Strategic Analysis with current research! Yacht Charter Service, Inc.
Coming ashore in South Florida on September 10, as a Category 4 hurricane. Donna killed 60 people and caused nearly 2 billion dollars in damage. Marco had - for eons - been simply the largest island in the chain know as the "Ten Thousand Islands". In Marco was little known, it was as remote as you could get in Florida and a significant percentage of it was mangrove swamp.
The nearest town to Marco was Naples, a forty five minute drive away. Miami was a two hour car trip over the two lane Tamiami Trail.
Two tiny fishing villages, Marco and Goodland, were the only habitations on Marco. A "missile tracking station", a few acres in size, anchored the south end of the beach.
The island was surrounded by the Marco River to the north and east, Caxambas Pass to the south and the Gulf of Mexico to the west.
The north-center part of the island was barely above sea level and covered by a mixture of pines and tidal plains. A wide fringe of mangroves covered the north, east and south parts of the island nearest to the water.
Mosquitoes thrived in great hordes. The exception to salt flats, pinelands and mangroves was an unusually high but narrow ridge around Barfield Bay.
Both Horrs Island on the east side of the bay and the area on Marco Island west of the bay were high and rolling with some elevations as much as 55 feet above sea level.
These areas were covered with unusual tropical foliage including Gumbo Limbo and Royal Poinciana trees. There was one old wooden home and cistern on the Marco Island side of the ridge on - what was said to be - the highest point in South Florida.
Except for the two tiny fishing villages there were no human inhabitants. Hundreds of years before the Calusa indians had lived on the island. Evidence of their existence has been found on Horrs Island, in the Caxambas area and on the northwest quadrant of the island.
In the first half of the century clams were harvested on the Caxambas pass at the south end of the island. A railroad had once served to transport clams from the island. The clam factory and the railroad had long been abandoned and little evidence of it remained.
The Marco Lodge on the north end of the island, with maybe twenty rooms, provided rustic but comfortable accommodations and dockage on the Marco River.
Fishing charters were available with local guides. Anglers sought Tarpon, Snook and Redfish among many other species of game fish. The scenic wonder of the island was the incredibly beautiful four mile mile, white sand crescent beach.
The beach was accessible only by boat or - for the adventurous - by vehicle over a long, narrow sand trail. It was just harder to get to! One lone wooden bridge, which was built in the thirties, provided the only access to the island from the mainland.
The bridge was unique. In order to open it for boat traffic, the bridge tender had to manually turn a long - perhaps10 foot - crank handle by walking with it in a circle. As he turned the crank handle, the bridge would slowly turn horizontally until it was perpendicular to the roadway providing adequate room for boat passage.
The process of opening and shutting the bridge would take perhaps fifteen minutes. A driver caught in the process would simply turn his engine off and enjoy the scenery and the show.
A Business for You With SailTime your dream to combine your passions of boating, being on the water and flexing your strong business background is now within reach. SailTime is the most exciting Franchise business opportunity in the boating industry in . MARCO ISLAND. In March of , less than a year and a half after opening their first community, the Mackles announced the biggest and most important business venture of their career - Marco Island. Dave – yeah, I think the Superferry offered a nice alternative for inter-island travel and it’s too bad that option is gone. I’m glad that a long-time resident, such as yourself, can learn something new from this blog from time to time.
The bridge was - at the time - one of two such bridges remaining in Florida. Three years before the Mackles arrived - in September of - hurricane Donna, a category 4 storm, devastated Marco and much of Florida.
After passing through the Keys, Donna made a direct hit on the island. Water was said to have covered the island to a depth of twelve feet or more. Water marks could still be seen high up on surviving palm trees.
There was no fresh water supply to the island. What drinking water there was came from shallow wells or was hauled in. The mangrove swamp that covered most of the island was an indication of the poor soil conditions that lay beneath.
Borings indicated muck down as deep as forty feet. Dredge and fill operations far beyond anything the Mackles had ever undertaken would be needed. Miles and miles of seawall would be required.News on Japan, Business News, Opinion, Sports, Entertainment and More.
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