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Useppa Island, Bokeelia

Categories: Islands, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web
Useppa Island is an island located near the northern end of Pine Island Sound in Lee County, Florida. 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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  • Took a day trip to the island and was very pleased. It was beautiful. The grounds were amazing, and it had gorgeous banyan trees. The downside, there was really no beach. The one they did have was not...  read more »
  • We took our son and his wife and children to Useppa for a long weekend, after having rented a boat to use during that time. The house we stayed in was on the beach, and we spent much of the weekend bo...  read more »
  • Scheduled the day trip to this private island which houses a fabulous little museum and a great private club. The boat trip which leaves daily from Captiva allows a non-member to have lunch--which is ...  read more »
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