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February 2010

 —  Here is a sample, dating back 70 years, from the February 1940 edition of the Community Current Events column from the Koreshan publication, The Flaming Sword.

As mentioned in previous months, the Community Current Events column which appeared monthly (for the most part) from 1916 on gives us an insight into the daily lives of the people who lived here.

Community Current Events February 1940
By Rose Gilbert

BROTHER ALLEN ANDREWS made a trip to Bonita Spring’s to visit Mr. and Mrs. Charles Codwise, who were friends of the late Dr. Henry Nehrling and who now possess a considerable remnant, of the once great plant collection acquired at the Doctor’s Naples gardens; many rare specimens are now growing on Mr. Codwise’s place.

The weather has been much criticized for some weeks, chilly and cloudy—a sunshiny day being greeted with applause.

Resurfacing and widening of the Tamiami Trail has begun at Estero bridge, working toward Fort Myers. The work has been much delayed by heavy rains, which were not expected this time of year, making road slippery and requiring careful driving: to avoid accidents.

Having had no advance information we were pleasantly surprised and interested a few nights ago, when the radio was turned on, to hear a ten minute talk on Lee County, Fort Myers, Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone; their winter homes in Fort Myers and sketches of early unlighted streets and cow paths about the town; its subsequent growth and the fine highways now leading to it. A brief notice was given to the little town of Estero, sixteen miles south of Fort Myers, as the home of the strange religious community. The Koreshan Unity.

We quote the following interesting fact from The American Eagle: “George Simpson brought word last Sunday of a strange creature that had stranded several days previously on Lovers’ Key, which was once the upper end of BigHickory Island. When first observed it was covered by a flock of buzzards which were rapidly tearing it to pieces, but was sufficiently intact to get a fair description of it. The creature was all of twenty feet long, about five feet across the body, with a broad, flat tail, something like an airplane rudder. The head was fully three feet long and two feet wide, tapering into a long bill resembling’ that of a seagull in shape, and somewhat curved at the end. There were no teeth and the eye-sockets were as big as saucers. There was a series of large breastplates to which the larger ribs were attached by tough gristle and the backbone was high and serrated like that of some prehistoric monster. Long bony flippers indicated that they were used to drag the creature along on the sea bottom when feeding. Unlike that of a fish, the meat was red like beefsteak, and the body was covered with a growth of coarse brown hair. Apparently the creature was a mammal and was accompanied by a young one recently born. “So far, no one has been able to identify the huge creature. The large head was obtained by Piper Brothers for exhibit at their snake farm in Bonita Spring’s. Head of the small one together with breastbones and a rib of the larger creature, were obtained by Mr. Simpson, who is spending the winter in Estero.”

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