Beginning as far back as 6,000 years ago the area now known as Marco Island was the home to ancient civilizations. From the Calusa Indians, Spanish explorers, pirates, and white settlers to the development of Marco Island as we know it today, the island has constantly changed.
Fearing the permanent loss of our unique antiquities and history a group of concerned citizens of Marco Island formed the Marco Chapter of the Collier County Historical Society in 1994. In 1996 that group became the independent Marco Island Historical Society.This small core group of visionaries has grown into a 500 member society.
Working diligently to promote and protect the history of our island the Society was able to raise over $4,000,000 to build the current three buildings now known as the Marco Island Historical Museum complex.
These buildings were deeded to Collier County in 2010. In partnership with the Collier County Commissioners a vibrant and lasting cultural center and museum has been created to provide a place for children, professionals, tourists, and the general public to study, research and learn about the lively history, culture, art, industry and science that have contributed to today’s Marco Island.
In addition MIHS has developed programs to provide lectures, field trips, cooperative involvement with the public and private schools and participation in archeological digs.
Within the museum you will find a gift shop offering items of historical and local interest and a gallery, with frequent changes of exhibits being shown, many of which highlight and represent artists from around the world.
To round out the complex the multi-use, beautifully appointed Rose History Auditorium was built to provide a large meeting and entertainment hall for the community which also allows and encourages community involvement in plays and various visual and audio arts. All are open to the public.
The society continues to be an ongoing part of the museum’s life. Its members serve as docents, run the gift store, maintain the archives, hold special events, take part in historical re-enactments and participate in archeological digs. They also provide hospitality for both the opening receptions at the gallery and events at the Rose History Auditorium as well as serve as staff in setting up the hall for its events. The membership is very much an invaluable part of the museum today. To become a member click here.
The Marco Island Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supported through donations, membership fees, rental fees of its Rose History Auditorium and sales in our Museum Gift Store.