Honoring the Past Celebrating the Present and Shaping the Future

Our beautiful, little slice of paradise once inhabited by a very large tribe of Calusa Native Americans is full of rich history beginning as a very small fishing village and blossoming into the multi-cultural, thriving City nestled in the southwest corner of the Florida peninsula it is known as today. Join the celebration!

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Our Centennial

Rodger Gordon and Joe Wiggins are said to be the first white pioneers to settle in Naples around 1874.

In 1876, two brothers, John and Madison Weeks, were the first permanent residents of Naples as they settled near the northern edge of present-day Gordon Pass. In 1881, Hamilton Disston purchased four million acres of Florida real estate, the largest amount of property purchased privately in US history – rescuing the state from bankruptcy.

In 1885 Kentucky resident, Walter Haldeman was recruited by Louisville Senator, General John S. Williams to establish a city. The two men sailed along the coast and discovered Naples, which led to the purchase of 112 lots in Naples in 1887. Work soon began on the Hotel Naples with twenty rooms and six cottages and a 600-foot pier to serve as a lifeline to the outside world. Due to a lack of fast and affordable railroad service, in 1890, the town which was suffering financially auctioned off the pier, hotel, ships, and undeveloped land to Walter Haldeman for $50,000.

On December 1, 1923, the Town of Naples was incorporated as a municipality under Chapter 9846 of the Laws of Florida, Special Acts of Legislature. On June 13, 1949, the Town of Naples charter was abolished, and the City of Naples was created as a municipal corporation in the state of Florida; a governmental designation based on population growth among other things.

On December 1, 2023, the City will celebrate its 100th anniversary of incorporation. In preparation for this milestone, staff has been working with Mayor Heitmann to develop a framework for celebrating the Centennial! Events, fundraisers, artwork, projects, and other various forms of celebration can be endorsed by the City to help commemorate the Centennial. All Centennial endorsed celebrations will be added to our Centennial calendar. We encourage and welcome the community to celebrate this Centennial year in your own unique ways and share them with us on our website!

1923 ~ to ~ 2O23
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Centennial Event Calendar

We invite you to engage, celebrate and participate in our centennial events.

100 years, Plenty of stories

Explore the lives of others and their untold stories of Naples’ history. In addition, we invite you to share your favorite story or memory of Naples. Whether your story is about living in or visiting Naples, or sharing a memory of a friend or family member, we want to hear how Naples left a mark or cherished memory in your life.

Dig deep Into Our History

One hundred years ago, the landscape of Naples looked much different. Over the last century, significant moments, milestones, and people have shaped our little piece of paradise. Take a stroll through Naples’ history and see how Naples came to be as it is today. Meet the movers and shakers that started it all; visit your favorite places and see what has come and gone around them; experience how Naples grew from a tiny fishing village to the unique, charming metropolitan city of Collier County.

100 Years

a Picture is worth a Thousand Words

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