History of Estero
The Village of Estero, newly incorporated, is named after the Estero River that opens into Estero Bay, a protected aquatic preserve. Several locations within the village offer access to the River for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Estero has an exciting past starting centuries ago when the Calusa Indians settled along the shores of the fresh water of the Estero River. In the late 1800’s followers of Dr. Cyrus Teed moved from Chicago to 30 acres along the river. Claiming Divine inspiration, Dr. Teed took on the name Koresh and proposed a new set of religious ideas he called Koreshanity. He then founded the Koreshan Unite commune seeking to build a new Jerusalem in Estero. After he died in 1908 the group went into decline and finally disappeared in 1961 leaving the Koreshan State Historic Site behind. Today visitors can fish, boat, hike and picnic where Teed and his followers once created their own utopia. The State run park has a full-facility campground, a boat ramp and canoe/kayak rentals area available. Eleven of the historic structures are maintained by the state and visitors may take a guided tour and hear the fascinating story of this unique culture.
Nick Batos, the first Mayor of the Village, led the incorporation referendum which culminated in the incorporation of Estero as a city. To quote him, “We used to be a place between Fort Myers and Naples, now they’re equally distant away from us.”
When asked to describe the culture and mindset of Estero, he said the residents are a mix of retirees and working families. It’s a place rightly called paradise and it has everything one would want close to you – shopping, golf courses, a place to fish, an airport, a university, great health care facilities and a short drive to the beautiful Bonita Beaches.
With city lines delicately drawn in some instances, many lovely communities now have Estero as their address. With Bonita Springs to the south and Fort Myers to the north, prior to the incorporation, Estero properties either had a Bonita Springs or a Fort Myers address. Now legally within the city lines of Estero, some communities still retain their Bonita Springs address while others have changed. When the boundary line actually cut into a community, the residents were allowed to vote on whether to stay as they were or to annex on to the new village. The Colony at Pelican Landing voted to stay within Pelican Landing’s Bonita address. The northern boundary zig zags along Estero Parkway encompasses Belle Lago and The Reserve at Estero.
A big coup for Estero was the location of Hertz World Headquarters within the village. The company announced in May 2013 that it was moving its headquarters from Park Ridge, N.J. to Estero. The corporation celebrated its opening at the new location in January, 2016.The new 248,600 sq. ft. building has over 625 employees, many new hires from the area.
There are many choices when it comes to real estate in Estero. West Bay Club, Pelican Sound, Marsh Landing, Fountain Lakes, The Brooks, Stoneybrook, Wildcat Run, Grandezza, Belle Lago, The Reserve at Estero, Rookery Pointe and Osprey Cove all are within the Village Boundaries. You can buy a nice condo in the mid 200’s, a home in the 300’s up to well over a million dollars. There’s something for everyone.
When you talk about the “good life” it certainly includes the Village of Estero.