Tom Phillips Driving Tour Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches

Know the history of your Fort Myers Beach Arches

Tom Phillips Driving Tour Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches

Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931, United States

Created By: Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches, Inc.

Tour Information

This tours is of the historic Fort Myers Beach Arches locations, sites from developer Tom Phillips history, his 1924 stone monument, historic Fort Myers Beach sites, and the Arches remains. Our goal is to help build Fort Myers Beach's community appreciation for its icon from the historic past, resources, and significant architecture. This self-guided driving tour accompanied will show our recent and quickly disapearing past.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

 The Davidson Cottage belonged to one of just 9 land owners when Tom Phillips built his 1st Matanzas Pass Bridge in 1921. The map shows just 9 homesteads in 1918.  Even one Ambrose McGregor a very philantropist of the time.  Davidson Cot... Read more
Wonderful Fort Myers Beach Former Mayor Anita Cereceda made her first video in "Local Color" (her twice monthly magazine) about the Arches. This made my heart warm inside this morning. Let's put them back. Read more
When Tom Phillips installed the 1st bridge over Matanzas Pass in 1921.  He charge roughly  50 cents a car.  Sometime there would be 200 cars a day.    The first Casino in Fort Myers Beach was built by Tom Phillips in 1921 at 1270 Ester... Read more
 Developer Tom Phillips and the San Carlos on the Gulf Corperation dug the 1st Canal on Fort Myers Beach behind Canal Steet.  They sold small lots for cottages to mostly fishermen.  The cost was between $400 - $1000.   Frank Green and ... Read more
 The Tom Phillips built the 1st wood bridge accross Matanzas Pass in 1921.  It landed very near on the Island near Snug Harbour Marina.   It was replaced in 1926 after the Great Miami Hurricane.  Presumably the bridge was bought used f... Read more
 In 1924 Tom Phillips built his Arches. They were the iconic front door to Fort Myers Beach.  Beloved by it's citizens and vistors.  The Arches were the gateway to Fort Myers Beach.  They were adjacent to Jack's for many years.  The bu... Read more
The sales pavilion was built on the east side just through the Arches in 1924 and was the place people came to look at the future of San Carlos and get information to buy small lots for beach cottages range from $400-1000.  The San Carlos... Read more
 The Stone Monument was one of many stone structures built by Tom Phillips in 1924.  The Stone Monument is also built with the same construction style the Arches were built with Coquina Stone and Grout Lines in steel reinforce concrete. ... Read more
The 1926 Great Miami Hurricane that ended the boom of the late 1920s in this area, created the waterway Estero Pass just pass the end of the road.  There were no bridges on the north end of San Carlos, San Carlos was not an island prior t... Read more
Estero Pass to the west, Hurricane Pass a here, and Hurricane Bay to the east were all created by the great Miami Hurricane in 1926.  The planners of that era put this bridge in first as a wooden bridge that was still here in the 1970s. ... Read more
Frank Hemelgarn was a bit of an go getter.  He ran Time Square and the Tip Top.  He is the one that put the rock wall in next to what is now the Pierside and the Pier after Hurricane Donna.  Some say he was the first to use the phrase "... Read more
Tom Phillips built stone structures all over the area.  Of note was the Bell Tower built at the corner of McGregor and the new San Carlos Blvd in 1926.  It show vistors were to to and how to get to San Carlos.    This intersection had ... Read more
John Morris Road to Bunche Beach, then continue left down a small strip of land to Mantanzas Pass.  Prior to 1926 this was the way to Fort Myers Beach.  This is a very pristine and alive beach.  Vistors can see many things in the Mangrov... Read more


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