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Early Cape Coral

Although the City of Cape Coral was incorporated in 1970, we have some documents and photos that pre-date this time. One of the oldest documents we have is a 1961 Phone book.  The first telephone exchange was Wyandotte and later became Liberty.  Take a look to see if a person or business you know of was open back then!

 Prior to the City being incorporated, the streets were named and not numbered.  Could you have lived on Aladdin Drive, Rainbow Lane or Whippoorwill Way? Click to view the Street Names from A - Z to find out what street you lived on. 

Are you one of the people who have asked, "How do you figure out which direction the streets, terraces and avenues go?" You can click to view a letter and diagram that describes how it all works.

 Did you know?

Harney Point Rd. (Del Prado Blvd.) was the first road constructed in Cape Coral
Cape Coral Parkway was the second
Coronado Parkway was the third

Another fun document on file at the CRA office is a flier from the 100th Anniversary of Baseball for a Washington Senators game that has an ad for lot sales in Cape Coral on the back.  Recently an avid fisherman sent us this from Field & Stream Magazine, 1958 

To take a look at how the population has grown - you can view the 1978 Census Map.  Zoom in to the info on the lower left of the page to see the increase!

Throughout the historical pages you will find items that have been sent in by citizens in response to our Historical Outreach Project.  If you have anything that you would be interested in sharing with us, please email the City Clerk's     

Early History

Cape Coral Yacht Club 

The Cape Cape Coral Yacht Club area is where the City started.  The Yacht Club itself was built in 1958 and boasts beautiful landscaping, a sandy beach, a fishing pier and community pool.  In days gone by, there was a Teen Club where each teen that belonged got a key to the building and no adults were allowed (unless they ran the place!).  

The photos in the Yacht Club gallery include those from our very beginnings as a city as well as a shot of the Club itself in 1963.  You will also find aerial shots from 2005 showing how populated the city has become.

 Did you know?
Hugh Downs and family helped dedicate the Tee Club in 1962.

Larry King was the master of ceremonies for the Florida World Beauty Contest held at the Yacht Club in 1963.

Early Promotional Video 

GAC Properties sponsored the production of a public relations video promoting life in Cape Coral.  We acquired this video from the Florida Memory Project.  While viewing this 12 minute video, you will hear testimonials describing the city and how planned growth and strict zoning laws keep the quality of life high.  The video was produced by McLeod Films.

First City Manager Ryan

After seeing our call to history buffs Kip Ryan, the grandson of Cape Coral's First City Manager Cliff Ryan, came in to share stories from his grandfather's time with the City: 

  • When City Hall was first built, they didn't have furniture yet.  Because of this some of the first meetings were held with people sitting on orange crates!
  • Citizens called Mr. Ryan at home when they saw funnel clouds in the sky wondering what he was going to do about it.
  • One problem that Mr. Ryan had to deal with was helping citizens who had originally only bought single lots and needed to purchase the adjoining lot to build.  
  • To help establish credit for the City, money was borrowed at a interest rate of 5% and immediately put into a savings account earning 8% interest - thus making the City money on money they had borrowed!
  • Mr. Ryan always made sure to cut meetings off in enough time to go see his grandson play football.
  • Mr. Ryan had a framed traffic citation hanging in his office that was issued while in office at a previous city.  When pulled over, the officer was surprised when he found he had pulled over the city manager!  Mr. Ryan insisted that the officer issue the citation.  After that, if an employee would ask if he could help 'fix' something, he would point to that citation and advise them to take care of their business just like he had done!

The items that Mr. Ryan still had from his grandfather were his Identification card, an embroidered badge, a smaller mounted badge, and a City logo patch.

Cape Coral Progress Reports

Click on the links below to see Progress Reports that had been published by GAC Properties to give updates on the development of their various endeavors.  Mrs. Stanley Walker found these documents when cleaning out some old storage and thought they would be a good addition for our Historical Outreach Project: