Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just an old store

Shortly after my ancestors moved to Cortez, Florida in the 1880s a wood frame store was built on the waterfront. It was a simple structure and they probably thought it would do for a while. I am sure they never expected it to outlive them.

It was used over the years not just as a store but a hotel, residence and in more recent years as a U.S. Coast Guard station. It survived not just 100 years facing the the harsh coastal wind but several direct hits by hurricanes.

When the government wanted to build a new home for the Coast Guard the 100 year old store was scheduled to be demolished.

The current residents of Cortez scrambled to save it, find a place to store it temporarily and then made plans to restore it. The temporary storage lasted over 13 years but it was finally moved to a permanent location and renovation begun. The goal is to have a family life museum in the store, to celebrate all the families who grew up, lived and died with the store.

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