This year’s holiday exhibit at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village will focus on the history of each of its nine historical buildings. The exhibit, ““Trees, Timelines, & Special Memories” opens December 3.


After much research, village volunteers have found each building to have an interesting history all its own. A timeline will be exhibited in each building telling the tale of that building’s life through the years. Holiday trees and exhibits will reflect the items found on the timelines.


“After researching the timelines of each of our village buildings, we found we had some blank spaces,” said Board Member Gayle Pence, chair of the holiday event. “We’re hoping some islanders can help fill in the blanks.”


For example, more information is needed about “The Island School of Dance” operated by Coralie Rumbold. It possibly operated at the Bailey Store building from 1969 to 1972.


Information is also needed on who occupied what was Charlotta’s Tea Room from the 1950s until it was moved to the Historical Village in 1991.


“We also would like more information on the Pirate’s Playhouse and The Schoolhouse Theatre when they occupied the 1896 Schoolhouse,” Gayle said. “We would love to make copies of old report cards from the Schoolhouse and playbills from the Pirate’s Playhouse and The Schoolhouse Theatre.”


Finally, volunteers would like to know the exact dates Adelaide Bailey operated “The Red Pelican” in the 1926 Bailey store.


“Having this additional information would enrich the knowledge we have about these people, places, and things,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “It’s important to fill in as many blanks as we can before the information is lost forever.”


Please call Alfino at (239) 472-4648 if you have any information. “Everyone at the village – and in the community – would be grateful for this knowledge,” Alfino said.


The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In accordance with the city of Sanibel’s regulations, masks are required inside the buildings. Full guided tours are available only if reserved in advance for groups of no more than six, depending on docent availability. This precautionary measure is due to COVID-19. “We hope to be able to resume our regular tours, at 10:30 and 1:30, as soon as possible and within safety guidelines,” Alfino said.


The Sanibel Historical Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. The village has handicap access to all but one building, the tiny Post Office. For more information, call (239) 472-4648 during museum hours or visit