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A Week of Sanibel Secrets: #4

Photo from Sanibel Historical Museum and Village


Did you know …

… that in the late 1800’s, much of Sanibel was owned by women?

In 1880, Sanibel Island was opened to homesteading. According to the Sanibel Historical Museum, there were few requirements, and “if one could withstand the sweltering heat, relentless mosquitoes, lack of most creature comforts, and almost total isolation, it was just about bearable.”

The homesteading act stated that to be given 160 acres of land, one would have to be at least 21 years old, be able to work the land for five years, and have never borne arms against the United States Government.

Since most of the island men were Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, a large number of the homesteads were registered under their wives’ names.

For more information on Sanibel’s Pioneer Women, click here.

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