History Gallery

Take A Cruise Back In Time

santiva mailboat.jpgBefore the Sanibel Causeway was completed in 1963 and opened for traffic from the mainland, the 'Santiva' was one of a generation of mailboats that reliably traveled the waters of Pine Island Sound, ferrying passengers and delivering mail and provisions to the folks of Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Front_wide copy.jpgThough the actual mailboat is now just another island memory, you can take a virtual journey back to the simpler times of our islands aboard a replica of the 'Santiva,' when you visit the History Gallery of the Captiva Island Historical Society.

Within the gallery, boat windows feature interpretive panels and touch screen access to historic photos, sure to excite one’s interest in island lore. Meet the Calusa Indians, the fishermen, the homesteaders and their families, all hardy residents of the islands.Side R_wide copy.jpg

Back in its day it cost $1.75 for a full day, 72-mile round trip excursion on the 'Santiva.' Today you can make the journey for FREE from the Captiva Island Historical Society’s Gallery.

Established in 2011, the Captiva Island Historical Society was an outgrowth of the pioneering and well received oral history work of the Captiva History Project, founded in 2010 by Stella Farwell.  Through generous donations the History Gallery was completed in April 2014, to recognize and remember Captiva's unique and diverse history. The exhibit was refashioned in 2019, updating displays and adding new features.  It was refurbished again in 2023 with a new display and new flooring.  Among the rotating exhibits aboard the 'Santiva' you will find interpretive panels and videos featuring historic photos, films, and documents all depicting the varied history of Captiva Island.

Back_wide copy.jpg

Located in the Captiva Memorial  Library, 11550 Chapin Lane, Captiva

The gallery can be accessed during library hours.

You can check the library website for hours by clicking the tab below:

library hours

Bridging the Past and the Present