Located at the corner of Crescent Street and Estero, the Pelican Building was constructed in 1933 by C.I. Yent as a wooden structure which operated as a grocery store. It became an up-to-date grocery and market, which was also known as a "juke joint" and drug store, with a soda fountain where you could enjoy an ice cream sundae or a martini.
The property was traded in 1938 to Harry Steel, who replaced the building with a concrete and coquina rock facade. It remained a grocery store and later served as a bakery, photography shop, and post office for many years. Later, it was run as a dry goods emporium and is best remembered as the popular "Cotton Shop," with bolts of fabrics and materials for quilting, threads, buttons, zippers, and wool for knitting.
During WWII, no gas was available for a trip to Fort Myers, so it became the place on the Island to find just what was needed for curtains, sheets, and clothing. It was a haven for many of the island women to gather and discuss fashion. It remained for years as just the "Cotton Shop", withstanding storms and hurricanes, remarkably surviving Hurricane Donna in 1960. Although TPI purchased the land where the original building sat, they planned to keep the historic structure and incorporate it into their resort plans. Unfortunately, as with other historic sites, the old building did not survive the storm.
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