A Brief History of the Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee Florida
by Marya Repko
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If you didn’t get a copy of the little history book about the Smallwood Store on Chokoloskee Island, or want another one, it has just been re-issued and is again being sold for only $5.00 at the famous Museum in Chokoloskee.
A Brief History of the Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee, Florida, was written by local author Marya Repko and tells the colorful tale of a pioneering family whose heritage can still be seen as a “glimpse into the past” at the Smallwood Store & Museum.
As Lynn Smallwood-McMillin, granddaughter of the founders and savior of the ancient building, said“This is not amuseum where you reproduce history – it is where history happened.”
The little book includes background to this area’s ancient legacy (Chokoloskee was a Calusa stronghold), the progression of C.S. (Ted) Smallwood from farm laborer to store owner and postmaster, his trade with the Seminoles in the 1900s, the roles his wife Mamie and daughter Thelma played, the conversion of the family’s historic building into a museum, and the recent legal wrangle over the access road.
Repko includes many old photos, a list of Further Reading, and a Time Line to help readers appreciate the long (almost 100-year) history of this landmark in Southwest Florida.
Copies of the “hot-off-the-press” book are available at the Smallwood Store & Museum in Chokoloskee and in outlets around the Everglades City area.
It usually takes around 45 minutes to cruise from the Port of the Islands to the ocean. The journey includes navigating through a long, no-wake zone, canal, providing a delightful and unhurried ride. Bring a cover for sun protection during this slow and scenic route. About half an hour in, you’ll arrive at the expansive and naturally beautiful mangroves before reaching the open waters of the ocean.