of Florida's tiny fishing towns are disappearing and giving
way to McDonald's, high rises and hotel chains. But not Matlacha.
Here you still find cozy cottages, bed & breakfasts, fishermen
tending their nets, bait shops and shrimp boats.
housing started in the 20's. The bridge to Pine island was
completed in 1927. Fishing shanties and squatter shacks appeared
on the Island. Many of them have survived to present day.
The area around the Matlacha Bridge was made famous by Ft.
Myers author, Richard Powell, in his book, Pioneer Go Home.
This book was made into an Elvis Presley movie called "Follow
Bar is composed of two buildings. The original building was
the bar near the road. It was build in the 30's as a "sweet
shoppe". Then in 1941 the "hotel" building
was built. It consisted of eight sleeping rooms. During WWII,
army bases were set up at Page Field and many of the soldiers
would come out for a weekend to Matlacha to go fishing off
the "fishingest bridge in Florida" at Matlacha Pass.
of the hotel
and bar. Stories abound that the hotel
had the reputation
of "ill repute" and ladies of the night. Imagine
time after WWII the bar became known as "Mother's."
In the seventies, the bar became known as the Tri Dilly Inn
and then Harry's Barge Inn. The hotel continued to operate
up to the 70's.
It was the home to many a local fisherman. Shrimp boats were
parked out back of the Inn. We still have deep water at the
end of the dock as a result of that.
the place was purchased by Bert Clubb, a famous Lee County
bar operator. Hence the name Bert's. Bert's became the bar
of choice for many people from all over Lee & Charlotte
has even been said that there were "Dancers" in
the back room (formerly the hotel). Bert operated the establishment
for many years and then sold it to a long time employee.
In 2000 the establishment was sold again, the name stayed
and the legend lives on. Over Seventy years.
has had a colorful seventy years of history and is the home
of many stories of its past. If only the walls could talk.