Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What’s Up on Marco Island Lately? Check Out the “New” at the MIHS

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond

Photos by Jory Westberry | A tranquil setting for special photos or meditation at the Marco Island Historical Museum.

A gigantic replica of the Key Marco Cat in the courtyard will soon be surrounded by pavers donated by supportive community members.

Many of you are familiar with the Marco Island Historical Society, but did you know that the outside property can be enjoyed at most times through the day or weekend? Even with the museums in the country closed due to COVID-19, there are portraits and artwork outside on the walls of the building where it is easier to maintain that 6-foot distance from others as you walk around the perimeter of the building. I was the sole “tourist” for at least 15 minutes, although more visitors came by while I was there. There’s plenty of space between visitors as you walk the grounds.  

I parked on the side of the building and recognized the painting of Tommie Barfield, the first Principal at Tommie Barfield Elementary School before it was named Tommie Barfield Elementary. She was an outstanding leader in her time. There are other portraits painted and framed on the outside of the building, which enables the history of Marco Island to still be enjoyed, even though it is temporarily closed. 

There’s a new Selfie Station by an incredible mural by artist Jarrett Stinchcomb, decorating a small building on the north side of the building. It’s outside the boardwalk that surrounds most of the museum’s exterior and easily accessed by car, bike or walkers. Just gazing at this mural will enhance your appreciation for our local flora and fauna. Stinchcomb’s talent in capturing their natural beauty and authenticity is remarkable. I enjoyed focusing on the close-ups of his work and enviously wished I had that talent.  

 Selfie Station? Yes, you can pose with your family, significant friend(s) in front of the mural and take a photo of yourselves and send it via email, post it on the Marco Island Historical Museum website or print hundreds of copies for your family and friends. The exciting part is hearing their exclamations of wonder, appreciation and envy of the place(s) you’ve been and the amazing selfie you sent. Hopefully, they’ll want to visit Marco Island to experience the mural’s beauty before embarking on other natural adventures in South Florida. 

Sponsorships of the Selfie Station are still available to enable the completion of the mural. Your appreciation and sponsorship of JJ Stinchcomb’s talent will not only benefit the Marco Island Historical Society, but also will entice visitors to Marco Island to visit the museum, dine, and book tourist excursions and experience the beauty of the Marco Island beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. Visit the mural and call the museum at 239-389-6447 or go to for further information. 

While I was strolling the grounds of the Marco Island Historical Museum, I noticed a professional photographer inspecting the grounds searching for the perfect setting for her client. Frankly, there are many. I’m not sure if she was scouting for wedding photos on the bridge over the Calusa Canal (Gift of John and Jeb Baier) or graduation photos or something else, but the venue is unique for all of the above and more. There are benches in strategic places. As a photographer or client, think about its convenience while still providing a picturesque scene without necessitating a studio, a long drive or off-road experience.

Speaking of sponsorships, here’s another that will help reinforce the path from the museum to the statue of the Key Marco Cat in the courtyard. The MIHS is presently offering Bricks of Honor pavers of a size large enough for your favorite quote, or as a tribute to loved onesThere are two sizes with different numbers of characters (letters etc.) and an opportunity for Clipart. Personally, I lean toward the 8×8 engraved brick because there’s more space available. I might even write a poem about the Cat! This is a great way to support the museum, preserve your place in the history of Marco Island and increase the beauty of the courtyard around the Cat. Triple rewards.

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