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FORT MYERS, FLA., January 21, 2020 – Did you know that Lee County’s first hospital was built in 1916 using lumber from the demolished courthouse?  Or – did you know that Lee and Collier counties used to be part of Monroe County?
These and other little known facts about the early days of Lee County will be revealed at the Annual Cracker Dinner Monday, Feb. 17, at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre at 1380 Colonial Boulevard.
Long-time resident Genevieve Bowen researched some of the area’s oldest residents to obtain memoirs for the annual dinner, hosted by the Southwest Florida Historical Society.
Jennifer Stacey and Greg Parker of ABC-7 will be the storytellers for the evening, which brings together pioneers of Lee County along with newcomers who are curious about the area’s past.
The presentation will be accompanied by music performed by Barbara Peterson at the piano with vocals by Roger Peterson, John Goulet and Beverly Cox.
Buffet dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and are available at Barbee & Sons, 1936 Grace Avenue in Fort Myers, Sam Galloway Ford, 1800 Boy Scout Drive in Fort Myers, and the Southwest Florida Historical Society, at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, which is on the campus of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.  The Southwest Florida Historical Society hours are 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Checks may also be mailed to the Southwest Florida Historical Society, P. O. Box 1381, Fort Myers, Fl., 33902. Tickets can be picked up at the door on February 17.
The annual Cracker Dinner is sponsored by Barbee & Sons, Sam Galloway Ford, George T. Mann General Contractor, and Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C.
Funds raised at the annual dinner will be used to support the mission of the Southwest Florida Historical Society which is dedicated to preserving the history of our area by archiving donated historical documents, photos and maps and stimulating public interest and appreciation for local history.
About the Southwest Florida Historical Society
The Southwest Florida Historical Society (SWFLHS) was established in 1960 by a group of citizens to “preserve the history of our area.”  In 1983 the SWFLHS received as a gift a building that was destined to be demolished for a new parking lot. Harper Brothers Construction donated the building and Flint and Doyle was contracted to move the building to the campus of the Lee County Alliance of the Arts. In 1984 the SWFLHS received its Articles of Incorporation with the following purpose:  “The mission of the society is to discover, collect and preserve original and source documents, maps and photographs pertaining to the history of SW Florida;
to bring together those interested in the history of this area; to promote and stimulate public interest and appreciation of the history of this area; and to further the preservation and knowledge of Southwest Florida’s past.”  For more information, visit or call 239-939-4044.

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