Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090510/00012
 Material Information
Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Series Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Publisher: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Pineland, Fla.
Publication Date: December 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090510
Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Friends of the

/Randell Research Center

In the Aftermath of Charley

Pineland's Historic Ruby Gill House and Post Office

by Karen J. Walker

On August 14, I pushed water out of Ruby Gill's front door with
a heavy heart, tempered with feelings of relief that the house- ,- iI i in1 In 1111
The house that now serves as RRC headquarters sits next door to the
picturesque little Pineland post office. Although the Pineland community
treasures its post office, many are unaware that it and the RRC house next
door are closely associated.
Predating the Wilson home (today's Tarpon Lodge), the Gill House (1922,
remodeled 1982) and post office (1925) are two of Pineland'sc 1 .. A I li11.i Il; --
They have survived hurricanes of 1925, 1926, 1933, 1941, 1944, 1947
(George), 1960 (Donna), and now Charley in 2004 (see Friends Newsletter
vol. 3, no. 3). Both the house and the post office lost portions of their metal
roofs to Charley. Current postmaster Gina Poppell worked over the weekend
cleaning up debris even though her own home was badly damaged. She
opened on Monday, amidst the pounding of Bill Marquardt's hammer as he
patched the damaged roof. Pineland's was the only post office open for
business on Pine Island.
The RRC's house is named for Ruby Gill, who in 1922 at age 35 came to
Pineland with her husband Percy They bought several acres of orange groves
and built the two-story house. In 1924, Ruby succeeded James Wheeler as
postmaster, but soon afterwards a violent storm swept away the tiny post
office, then located on the waterfront. Ruby built the current office next to
her home, where it would be more protected. Early on, she also operated a
small store there as well. She served on the county electric board and was
instrumental in bringing electricity to Pineland in 1941. She was postmaster
until 1957.
Today the post office is a vibrant symbol of Pineland's community identity.
At least twice in the past, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS) has wanted to close
the office, but residents convinced the government to keep it open (ohn L.
Lewis, possibly Pineland's most famous resident, led one effort in the 1950s).
Few realize that the post office and the Gill House
are one property and that the USPS rents the post -
office building. Ruby Gill (and Percy, who preceded
her in death) was the owner until she died in 1969.
Since then, each new owner has continued to rent the -
post office to the government. The current owner is '.
Lee County. The property (8 + acres, the Gill House,
and the post office) was bought for $400,000, with
Lee County paying the appraised value of $389,000
and the Stans Foundation making up the $ 11,000
difference. The purchase could not have happened

The historic Ruby Gill house in Pineland. (Watercolor by Mel Meo)

without the commitment of the RRC to manage the property. Recently the
Florida Museum advanced funds to install new roofs on both ii.i I, i- but
interior repairs still remain to be completed for both structures.
The RRC plans to continue using the Gill
House as its headquarters, and to continue
B -* leasing the post office to the USPS. Both
structures will remain permanent historical
i features of the Pineland community, access
-ble to the public through the daily operations
of the RRC and the post office. Ruby would not
have had it any other way.

The historic Pineland post office.
S(Watercolor by Mel Meo)



Vol. 3, No. 4

Citrus Canker Fells Last Remnant of Pineland's

Historic Grove
by John Worth

In the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, Pineland recently
experienced yet another blow, affecting both its tree-filled landscape and
another remnant of its early 20th century history. In mid-November, state
inspectors discovered traces of the dreaded citrus canker (Xanthomonas
axonopodis) in some of the new growth on trees in the middle of the sand
ridge known as the Citrus Ridge. The bacterial pathogen, which causes
unsightly lesions on citrus fruits, and which can also defoliate severely
infected trees and cause fruit to drop prematurely, was also discovered at
several nearby yards in Pineland. Under Florida law, all trees within 1,900
feet of the canker must be destroyed. Within a few days, all citrus trees from
the Pineland site had been cut down.
Our little grove was one of the last traces of Pineland's historic citrus
industry, which emerged during the first decades of the 20th century and
was still thriving as of the time of a 1944 aerial photo showing not only the
groves, but also the nearby packing house and help's quarters, both of which
were originally located on the Pineland site property. The only standing
structural remnant of this era, a wooden barn still being used for the RRC
tractor, was utterly destroyed by Hurricane Charley. And so the subsequent
loss of the Citrus Ridge grove leaves only a handful of original coconut and
royal palms alongside the historic road that ran between the packing house and
the shore (the road is now being restored and maintained thanks to PalmCo, Inc.).

1944 aerial photo of Pineland showing Citrus Ridge circled in black.
(Digital base photo from Aerial Photography: Florida project, State University System of
Florida, www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/collections/flap/index.htm)

If there is a silver lining to this loss, it is that visitors are now afforded an
unimpeded view of the eastern half of the Pineland site surrounding Citrus
Ridge. Once the three-year quarantine period expires, new citrus trees can
be planted. In the meantime, Citrus Ridge will remain curiously bare,
standing in mute testimony to the end of an era in Pineland.



Craig Timbee

by John \Ioith

We at the RRC are
pleased to welcome Craig Timbes
to our staff. Craig has taken over the
position of Operations Manager,
with duties ranging from site and
machinery maintenance to helping
with coordinating volunteers for site
clean up.
Craig has resided on Pine Island
for six years. During this time he
was a data specialist for Walt
Disney World and a chef at
Rondell's Restaurant in Matlacha.

(Photo by John Worth)
He has been active in the local
community and was instrumental in
coordinating the extensive cleanup
efforts for the site after this year's
devastating hurricane season.
Craig looks forward to many years
of service to the Randell Research Center
as well as the local community and we
are happy to have him on the team...
Welcome Craig!!!!!

Central Michigan

University Students

Volunteer with RRC

by Craig Timbes

On the 28th, 29th & 30th of December eleven
students from Central Michigan University volunteered
their time at the RRC by helping .., 1i1 ii i.. interpretive
trails following major cleanup work that took place after
the devastating hurricane season of 2004. Glen
Newman, Sarah Kropiewnicki, Marlena E.Taylor, Ryan
Kracht, Alicia Garcia, Ashley Brandys, Brian Zerfas,
Sarah Stechshulte, Dan P. Rinke, Taylor Walker, and
Akemi Komatsu toured the trail before going to work
collecting residual debris and wind-blown palm fronds.
The students worked extremely hard and were motivated
by the pleasant weather during their stay. On the 28th,
the students were treated to lunch by office manager
Jennifer Jennings. We look forward to their return one
day, as well as continued progress from all of our
volunteers and staff at the Randell Research Center.

Calusa Heritage Trail

Opens to the Public
by Bill Marquardt

On December 10, over 150 people showed up for the
official opening of the RRC's new Calusa Heritage Trail. The Trail, funded
by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, consists
of graded pathways, a bridge, and 13 professional-quality signs that provide
a self guided tour. The sign text was written by Darcie MacMahon, Karen
Walker, John Worth, and me. The art work is by Merald Clark, and the
graphic design is by Synergy Design Group of Tallahassee.
After enjoying refreshments donated by Joyce Mutz and listening to a
few remarks by me, the crowd watched as John Worth and Lee County
Commissioner Ray Judah used a sharp flint knife to cut the ribbon, after
which the visitors became the first to walk the new Trail. The "ribbon" was
a 12-foot-long band of woven palmetto leaves made for the occasion by
Dick Workman.
In my remarks, I first acknowledged the herculean efforts of our local staff
-John Worth, Craig Timbes, and Jennifer Jennings -in getting the storm
damaged site ready for visitors. I also acknowledged the hard work and crafts
manship of John Paeno, who constructed the observation decks and board
walk while employed by the RRC. I explained that the Trail is the next phase
of a several-phase project to establish a center of research and learning. The
first phase was the pavilion, rest rooms, and parking lot, completed last year.
The second phase is the Trail, now open. The third phase will be a class
room that will seat up to 50 people for school programs and public events.
We hope to construct the classroom next fall, pending receipt of State
matching funds. We would not be in a position to have funds matched by the
legislature without the help of many loyal supporters. Major donors were
the Stans Foundation, Dwight and Susan Sipprelle, Anina Hills Glaize, and
Paul and Warren Miller. Also contributing generously were' iiii I .i.. 1 i
Tommy Taylor, Michael Hansinger, the Bonita Bay Group, Linda and Nick
Penniman, Robert A. Wells, Jr., Charles B. Edwards, the Southwest Florida

A few raindrops were not enough to deter the opening-day visitors to
the Calusa Heritage Trail. In the foreground, John Worth cuts the ribbon,
assisted by county commissioner Ray Judah. (Photo by W. Marquardt)

Community Foundation, Lee Newsom, Paul Benedum, and many others
who donated cash gifts.
We have also benefited from the donated |I 'i .... I.1 iii .. f 1I 1 1. ii
(architect), Tim Keene (engineer), Bob Rude (engineer), Dick Workman
(environmental consultant), and Ted Baer and John Cauthen (vegetation
removal services). Mariner Properties Development Corporation provided a
.- ,,i. ,ii discount on wetland mitigation credits through their Little Pine
Island Mitigation Bank. Deep South Native Nursery and Pine Breeze Nursery
were particularly generous with donating native plants for our landscaping.
Mark Dean of Palmco donated many palm trees (not once but twice, due to
hurricane damage) to restore the historic palm-lined road that once wound
its way to a citrus-packing barn. We appreciate the support of the Southwest
Florida Council on Environmental Education, the Lee County Visitor and
Convention Bureau, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, the
Florida Native Plant Society-Coccoloba chapter, the Matlacha Mariners
and Hookers, the Pineland Marina, and the Tarpon Lodge. Finally, we owe
a tremendous debt of gratitude to the volunteers and docents who faithfully
serve the Center. Thank you, one and all.

New and Renewing Friends of the RRC
from October 1 toDecember 31, 2004
(Please let us know of any errors or omissions. Thank you for your support!)

The Pew Charitable Trusts
Sustaining Members
Paul F and Ella Warren Miller
Supporting Members
1- *II I i, I-
Gretchen & John Coyle
Bernard Johnson
William Marquardt
Sponsoring Members
Lawrence & Carol Aten
Robin C. Brown
Carol Byrne & R. Bruce Williams

Contributing Members
Marion Marable Almy
Barbara G. Beddall
Bill Boden
Joseph P. Brinton III
Jefferson Chapman
James G. Cusick
William & Mary Sims Cyzewski
Ding Darling Wildlife Society
Lammot duPont
Florida Archaeological Council
Robin & Lin Fox
Carol & James Hoyem
David P. Hurst
Thomas A. Joseph
Carole Kircher
Ronald & Mary Koontz

Janet E. Levy
Barbara & Robert Mulle
Karen & Howard Noonan
Carol & Bill Rosenberg
Robert & Barbara Sumwalt
Stephen & Susan Tutko
Randal L. Walker
Bill & Ann Wollschlager
Richard W. Workman
Family Members
Ray & Ellen Garten
Frieda & Janet Long
Ingrid Martinez-Rico
& Craig W. Heller
John & Diane Maher
Patricia & Edward Oakes
Abraham & Cynthia Ofer

Arthur & Emily Pastor
Herb & Betty Seidel
William Spikowski
Rae Ann Wessel
Individual Members
Lois E. Clarke
U. S. Cleveland
Roothee Gabay
Lois C. Jones
W. Shain Schley
Alice R. C. Sharp
David Steadman
Lana Swearingen
Thomas G. Vickery
Mr. & Mrs. Randolph H. Watts Jr.
Catherine Williams
Stephanie D. Wilson


A Presidential T

Pineland Site Toured by .
the Carter Family

by John Worth

On December 28, the Randell
Research Center was honored by a visit by the
family of former President James Earl Carter
and his wife Rosalynn, along with all four of
their children and all but one of their eleven
grandchildren. During their holiday vacation in
Cape Coral, the Carter family spent a full day
touring Pine Island Sound, beginning with the
Pineland archaeological site, followed by a
cruise to nearby Cabbage Key, Useppa Island,
and Cayo Costa State Park. Accompanied by RRC
Advisory Board member Randy Wayne White, as
well as staff members Jennifer Jennings and Craig
Timbes and volunteer Terry Pierce, I led the group
of 24 family members and their security detail
around the new Calusa Heritage Trail for about an
hour in the unusually brisk morning air. As gauged
by the positive reaction of our guests, the tour
was a success, and marks a milestone in the
visitorship of the RRC -a visit by a former United
States president and Nobel Peace Prize winner,
along with almost his entire family.

William Marquardt
William Marquardt
Craig Timbes
Karen Walker
John Worth
GBS Productions

Send questions or comments to:
John Worth
Randell Research Center
PO Box 608
Pineland FL 33945-0608
Telephone (239) 283-2062
Fax (239) 283-2080
Email: randellcenter@comcast.net



- PO Box 608
DI PINELAND, FL 33945-0608

Forwarding Service Requested

Pineland, FL
Permit No. 26

/ N

Friends of the

1Randell Research Center

Pineland, Florida* December, 2004
Phone (239) 283-2062 E-mail: johneworth@comcast.net

Dear Friend,

You are cordially invited to join, or renew your membership in, the RRC's support society, Friends of the Randell
Research Center. (Current members can find out when their memberships expire by looking at the address label on
their newsletter.)
All Friends of the RRC receive a quarterly newsletter and free admission to the Calusa Heritage Trail at Pineland.
Supporters at i -!, h i levels are entitled to discounts on our books and merchandise, advance notice of programs, and
special . ii- ii iii V 1.,1 i i iii i N i. -1. .,, ,,I I is vital to our mission. It means more research, more education, and contain
ued site i ,ii ii. i. i. 1 -., li iR.i I I I, II -R. Ii . It Center. Thank you.
S 111. I.

S I lin E \\, ii I Ph.D .
i, Ii i. II I ,I ReNsearch Programs and Services
kR., .III R .. ,i Center

Please check the membership lei eli ou prefer a nd send this form. along with your check
payable to Friends of the Randell Research Center, to:
Membership Coordinator Randell Research Center PO Box 608 Pineland, Florida 33945

" Individual ($30) and Student ($15): quarterly Newsletter
and free admission to Calusa Heritage Trail
" Family ($50): The above + ..1 ii, i .Ii, and 10%
discount on children's 1i!" ,! IiI-
Q Contributor ($100- -199): Fhe above + annual honor
i ll.li-li -, Ii iii I + 211 .discountonRRC
1lIl.i. iii. ,i- and merchandise
1 Sponsor ($500-$999): The above + invitation to annual
Director's tour and ri ', 1 i, ,ii

Permanent Address



City / State / Zipcode

" Supporter ($1,000-$4,999): The above + listing on
annual donor plaque at Pineland site
Sustaining Members ($5,000-$19,999). Benefactors
($20,000-$99,999), and Patrons ($ 100,000
and above) rr- i e ni .f the above + complimentary
RRC 1 1 li I ii. I-, and special briefings from the

1 Please use my gift t ..... I I ,i i ii., 'I w funds from the
[ i .!i. .i i i .I l .. Ii i.i tor the Humanities.

Seasonal Address (so we can send you your newsletter while you are away)



City / State / Zipcode

Use my seasonal address from



The Randell Research Center is a program of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University ofFlorida.

-\ \


BoIks, Videos and RRC Gear

I The Calusa and Their Legacy: South Florida
E W People and Their Environments
Sby Darcie A. MacMahon and William H. Marquardt
U. Press of Florida, hardcover $39.95
Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa
edited by William H. Marquardt; Monograph 1, softcover $25.00
Sharks and Shark Products in Prehistoric South Florida
by Laura Kozuch; Monograph 2, softcover $5.00
The Archaeology of Useppa Island
edited by William H. Marquardt; Monograph 3, hardcover $35.00, softcover $20.00
New Words, Old Songs: Understanding the Lives of
Ancient Peoples in Southwest Florida Through Archaeology
by Charles Blanchard, illustrated by Merald Clark
hardcover $24.95
softcover $14.95
Fisherfolk of Charlotte Harbor, Florida
by Robert F. Edic
hardcover $35.00
The Domain of the Calusa: Archaeology and
Adventure in the Discovery of South Florida's Past
VHS video $19.95
Expedition Florida: From Exploration to Exhibition
VHS video $19.95
Expedition Florida: The Wild Heart of Florida
VHS video $19.95
Expedition Florida: Wild Alachua
VHS video $19.95

P- l ?IRC logo Hat
(specify color: bone, charcoal, or blue) $20.00
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton staff shirt
(specify size: S, M, L, XL) $35.00 /
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton T-shirt /
(specify size: S, M, L, XL) $12.00
RRC logo tote bag $10.o00
RRC logo coffee mug $10.0oo

To place order, make check payable to: Randell Research Center and i. II1
Randell Research Center / PO Box 608 / Pineland FL 33945.
Check or money order only. Sorry. no credit cards.
Inquiries and Questions? 239 283 2062 / E mail: johneworth@comcast.net


Total for items ordered:
Friends of the RRC who give at the $100 level
or above may deduct 20% Discount:
Florida residents add sales tax:
Shipping: Add $2.00 for first item,
$0.50 for each additional item:




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