“Island House” Celebrates 100 Years
It’s rare that a Captiva Island building has survived intact 100 years of hurricanes and development. So when the house belonging to Jenni Baer Terrill and her husband Tom turned 100 this year, they wanted to celebrate the milestone. On a sunny evening, March 28th, they hosted a gathering of friends with connections to the house and family for a house tour and catered reception in the back yard.
Their neighbor Lee Childers, a director of the Captiva Island Historical Society, initiated support for the event. The CIHS provided photographs from its archives, volunteers for the event, and presented a house plaque to the Terrills, to commemorate the centennial.
In opening remarks, Tom Libonate, CIHS President, thanked Jenni and Tom for opening their home and sharing the historic milestone and paying thribute to Jenni's parents for perserving the historic home. He then presented the Therrils with the bronze house plaque.
Long time neighbor Ron Gibson lead a toast to Jenni's late parents, Nan and Joe Baer.
Tom and Jenni then spoke about the home and its long standing connection to the Captiva community.
The Terrills also displayed old photographs, a plot plan documenting a 1916 survey of the Lang Subdivision, and other historical memorabilia on display in the house. The celebration honored the house, as well as the fond memories of the Baers, shared by many of the guests.
The "Island House," built by F. A. Lane in 1918, was later owned by Pastor Rawls. The Baers bought it in 1978, renovating the home with respect for its history. The Terrills have added their own changes: soft tropical colors enliven the decor. They opened the interior to much more light, while completely respecting the antique bones of the house.
Over the years the family has rented the second floor suite to well-known Island residents including:
Paul McCarthy, owner of McCarthy’s Marina
Doris Schoonmaker, a painter from Booth Bay Harbor, ME
Jay Halvorson, Captiva Fire Chief and his wife Karen
Sean Kilgore, a Captiva Fireman and his wife Beth
Naomi Pastor, Captiva librarian.
The newly installed plaque in the yard will acknowledge the rich history of this unique landmark on Captiva.