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Historical Village re-opens for season

October 26, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village re-opened for season last Tuesday and experienced a great turn-out. According to Museum Manager Emilie Alfino, the village had 67 visitors on opening day.

"We had a lot of people which is great. During season, our busiest days may be 120 people, so here in October to still get 67 is a very good thing," Alfino said.

The Historical Village added a new member to its staff recently. Jan Symroski became their new front desk manager.

Article Photos

The Burnap cottage was built in 1898. It is the second oldest structure at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. The cottage houses a lens from the Sanibel Lighthouse and belongings from the Algiers, which was a ferry turned riverboat mansion.


"She did great on her first day. A lot of people know her because she worked at the Recreation Center. Interestingly, her husband was raised in the Morning Glories cottage. He was the grandson of Daisy Mayer, the woman who originally lived in the house," Alfino said.

Abbey Allison, who was previously at the front desk, does their volunteer coordinating and scheduling now.

"We're looking forward to increased efficiency and the staff being able to do more," Alfino said.

For this season, Alfino plans to do enhanced twilights talks. She has organized some special events as well; those details will be announced at a later date.

For its new season, the Historical Village will be looking for volunteers.

"You always need everything but we could really use volunteers that could act as docents. We have some volunteers that might help with projects, mailing or decorations but docents are always a big need," she said.

Alfino is especially looking for docents who can give tours on the property.

"I would love to have a docent in every building but we don't have enough people. I would really like to step up those programs," Alfino said.

No experience is necessary to become a docent. Volunteers are assigned a mentor and they are able to shadow as much as they want until they feel comfortable enough to do it on their own. The Historical Village will have training days Nov. 7 and 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information on volunteering, call Emilie at (239) 472-4648.

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full-guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no additional charge, depending on docent availability. The Sanibel Historical Village is at 950 Dunlop Road, adjacent to BIG ARTS. There is handicap access to all buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. For more information, call (239) 472-4648 or visit



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