Historic Markers Across Florida


Marker ID:  
Location: On Waterfront Drive, Pineland, FL
County: Lee
Coordinates: N 26° 39.559    W 081° 09.177
  26.65931666    -81.15295
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5JKN


This is the site of a major pre-columbian religious center, thought to be one of the larger villages of the Calusa Indian civilization. Calusa tribes dominated the southwest coast of Florida for thousands of years until the coming of the Spanish explorers. The Pineland mounds form a complex of pyramids and other elevated surfaces which are believed to have possessed religious significance. A large canal excavated by the Indians connected this site with Matlacha on the Eastern shore of Pine Island.

In 1895, archaeologist Frank Cushing traveled to Southwest Florida to investigate the remains of the Calusa civilization. He visited Pineland, then known as Battey´s Landing, and other important sites, including Demorey´s Key (Demere Key), Useppa Island, Johnson´s Key (Mound Key) and Key Marco (Marco Island). He returned to Marco Island the following year and unearthed important artifacts and wood carvings which are the most important remnants of Calusa civilization discovered to date.

These Indian mounds and others like them often provided the early white settlers with a convenient source of road fill. Many mounds have been lost to this process, including large segments of the Pineland site. The mounds also provided high and dry building sites, as they did in the time of the Calusas, and tend to be preserved when used in this fashion. Among the past residents of the Pineland mounds was John L. Lewis, who for many years was head of the United Mine Workers Union.

Site donated to Lee County by Colonel Donald H. Randell


City: Pineland, FL