NAME: Punta Rassa
COMMENTS: Punta Rassa is the area on SR 867 just before you cross the bridge for Sanibel Island (on the south side of the Caloosahatchee River.) The town site is directly behind a fishing camp near the bridge.
REMAINS: Little if anything.

Punta Rassa was a cattle shipping town in the 1800's. Florida cattle would be loaded onto ships destined for Cuba. It was one of the home bases for the "King of the Cracker Cowboys" Jake Summerlin who by the time he was 40 was one of the wealthiest of the Florida cattle barons. Although you would never know it to look at him. Punta Rassa was a town lined with wooden buildings with a hotel and many bars. This was to entertain the many merchants and cattle sellers. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin

Update:From 1835 - 1865 Punta Rassa was a site of many indian skirmishes during the Seminole Indian Wars where Fort Dulaney was built. Fort Dulaney was used again during the Civil War when Punta Rassa became a thriving South Florida Port. At the end of the Civil War the area was abandoned. In 1869 the International Ocean Cable Company of Newark NJ (later becoming Western Union) made Punta Rassa as the Southern most end of the telegraph line. Crew foreman, George Schultz became the telegraph operator in the abandoned Ft. Dulaney Barracks (see picture). Schultz and his wife lived in one end and the telegraph office was in the other section. When cattle came to Punta Rassa the Schultz's found themselves letting Florida cowboys bed down on their floor during the cattle drives. They were fed for $1.50 a meal. From this an Inn was born. In 1880's the area became known as a great sport fishing area and was frequented by the wealthy. In 1906 the Inn caught fire and burned to the ground. The resort was missed so much that wealthy patrons raised funds to rebuild and in 1907, for $40,000, the Schultz Company Hotel was created. (see picture) This Inn withstood the hurricane of 1910 but burned down again in 1913. - Mike Woodfin

"Barracks" - built by the U.S. Government during the Seminole War (1835) under Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock. This building housed the farthest south cable station from 1866 to 1906 when the building burned. (photo courtesy of the Florida State Archives)

Schultz Company Hotel - at the turn of the century. (photo courtesy of the Florida State Archives)

Punta Rassa Hotel in 1913 (photo courtesy of the Florida State Archives)

Only remaining docks and pilings from original Punta Rassa
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Original (Renovated) Ferry Boat Office
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Only remaining part of the Telegraph Building found among the condos.
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Original remaining piling for demolished home
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

This plaque was placed to honor the demolished Telegraph Building. This was the Southern most terminus of the US telegraph line and the occassion on the plaque is self-explanatory
Courtesy Mike Woodfin

Punta Rassa
Courtesy Mike Woodfin