After the "cracker house," the class was taken through an old train car, which ran through this area when the train line was still running. Pictured here is a small, yet elegant room in the car.
Traveling through time once again, we arrived thousands, if not millions of years later with the artwork of the indigenous Native Americans of this region. I believe that the Miccosukee and Seminole were among the tribes of Southwest Florida. Here are some of their tools and decorative pieces (including the small "Marco Island Cat," which is a figurine right below the mask in the top center):
The house and the train car were relatively recent history however, and the museum guide took us next to see the remains of prehistoric creatures that once lived right here in Southwest Florida. This was very interesting to me! The size of the creatures that once inhabited the cities that I call home is mindboggling. Difficult to frame the beast in a single photograph, I was only able to capture the upper body of this giant...SLOTH! Am I reading the information card correctly, this twenty foot tall monster that looks like Bigfoot was a SLOTH!? Sufficed to say, that was the first time I had ever seen such an animal. Sloths in modern times are only 3 to 4 feet long, and I don't think they stand on their hind legs very often. There were also gigantic shark teeth and a large woolly mammoth head featured in this display.
There were other exhibits, including fisherman artifacts and the photographic works of Clyde Butcher and his wife, but what interested me more than those came at the end of the tour. Unbeknownst to me, the small Page Field Private Airport in Ft. Myers once was the training grounds for air force troops around the time of World War II. Pictured first is a plane engine, and secondly is a mounted chain gun.
And our last stop was at the commemorative fountain (pictured below) in Downtown Ft. Myers, which I believe is named "The Three Friends," which included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone. All of whom lived in Ft. Myers and on the Edison Home Estates. In light of this class, which deals with environmental issues, such as energy conservation and reducing carbon emissions, these three individuals actually could be called the root cause of our environmental problems today. Though regarded as great men, Thomas Edison inventing so many electrical gadgets, and Ford and Firestone assembling the first cars, their mechanical accomplishments would use up the earth's natural resources, cause desire for material objects, and in effect, destroy the environment!