Spa and Lodge
Everglades City, Florida
In the Landmark Bank of Everglades Building
Millionaire Railroad man, Speculator, and Everglades City Founder Barron G. Collier erected this grand bank building in 1923. It was the focal point of Collier’s “kingdom,” which he dreamed would one day rival Miami in size. But that was not to be, and Everglades City is today a sleepy tropical fishing village.
Back in the early days, rum runners, alligator-hide hunters, fur traders, and other legendary pioneers came by road and river to take care of business at the bank and the nearby trading post. There were also folks who moved to his then untamed edge of Florida to lead undisturbed lives as homesteaders. They made their living off the land and sea, hunting, oystering, fishing, shrimping, cutting sugar cane, and harvesting buttonwood for charcoal.
The first bank in Collier County, Bank of Everglades weathered not only its colorful past but also the battering of five hurricanes. During the especially devastating 1962 Hurricane Donna, five feet of water filled the vault, soaking all the money inside. Undaunted, employees rushed to pin more than a million dollars on a clothesline to dry, keeping watch all night to prevent any unwanted “withdrawals.” Not a single dollar was lost.
A critical institution in the early development of the sate, the bank continued as an economic center for South Florida until the mid 1960s. You’ll want to browse around and study some of the original artifacts, including the 3,000 pound cannonball safe whose combination lock still works. You might even find a little left-over money in the vault – but don’t count on it!
Enjoy browsing around to find some of the original banking artifacts; such as this safe (above) that was used in the 1920’s to hold cash that was deposited into the bank.
A Day Spa has been added to better serve our guests.