Like a memory-filled family album, the new book "Images of America: Bonita Springs" opens a door to the past of this fast-growing community in Southwest Florida.
Filled with more than 200 historic photos, "Bonita Springs" tells Bonita's story — how it grew from a small fruit plantation in the late 1800s into a major tourist destination during the early 20th century, from a traditional Deep South community into a melting pot of longtime families, immigrants, snowbirds and thousands more.
"There are so many fascinating secrets and stories about this community that many current residents and visitors don't realize," said Chris Wadsworth, a veteran journalist and the book's co-author. "Each building, park, street and home has a tale to tell."
Mr. Wadsworth teamed up with Allison Fortuna, the historian and archivist for the Bonita Springs Historical Society to create this treasure trove of fascinating facts and warm recollections. The duo pored over more than a thousand photos, selecting only the best to be featured in the book. Copious research and
interviews with longtime residents contributed greatly to the book's rich photographic images and captions.
"We wanted to be absolutely sure that we were capturing the true history of Bonita Springs," said Ms. Fortuna. "We researched decades-old documents in the historical society's archives and double checked our information and stories with some of Bonita's oldest families and residents."
The book is part of the popular "Images of America" series published by Arcadia Publishing, based in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The company has produced more than 5,000 regional and local history books covering communities all over the United States.
The book is available at local bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Books- A-Million and Borders as well as all local Walgreens stores. It is also available online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble. com and other online booksellers.