Preserving, protecting, and promoting our community's history for over 30 years
The Bonita Springs Historical Society (BSHS) was formed in 1984 by a small group of dedicated individuals who shared an interest in discovering and preserving the unique heritage of this area. Over 30 years later, the Society continues to strive to build enthusiasm and share historical knowledge about Bonita Springs with its mission to record, preserve and promote its history.
The McSwain Home
Joseph and Elizabeth McSwain arrived in the settlement of Survey with six children in 1901. Having come from Osyka, Mississippi, the last leg of their trip from Fort Myers was by oxcart, requiring the oldest children to walk. They settled on the banks of the Imperial River (Surveyor's Creek) in an area near I-75 where they went to work and built a thatched roof cabin made of logs and mud.
About 1915 the McSwains built their new home further west. Despite the fact that the most common mode of transportation at that time was by water, they chose this site some distance away from the Imperial River on the dirt road called Heitman Avenue, later to become part of the Tamiami Trail and now known as Old 41. It would be two years later before this section of road between Naples and Ft. Myers was even considered passable by car.
Fast forward to the 1970's
Many years later, in the 1970‘s, the home was purchased by Hudon and Ann Humphries. They had two children, Robert and Diane. Hudon was a respected pharmacist. Ann was recognized as a renowned doll maker, artist, and collector. In fact, several of her pieces were sold at Christies Fine Art Auction in New York.
In 2011, the Bonita Springs Historical Society was gifted a house and property in Old Bonita. The generous donation was from the estate of Hudon and Ann Humphries. True to their fashion, the family bequeathed their home unbeknownst to the Society.
The property is located on Old US41 Road and extends to Felts Avenue. The house is one of the oldest in Bonita Springs. Built in 1915, it is known as the McSwain House in reference to the original builders. The simple wood structure has survived several hurricanes, a testament to its strength.
The McSwain Home Now
Through careful restoration and thoughtful design, we aim to preserve the integrity of this important piece of our cultural heritage, while also creating a dynamic environment that serves the needs of our community today and into the future.
Take a virtual tour
Or come by for a free in person tour.
Become a member, help support our local history
The Bonita Springs Historical Society was formed in 1984 by a small and dedicated group of individuals who shared an interest in discovering and preserving the unique heritage of the area. The Society strives to build enthusiasm about Bonita Springs, and to share historical knowledge with the community.
Working Towards Common Goals