Epic Fires of Fort Myers

How a Series of Early Fires Influenced the Town's Development, Volume I

by Thomas P. Hall

Epic Fires of Fort Myers

Epic Fires of Fort Myers

How a Series of Early Fires Influenced the Town's Development, Volume I

by Thomas P. Hall

Published Oct 12, 2018
140 Pages
Genre: HISTORY / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)


Book Details

Fire gave impetus to the formation of Lee County; fire cost Fort Myers its position as the epicenter of sport fishing and bragging rights as Tarpon Capital of the World; and between 1903 and 1907, fire threatened to reduce the entire business district to smoldering rubble, not once, but twice. Volume 1 of Epic Fires is a compelling chronology covering five fires, with stories of total loss and devastation, gritty courage, larger-than-life heroics and, above all, pioneer perseverance.

As fascinating as these vignettes are on their own merits, the real charm of Epic Fires is its ability to transport readers back in time to experience what life was like during the timeframe in which each fire occurred. The Chapter Notes accompanying each fire provide hundreds of new facts, figures and observations based upon in-depth research into the annals of Fort Myers’ historical records. Each chapter also contains expert analysis of the fires and offers fire prevention and safety tips relevant to the present day. This instruction is informed by the extensive education, training and experience of the current and past chiefs of the Fort Myers Fire Department.

“Epic Fires is epic storytelling and a riveting read. The author’s exhaustive research has produced a book that is far from exhausting. It is a lively and fascinating look into little-known chapters of Fort Myers’ history.”

Glenn Miller, President
Southwest Florida Historical Society

“During our early days, not even our legendary families were safe from fire. This remarkably detailed look back at our past also holds many modern-day life safety and fire protection lessons – a true gift to our present and future citizens.”

Randall P. Henderson, Jr.
Mayor, City of Fort Myers

“More than a meticulously researched chronicle of the disasters that shaped Fort Myers, this book details the historical moment of each blaze, creating a rich portrait of a community forged and tempered by fire. A must-read for anyone interested in area history, with riches for newcomers and experts alike.”

Amy Bennett Williams
The News-Press senior writer


About the Author

Thomas P. Hall

Thomas P. Hall is an arts advocate, local historian, and co-author of Female Pioneers of Fort Myers. Tom currently serves as the City of Fort Myers Public Art Consultant. In this capacity, he advises the City’s Public Art Committee regarding the administration of the City’s collection, and is responsible for placing narrative and audio recordings on a free phone app known as Otocast that brief users on site-specific historical stories reflected by each work of art.

Also by Thomas P. Hall

Epic Fires of Fort Myers - Volume II
Historic Hurricanes of Fort Myers