History Happened Here

A campaign commemorating Florida's diverse cities.
Brought to you by the Florida League of Cities.

Cape Coral

Lee County

Year Founded: 1970


In the late 1950’s, Leonard Rosen and Jack Rosen dreamed of developing a Florida waterfront community that is known to us today as The City of Cape Coral. Advertising experts reached out nationally and even internationally to sell plots of land, many sight unseen.

Cape Coral Gardens and the Cape Coral Yacht Club were hot spots that were instrumental in wooing Northerners tired of the bitter cold winters. Imagine January, 1966, taking a chance to view a brand new city. Upon arrival, you are greeted by a weather forecast of 75 degree days with sunny skies, a stroll through a gorgeous rose garden and a chance to see a show that included porpoise and clever seals with a pirate ship set up as the background. Later that afternoon, you take a dip in the pool or a watch a sunset over the Caloosahatchee River at the Yacht Club. If you still had energy after all of that, then you could head back over to the Cape Coral Gardens for the Waltzing Water Show. As you feel the ice defrosting in your veins, you think Cape Coral, it’s just paradise.

The city began as a traditional retirement community, but its appeal captured the upcoming generation as an affordable and highly desirable area to raise a family. People arrived in droves.

We have been described as a once rural area dotted with cattle farms, gladiolus fields with an abundance of wildlife and birds, Cape Coral has transformed over the years into a vibrant city well-known for its family-friendly atmosphere with an extensive canal system perfect for boating, numerous parks and beautiful beaches.

Cape Coral was incorporated in 1970. The next few years saw the development of the Cape Coral Hospital, Coralwood Mall, Cape Coral High School, and the tradition of the annual Holiday Boat Along, Since the 70’s, we have experienced an explosion of growth in the forms of progress and cultural awareness.

Over the next three decades, Cape Coral grew in leaps and bounds. Here residents and visitors discovered diverse shopping, delectable dining, numerous beautiful parks, top notch schools, recreation programs for the young, old and in between, amazing sunsets, peaceful evenings with the occasional sounds and sightings of raccoons, foxes, turtles, alligators, opossum, bald eagles and burrowing owls and the knowledge that you will never need a snow shovel in your garage again.

Enjoy our Cape Coral, it will always be the Waterfront Wonderland.

A special thank you to The Cape Coral Historical Museum who supplied the photographs and historical materials from their archives.

Key Historical Events

Event: Key Historical Events
Event Description:

1957 Land Development of Cape coral Starts
1958 First Family Moves to Cape Coral
1958 to 1963 Santiva Cape Coral’s Mail Boat
1964 Cape Coral Bridge Opens
1970 City of Cape Coral is Incorporated
1977 Cape Coral Hospital Opens
1987 Cape Coral Regional Library Opens
1992 Sun Splash Waterpark Opens

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