Bonita Springs Historical Society, Inc.



Monday, December 7, Board Meeting, 10 am at Liles Hotel

Society Holiday Party

Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 6pm   

Held at Bonita Fairways Clubhouse - located at 9751 West Terry St., Bonita Springs 34135

$5 suggested donation

Please bring an appetizer to share

Wine, beer & soda provided

Also please bring Toys - unwrapped, which will be collected for distribution to local children by our B.S. Fire Dept.

  1. *For more information, you may contact Nancy & Dick Russell at or 239-498-3329.

2016 Society Luncheon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016  at 11am 

Held at Spanish Wells Country Club off Bonita Beach Rd at 9801 Treasure Cay Lane, Bonita Springs, FL 34135

The theme this year is: "Cuba and Southwest Florida, a 500 year Connection of Soldiers, Smugglers, and Spies" by speaker and author, Robert Macomber. His latest book is "The Assassin's Honor" and you may learn more about him at his website of

  1. *To volunteer to help with the event, please contact event chair, Phyllis Bonfield at or 239-948-9073.

Bonita Springs Historical Society

2016 Speakers Series

The Bonita Springs Historical Society continues the very popular presentations with past audiences filling the room at the Lions Club. Much thanks go to the Lions Club for use of the venue, and to Donna Nemsick, Jane Whitehead, and Jim Sernovitz for organizing the 2016 series, and Terry Lawhon and the Lions for setting up the room, and all those who volunteered to help, and of course our wonderful speakers.

Armchair History

Find out more about our area history from the comfort of the Lions Club

and then get out and explore!

Friday, January 15,   7 PM,  What’s It all about: The Koreshanity

Come with us on a virtual tour of the Koreshan Historic State Park. In 1894 the followers of this new faith, Koreshanity arrived in Estero. They believed that the entire universe existed within a giant hollow sphere. What remains of their community are 11 historic structures that date from 1882-1920 and landscaped grounds. Our speaker is Florida Gulf Coast University Associate Professor of Journalism, Lyn Millner. She is the author of "The Allure of Immortality," a book that looks at the Koreshan colony that was led by Cyrus Teed.

Friday, February 19,   7PM,  The Mound House – the first 2000 years

Parke Lewis, Cultural Resources Coordinator for the Mound House on Fort Myers Beach will help us dig through 2000 years of history at the Mound House - from the  Calusa Indians, Ponce de Leon and the early Cuban fishermen, pioneer days and up to modern times. Ever wonder how a swimming pool could become a museum? Come find out.

Friday, March 11,   7PM,  The Green and the Black

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing has been around since the 1860s and has become a hot issue right here in Lee County. There are two sides to this story.. Gary Sernovitz will speak on “The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight over Fracking, and the Future of Energy.” Sernovitz introduces us to shale as the "Internet of oil," using wit and firsthand knowledge to demonstrate that fracking, when done correctly - safely, with respect for the surrounding environment - is the sustainable way to harness the benefits of the resources we have.

The presentations will be held at the Lions Club, located at 10322 Pennsylvania Ave, Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Click here for their website.

World War II Veterans Video Project

WW II Vet George West talks with Dave Grossi

With Donna Nemsick at the helm BSHS has launched a project capturing the memories and experiences of some of our area World War II veterans. In a kickoff announcement President Ronda Lawhon said, “Our country has a proud history of men and women willing to do whatever it takes to defend our country and its values. The Society is privileged to be part of this project that will tell the stories of some of these veterans.”

This video project honors our veterans and insures their stories live on to educate future generations. All of these stories, whether of valor on the battle field or of serving their country in places out of the limelight, have a place in our history.

Our Plan:   Through contacts with Bonita City Councilman Steve Slachta and the Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee the Veterans’ Project and others, we are meeting with veterans who are willing to tell their stories. Time is running out to capture these stories, and many World War II veterans have been reluctant to share their memories. Perhaps with an eye to the troubled times we live in or to the anniversary of the War’s conclusion or to a feeling that their stories need to be told, veterans have stepped forward to take part in this video project.

Our Crew:   David Grossi is serving as interviewer. Grossi, a decorated Vietnam veteran and retired law enforcement officer, now works as a law enforcement trainer and consultant. He is a past president of the Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee. More than his impressive resume, Mr. Grossi brings to this task a sensitivity and insight that are essential to this role.

Video production is being handled by Antonio Correia. Mr. Correia is an award-winning video producer with over 20 awards. In addition to managing his company Bonita Video Productions, Mr. Correia oversees the city’s Government Access Channel and serves as chair of the Bonita Springs Film Festival.

Our Goal: Our goal is to preserve part of World War II history through the telling of stories of those who took part in it. History is served and preserved not only by text books but also by the telling of experiences of those who fought. We will share these videos both at the Liles Hotel History Center, with schools, civic, veterans and other interested groups.

We would like to thank Bob Gillette of Bonita Bay for his extraordinarily generous contribution that is making this project possible.

Special thanks to:

David Grossi - Interviewer

Antonio Correia - Producer/Videographer

Donna Nemsick - Program Chair

Terraces of Bonita Springs

Cecil's Copy Express

DeRomo's Gourmet Market and Restaurant

The Prado Stadium 12 and Mark Clement

Profound thanks to the participating WWII veterans:

Joseph Bacon           Victor Buckett

Raymond Filmore    Mario Grossi

Myron Kratzer         Alan Moir

Bill Pace                   Lloyd Rauch

George West

We welcome additional contributions to this project. For more information, call Donna Nemsick at 239-498-7979 or Jane Whitehead at 239-390-2092.

Check out our WWII displays in conjunction with the Veterans Video Project

this November at the Liles History Center in Riverside Park and at Bonita Springs Library

Click here for links to view the full interviews!



Events & Upcoming



Liles Hotel History Center

Society Historic Houses

McSwain House

Photogallery Archives



Historic Properties Pamphlet

Bonita History & Links

Images of America book



Society office phone number is (239) 992-6997.

Mailing address:  PO Box 3015, Bonita Springs, FL 34133

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