Island Personalities

Historically, Captiva Island has enjoyed a common humanity, attracting artists, writers, fishermen, celebrities, and scores of colorful, everyday island personalities.

Robert Rauschenberg

Rauschenberg 3.jpgAmerican painter and graphic artist, Milton Ernest “Robert” Rauschenberg purchased his first Captiva property in 1968. It was in 1970 he moved from New York City to Captiva permanently, citing here he “felt a magic that was unexplainable in it’s power.” It was on Captiva the artist thrived -- and remained until his death in 2008.

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James & Signe Wightman

Wightmans_James & Signe copy.JPGSwedish-born Signe Wightman first came to the island in the 20's and met her husband, James, here.

After their marriage, James and Signe purchased the 2-room dressing room for Captiva’s Fisherman’s Lodge in 1927. They later would turn their modest home into the dining room of what they would eventually launch as the “Gulf View Inn."

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Alice O'Brien

O’Brien 1 copy.JPGThe daughter and granddaughter of prominent Minnesota lumbermen, Alice O’Brien early-on expressed interest in social issues and supported organizations promoting feminist causes.

She assumed responsibility for the family business (Putnam Lumber Company) upon her father’s death in 1925, and built her winter home on Captiva.

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Bridging the Past and the Present