3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero, FL 33928


Mound Key Tours Donated – Begin December 2nd

Fort Myers, FL – November 29, 2013Six boat tours to Mound Key have been donated by Banana Bay Tour Company to raise funds for a documentary about the remarkable island capital of the Calusa Indians, in production by the Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site. All six tours are offered on Mondays, departing from West Bay in Estero, and include a guided tour by archaeologist Theresa Schober focused on the rich history of Mound Key. A light lunch is provided. Tour dates: December 2, January 13, March 3, April 7, April 14, and May 5. Each tour is limited to 25 people. $45/person. For reservations, call 239.851.9040 or email:

A pledge of support for the documentary, Captain JR Trepper writes, “Banana Bay Tour Company is excited to see the heritage of the Calusa Indians documented and preserved. Everyone should have the advantage to obtain a full awareness of the rich history of the Calusa Indians and the importance of Mound Key and this unique documentary makes that possible. By looking back and learning from our past we can better our lives for the future.” The documentary, a project headed by Schober and the Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site, will premier in 2014.

Schober is a well-known local archaeologist, having conducted archaeological research in the area since 1998, focused on sites in Estero Bay. For nine years she headed the restoration and exhibit development at Mound House on Fort Myers Beach, raising over $4 million dollars for the property and recognition from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. She is co-curator of the ArtCalusa exhibition currently on display at the City Pier Building (former Art of the Olympians) in Ft. Myers.

The documentary has been coordinated in conjunction with the statewide Viva Florida 500 initiative. The most powerful aboriginal group in south Florida, the Calusa were one the first groups encountered during Ponce de León’s 1513 voyage, and Stababa – as the Calusa called Mound Key - one of the first locations mapped. Mound Key was also the site of what may have been the first feast shared between American Indians and early colonizers. Pedro Menéndez was welcomed by Chief Carlos in 1566 with a grand feast – 55 years before the harvest celebration at Plymouth Colony that is the root of the American tradition of Thanksgiving.

Key sponsors of the documentary include the College of Life Foundation, Banana Bay Tour Company, Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero Bay Buddies, Marco Island Historical Society, Estero Historical Society, and Bonita Springs Historical Society with grant funds from the West Coast Inland Navigation District. Documentary partners include Captiva Cruises, Collier Count Museums, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Park Service, Koreshan State Historic Site, Lee Trust for Historic Preservation, Mound Key Archaeological State Park, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, West Bay, and University of Pennsylvania Museum.

The Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site is a volunteer based charitable organization founded in 1987 dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the Koreshan Unity Settlement, a National Register Historic District that consists of the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero and Mound Key Archaeological State Park in Estero Bay.