Thursday, January 20, 2022

Plume Hunters

The Marco Island Historical Society is pleased to announce our next exhibit and an outstanding speaker to introduce it. David Southall, Curator of Education at the Collier County Historical Museum, will join us at 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 9 in the Rose History Auditorium to introduce the subject of plume hunters. His program will be followed by a wine and cheese party. The exhibit will open on Thursday, November 4th from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. The museum will be open from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the exhibit.

The fascination with plumes and other forms of fashion décor came into being with the advent of the Industrial Revolution at the end of the Civil War. Suddenly, American factories could produce clothing and other goods inexpensively, and the craze for fashion accessories grew into a world-wide trade for American workers. A lady of the late 1800’s was not properly dressed without an elaborate, feathered hat. Nineteenth century Florida witnessed the extinction of several native species of birds. Some plume hunters were gentlemen from the northern United States, who came to Florida to hunt for sport. Others made their living bagging the glorious native birds of Florida. Unfortunately, animals around the world were exploited for this demand: buffalo, beaver, alligator, shellfish and birds of all types were slaughtered by the millions in every conceivable area of the globe until people finally began to come to their senses a century later. David will explore the history and results of this unfortunate bit of Americana, and you won’t want to miss his lecture.

Visit our website at for details of our activities, and plan to attend our monthly meetings. There is no charge and the public is welcome.

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