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Oldest house in Naples marks city's 100-year anniversary

Posted at 9:14 PM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 21:16:16-05

NAPLES, Fla — In the heart of the old district of Naples, residents are marking a significant milestone this year—the 100th anniversary of the city's incorporation.

Right near 12th Avenue and Gulf Shore Boulevard, there's the Historic Palm Cottage, built in 1895, which shows off Naples' long history. According to John Telischack, who works at the Naples Historical Society, the Palm Cottage was first built as an extra part of the Old Naples Hotel.

"This saw Naples from its beginning," Telischack explains. The hotel, opening officially on January 1st, 1889, served as a hunting, fishing lodge, and health retreat, attracting those with the means to invest in their well-being.

The Palm Cottage, with its unique foundation, is one of the few remaining buildings in the country constructed with tabby mortar—a coastal concrete mixture used by early Americans and Spanish settlers.

"The outer walls on the first floor are tabby mortar construction—a conglomerate of sand, shells, and crushed shells boiled together and poured into a mold. It sets, and you build off of it," says Telischack.

Standing as a resilient structure, the cottage's tabby mortar construction made it effective against both cannonballs and hurricane-force winds, Telischack expalined to Fox 4.

Despite the growth of Naples from around 2000 residents in the early 1900s to nearly 20,000 today, Telischack emphasizes that the essence of the city's early settlers remains particularly with respect to the outdoors.

"You have the start of modern-day beach culture that we know today. People haven't changed, and it's interesting to see that across time," Telischack notes.

The Historic Palm Cottage says it will continues its role in preserving Naples' history by hosting regular events, and offering paid tours from Tuesday through Saturday.