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  • Writer's pictureEd DiMarco MS, MA

A Tale of Tranquility: The Storied History of Naples, Florida

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Naples, Florida, is a beautiful coastal city with a rich history. The town was founded in 1886 by former Confederate general and Kentucky U.S. Senator John Stuart Williams and his partner, Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman, the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Williams and Haldeman were looking for a place to establish a winter resort, and they were drawn to Naples by its mild climate and stunning beaches.


Naples Florida History

The first settlers of Naples arrived in the late 1860s, and the town began to increase in the early 1900s. The construction of the Naples Pier in 1888 helped to attract tourists to the city, and the opening of the Royal Palm Hotel in 1891 made Naples a popular destination for wealthy winter visitors.


In the early 1920s, Naples experienced a real estate boom. The boom was fueled by the construction of new roads and bridges, as well as the arrival of the railroad. However, the crash ended in 1926 with the Great Depression.


After the war, Naples began to grow again. The construction of the Naples Airport in 1947 made it easier for tourists to reach the city, and the opening of the Naples Beach Hotel in 1948 provided additional accommodations for visitors.


In the 1950s and 1960s, Naples experienced a rapid population growth. The city's population increased from 3,000 in 1950 to over 20,000 in 1970. The change was fueled by several factors, including the city's mild climate, beautiful beaches, and proximity to major metropolitan areas such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale.


The city of Naples has continued to grow in recent years. Today, Naples is a thriving community with over 200,000 people. The town has several Fortune 500 companies and a growing arts and culture scene.


Naples has a rich history that is reflected in its architecture, its culture, and its people. The city is a popular destination for tourists and retirees alike, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, luxurious shopping, and world-class dining.


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