History of Cape Coral
The Rosen Brothers
Cape Coral was founded in 1957, when brothers Jack and Leonard Rosen purchased a 103-sq mile tract of land, formerly known as Redfish Point. Filled with barren wetlands and wild palmetto thickets, the brothers formed The Gulf American Corporation to develop the “Waterfront Wonderland”, and on November 4 of that year, ground was officially broken as Cape Coral.
Creating the Canal System
A year later the first residents moved in. These pioneers had to drive a long distance to get anywhere – almost 20 miles for a loaf of bread! So the Rosen’s took action, and carefully plotted the community. They brought in the largest single shipment of earth-moving equipment in Florida development history to begin digging more than 400 miles of canals. The soil dredged up from the canals was then used as fill dirt for home sites to bring the level of the ground up to the required 5 feet 6 inches.
Cape Coral Comes Alive
Soon, with major promotion through mail order programs and ads on radio, television and print media, northerners slowly made their way down south to the blossoming city. The brothers sold nearly all of the 350,000 residential building sites to people who lived in other states. Cape Coral continued to grow extremely quickly, recording 10,000 residents within the first ten years of its existence.
Cape Coral Today
Just over 50 years later, this relatively young city thrives with life. By 2015, “The Cape” was considered safer than 38% of the cities in the United States. It is the 2nd largest city in Florida in terms of land mass, stretching across 120-sq miles. Filled with parks, canals, excitement and opportunity, it’s easy to see why Cape Coral is one of the country’s best kept secrets.