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Buying the Dream

October 27, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

In July, 1957, two brothers paid $678,000 for a game preserve at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee.

The acreage, which included about 5 miles of river-front, may well have been the best land buy of the century.

For out of that acreage, Jack and Leonard Rosen, owners of Charles Antell Hair Products of Baltimore, carved, quite literally, a city.

And what a city.

From little more than soggy pastureland at the tip of nowhere, the newly formed Gulf Guaranty Land and Title Co. bulldozed and dug the foundation for what would become the largest city between Tampa and Miami.

Replete with 400 miles of manmade canals, riverfront and a "yacht basin," the Rosens began marketing "America's waterfront wonderland." Just six months later they began constructing their field of dreams with a housing development at Redfish Point, a small peninsula jutting into the river.

The first lot - homesites could be picked up for $1,380 - was sold to Charles and Gertrude Frease of Bell, California.

The rest is, as they say, history - 60 years of history as our community of more than 170,000 people celebrates its founding this weekend.

Those lucky enough to have snapped up to tickets to the sold-out celebration Saturday at Cultural Park Theater will have an opportunity to mingle with Cape "pioneers" - those who moved here as young adults or children in the formative years - as well as meet Julia Swift, the granddaughter of Leonard Rosen, whose birthday actually would have been Saturday.

Attendees also will be able to peruse historical memorabilia that is usually housed in the Cape Coral Historical Museum located amidst the founders' rose garden next to the theater.

The evening will be capped with a revival of "The Wizard of Tarpon Point," a locally written musical comedy that features 20 song parodies that spoof the city and its government.

Wish you had tickets?

Well, we would love for the theater to schedule some extra performances of "The Wizard of Tarpon Point," - we're sure it will be a hoot.

If you haven't been, a visit to the Historical Museum is worth a trip.

We also invite you to check out the special publication in today's Breeze. "Buying the Dream, Celebrating 60 Years of Cape Coral," provides an historical overview of the Cape pre-incorporation. We also have our last two history books posted on our website, The city of Cape Coral's 40th anniversary book may be found under "Sections" along the top of the page; the city of Cape Coral's 45th Anniversary book may be found under "News."

We invite you to read.

And we invite you to celebrate the community The Breeze has been proud to call home for 56 years.

-Breeze editorial



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