Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Anne and Charles Lindbergh were introduced to Captiva by Jim Newton. The couple had met Newton in 1937 through mutual friend Alexis Carrel, the Nobel Prize awarded biologist and surgeon. Newton was a successful businessman who had dedicated his life to the service of “uncommon men” and promptly appointed himself the Lindbergh’s “guardian angel.” In January 1940, sensing the Lindberghs need to “get away,” Newton rented Anne and Charles a cottage on the island of Captiva, “a remote island, only seven miles long, off the gulf coast of Florida.”
The Lindberghs returned to Captiva in 1948, staying again in a cottage rented by their friend Jim Newton. Anne noticed how little had changed on Captiva during that 8-year lapse. It was in January 1950; Anne chose Captiva to find respite from her very public life and obligations of family and career and returned to the island on her own. Locals remember Mrs. Lindbergh would sometimes dine on Signe Wightman’s home-style cooking at the Island Store and was known to occasionally take an evening meal in the dining room at ‘Tween Waters Inn, where she was afforded privacy and the inn’s owner, Mrs. Price, would shield Mrs. Lindbergh from unwanted visitors.
During the day Anne could be seen on Captiva’s beach with notebook in hand, penciling reflections which would later become the body of Gift from the Sea; the most celebrated of her more than two dozen literary works. Of her time alone on Captiva, Mrs. Lindbergh recalled, “You sink into a more authentic place inside yourself. I collected shells. There was nothing else to do on an island like that...I recognized how wonderful the freedom was of...being able to go into a room and just write what one felt...”