Changing Times

Dated: 03/22/2019

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I came across this picture recently and thought it might make an interesting subject for a post.  When I was young, this building was home to the “Cotton Shop” where you could purchase fabric, thread, buttons, zippers, or anything else that you might need if you wanted to do a little arts and crafts, much like Joanne’s Fabrics is today.

The building itself has quite a long history and is one of the oldest structures and landmarks on the island.   First constructed in 1933 by C.I. Yent, the structure housed a grocery store and was known as the “Pelican Building.”  About five years later, the property was taken over by Harry Steel who replaced the original building with a concrete, coquina rock façade which is still standing today.  For many years the building remained as a grocery store, a bakery, and even a post office.  

During the war years, the grocery store morphed into the “Cotton Shop” where it continued to supply island women with everything they needed for curtains, clothing, and fashion accessories.  In the 1980s the “Cotton Shop” again became a convenience type store selling snacks, coffee, beer, ice, and cigarettes.

 The building has survived many hurricanes including Hurricane Donna in 1960, Charlie in 2001, and Irma in 2016.  Today, the building is home to retail establishments.

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Ellie Bunting

Ellie has returned to real estate sales after spending the last 40 years teaching English at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers She has teamed up with her husband, Bob, who has been a....

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