buy homes there are people who really know what they want and have no reason to move away.
Chokoleskee Island houses
Coffee house on Chokoloskee Island
Shoreline lot on Chokoloskee
Mangroves on Chokoloskee Island
Smallwood museum on Chokoloskee Island
Behind the Smallwood museum
Mannequin guy inside smallwood museum
GPS: N 25º 48.869' - W 81º 21.560'