CIHS Reveals Makeover of History Gallery

On Saturday morning, January 25, 2020 the Captiva Island Historical Society held the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of its recently refurbished History Gallery.

doorway.jpegThe History Gallery, a replica of the mailboat “Santiva,” is located in the Captiva Memorial Library. It represents the signature presence of the CIHS on Captiva.

Having attracted over 35,000 visitors since its opening in 2014, it has helped the CIHS fulfill its mission of preserving, interpreting tom remarks.jpegand sharing Captiva Island history. Yet, like any good thing, it was time for an upgrade.

CIHS President Tom Libonate (far right)
recognizes the vision of founding board
and work of current board

Over the past year the CIHS embarked on a renovation of historic proportions. All the content was refreshed, a plaque.jpegnew exhibit was added, the overall appearance was updated with new flooring, display panels and signage. Importantly, the jim plaque.jpegrenovation tapped into the latest technology, with new monitors, museum quality equipment and continual loop videos.

Tribute to Jim Pigott 

Over 30 guests watched in the lobby of the Captiva library as the current CIHS President, Tom Libonate, recognized the CIHS founding board for their vision and jim remarks.jpegforesight in creating such a remarkable historical space. He also acknowledged the hard work of the current board in implementing the improvements.

Founding CIHS President Jim Pigott shares the story
of creating the History Gallery in 2014

Mr. Libonate then thanked the founding President, Jim Pigott, for his steadfast leadership, and revealed a plaque and lifelike Sandpiper sculpture, dedicated to Jim. After inspiring comments, Mr. Pigott picked up the ceremonial scissors, and swiftly and capably cut the ribbon.ribbon cutting.jpeg

The 30 plus guests were then invited into the gallery to experience the refreshed history gallery firsthand, as they learned about the innovations.

Founding President Jim Pigott cuts ceremonial ribbon
as current President Tom Libonate watches

Everyone was then invited to gather in the Captiva Civic Center for a brief reception with coffee and pastry, along with the introduction of the self-guided walking tour of historic Captiva landmarks .

Upgrade composite copy.jpgThe CIHS appreciates the following for making the History Gallery makeover a reality. A generous grant from the Charitable Foundation of the Islands helped fund the technology upgrade. Thanks go to Ken Sneeden & Associates for repurposing and producing video content; to CIHS Archivist Queenie Viglione for her many hours of historical research, and to Bob Johnson of Back Bay Property Management for handling much of the heavy work; to The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, the Green Flash / Mucky Duck Restaurant, American Realty, the Klaskin Foundation and anonymous personal donors for their financial support. Coffee was compliments of Starbucks of Captiva.

The History Gallery is located in the Captiva Memorial Library, 11550 Chapin Lane, Captiva, can be accessed during library hours.

Bridging the Past and the Present