• MustDo.com | Sanibel Historical Museum and Village Sanibel Island, Florida. Photo by Jennifer Brinkman.
  • MustDo.com | Tour the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village Sanibel Island, Florida. Photo by Jennifer Brinkman.

Sanibel Island Historical Museum & Village

Sanibel Island’s Pioneers

Pay tribute to the early pioneers and homesteaders on Sanibel Island, Florida at this historical village and museum. The Museum was founded in 1984 with a mission to preserve, protect and share Sanibel Island history. The village is comprised of eleven buildings, eight of which have been historically restored and some dating from as far back as 1898!

The Historical Village

Visitors can trace the footsteps of Sanibel Island’s past as they stroll along the village trails beautifully situated on a mangrove forest bordered by a pond. The Village includes various aspects of life on Sanibel from the 1880s to the 1940s.

See the Rutland House, a furnished pioneer home built in 1913 and was the first home moved to the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village site in 1984.

Sanibel School House which dates back more than 120 years to 1896 is the oldest building in the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village.

There are three cottages in the Historical Village. Two of them were built using a Sears and Roebuck house kit, a mail-order modern home program which sold 70,000-75,000 home kits between 1908-1940; a small two-room bay-front fishing cottage and the caretaker’s cottage. The third cottage is The Burnap Cottage was once used to hold Sunday services on Sanibel Island. Built in 1898, the Burnap cottage is the second oldest structure in the Historical Village.

In addition you’ll find Miss Charlotte’s Tea Room which was originally built as a gas station, a replica Packing House, a 1926 Post Office, and The original Bailey’s General Store which was founded in 1899. The Welcome Center is even housed in a 1924 Sears kit home. History buffs will not want to miss this awesome attraction!

Volunteer docents share the stories of Sanibel Island with docent-led tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Historical Village is handicap accessible.

Admission: Adults 18 and older $10.00, Members and children are free.

Hours: Closed Holidays. Open Tuesday through Saturday, November through April from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May to August Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

COVID-19 Updates: The Sanibel Historical Village will reopen October 20, 2020 with hours Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All visitors, volunteers, and staff will be required to wear a face mask and observe social distancing throughout their time on the Village property. Guests are encouraged to bring their own masks; however, the museum will provide face masks to guests who do not have one. Guests not wearing face masks will not be allowed on the museum property.

Regular guided tours will be suspended at least until January 2021. However, visitors can make appointments for guided tours with 48 hours’ advance notice, for a minimum of six and no more than 10 guests. These advance-notice tours are meant to accommodate families or small business groups. There is no additional cost; tours are included in the $10 entrance fee. To schedule a tour, call Jan Symroski at (239) 472-1856. Alternatively, guests can always self-tour using the audio buttons available in each building; in addition, a brochure guiding guests through the property with detailed information about the buildings will also be available.

Read Sanibel Historical Museum & Village’s featured blog article – click here