All of the Village of Estero Councilmembers and about 100 others attended the grand opening of the historic 1904 Estero Creek Schoolhouse on Saturday, March 5.

Charles Dauray, Estero Historical Society and College of Life Foundation, served as master of ceremonies.

Left to right: Don Brown, Howard Levitan, Nick Batos, Charles Dauray, Beverly MacNellis, Katy Errington, Jim Boesch

Left to right: Don Brown, Howard Levitan, Nick Batos, Charles Dauray, Beverly MacNellis, Katy Errington, Jim Boesch

Mayor Batos read a proclamation from the Village Council and presented a framed photograph of the first Village Council to be displayed in the schoolhouse. Marlene Fernandez gave a short history of the school, and Charles Dauray donated a portrait of George Washington to hang in the schoolhouse.

Keynote speaker was Dr. J. F. “Jeff” McCullers, a native Esteroan who described passing the school and Collier home when they were both inhabited. He also gave a lively history of the Lee County school system from its inception to current times.

The school was originally built as a one-room school, which expanded to two rooms in 1911. The school closed after 23 years of operation.

The Estero Historical Society received county grant funds and generous donations from the College of Life Foundation to move and restore the school and cottage.

Tours of both facilities followed the ceremony.  The event was sponsored by the Estero Historical Society which was formed about 16 years ago in order to protect and preserve the area’s historical and cultural resources.