Curious Gulf Coast

Jacob Summerlin
Wikipedia Commons

If you’ve ever visited Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel Island in Lee County you are likely familiar with the name Summerlin. We recently received this Curious Gulf Coast question from a listener named Jesse Sanders:

"I drive down Summerlin Road maybe three times a week so I decided to look up who the road was named after. Interesting character for sure. ... People may be interested in history of the area and the cattleman behind Summerlin Road."

So, we're bringing in I-Mag Historian Jim Powers to get his insights into the man known as the Cracker Cow Hunter, Jacob Summerlin.

Wikimedia Commons

We recently received a Curious Gulf Coast question wondering what the deal was with all the dog racing in Florida. So we brought in historian Jim Powers from the IMAG History and Science Center in Fort Myers to give us a bit of a history lesson.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Here’s an answer to a question submitted to us through our Curious Gulf Coast project where we invite listeners to ask questions about southwest Florida. A woman named Rose asked us “Please tell me about the factory on Ft Myers Beach which harvested coquina clams and used them to cook, can, and sell clam chowder.” So, we reached out to the IMAG History and Science Center in Fort Myers and they sent over a man named Jim Powers to give us some insight. WGCU’s Mike Kiniry sat down with Mr. Powers.

Quincy J Walters / WGCU News

Laura, a Curious Gulf Coast inquirer, asked: 

"When we moved to Southwest Florida from the Pacific Northwest we were surprised that Florida doesn't have a plastic bag ban plastic bags that end up in the ocean hurt wildlife and people get used to bringing their own reusable bags and it seems like a no brainer to keep the state beautiful and protect the environment.” 

Alan Levine / Flickr

This week, WGCU is answering your questions about development in Southwest Florida in a multi-platform Curious Gulf Coast series. 

A perennial topic in the region is restaurant development — rather, redevelopment. There is a well-known revolving door of food joints in Southwest Florida.