Photo from the Sanibel Historical Village
Did you know …
… island old-timers oftentimes refer to the years before 1963 as “BC” — or “Before Causeway”?
BC, there used to be a saying, “Sanibel closes at 5:15,” as that was when the last ferry back to the mainland departed from the docks.
The island did not literally close, of course, as the shops would remain open for another hour, restaurants and bars would cater to patrons until last call, and people would head to the beach for an evening stroll. The debut of the original Sanibel Causeway in 1963, however, changed all that.
The construction of the causeway stirred many people, both in favor of and against connecting Sanibel to the mainland. It has been said that no other waterway structure in the history of Lee County has created more controversy or more changed the face and wealth of Southwest Florida.
It’s a fiery story, indeed. In fact, a meeting about the bridge in the fall of 1961 was filled with so much shouting and protest that police had to be brought in to control the crowd.
To read about the ups and downs of the Sanibel Causeway — both “BC” and “AC” — click here for a great article from our friends at the Santiva Chronicle!