local history

Main Sail Video Productions, Inc.

The island of Cayo Costa off the coast of Lee County, north of Captiva, is only reachable by boat, and most of it is a state park offering primitive camping. But, the still-unspoiled island has a rich history that we’re exploring in advance of the new independent documentary Mullet & Mangroves that airs starting Thursday, July 12 on WGCU TV. It tells the island’s story through historical research and interviews with the few remaining pioneers who grew up on Cayo Costa.

Ortona Cemetery

Jun 22, 2018
Amy Bennett Williams

Following up on an old, but not forgotten tip, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams recently traveled to the historic Ortona Cemetery in rural Glades County in search of artifacts and details of an alleged and obscure murder mystery.  While her search didn’t exactly lead Williams to what she was looking for, the small cemetery, which includes some graves dating back 100 years, proved to be a treasure trove of touchstones covering a broad spectrum of Southwest Florida’s rich history from Seminole tribesmen to hurricanes.

IMAGE: VINTAGE TRAVEL GUIDES

This segment originally aired on December 21, 2016. 

A tour of vintage Central and South Florida is still possible—if you know where to look.  Today we listen back to a conversation about a book that promises to be your guide to "discovering old Florida," offering a list of museums, historic buildings, nudist colonies, dive bars, and more. All reaching back 25 years or more into Florida's history.

Photos: Karen Hirsh (left) / Lt. Jack Carollo, U.S. Army


This month PBS stations across the country are in the midsts of airing The Vietnam War, a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  The series strives to offer a comprehensive view of the war and the social and political environment of the 1960s. On Gulf Coast Live, we're also offering a unique perspective on the war from a one-time Army combat correspondent.

With the upcoming Labor Day weekend three day weekend looking to be much more pleasant than last weekends’ deluge, many plan to fire up the barbecue in celebration. Whether you’re smoking ribs, searing tuna, or flipping veggie burgers, the advice of an expert pitmaster can help any BBQ endeavor come to a tastier end.

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