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Useppa Island, Bokeelia

4.1
#129 of 184 in Nature in Florida
Useppa Island is an island located near the northern end of Pine Island Sound in Lee County, Florida, United States. It has been known for luxury resorts since the late 19th century, and it is currently the home of the private Useppa Island Club. On May 21, 1996, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, due to its archaeological significance. The Barbara Sumwalt Museum is located on the island.NameIn the early 1830s the island was variously called Caldez's Island, Toampe, and Joseffa. Records indicate that José Caldez, who had operated a fishing rancho on the island, called it Josepha's when he sold it in 1833. The name Useppa first appeared on a hydrological chart of the area in 1855.Like the nearby islands of Gasparilla, Sanibel, and Captiva, a folk etymology has developed connecting Useppa Island's name to the legendary pirate captain José Gaspar, also known as Gasparilla. A local folk story, extant in at least two versions, tells of Gaspar kidnapping a Spanish princess, with whom he becomes enamored. When she spurns his advances he kills her, but is overtaken by remorse and buries her himself on the beach. One version identifies the princess as Josefa, daughter of Martín de Mayorga, Viceroy of New Spain from 1779 to 1782, and indicates that her burial place of Useppa Island still bears her name in an altered form.
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73 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • June 3, 2017
    I've lived in Florida most of my life and have been by Useppa many times in my boat but have never been on the island , manly because it is a private island and you must be a member or an invited gues...  more »
  • April 13, 2017
    We arrived on Useppa Island on a Captiva Cruises excursion. This Island is rather small and is very quaint. We had lunch at the Barron Collier Dining Room. This restaurant is located in a beautiful bu...  more »
  • March 30, 2017
    My friend came from France just for a few days, so we didn't go far from Fort Myers where I live, but still I wanted to show her what I love about living in Florida. A short cruise from Captiva to Use...  more »

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