Cape Coral, FL was founded in 1957 by real estate developers Leonard and Jack Rosen. After two weeks of flying over the Florida peninsula looking for land to develop, they finally settled on Cape Coral. Legend has it Leonard threw some coins out of the window when flying over the land for good luck.
Uniquely situated on a peninsula on the gulf side of Florida, the land is bordered by the Caloosahatchee River and the Matlacha Pass on the east and west, respectively. The Rosens viewed the land as a golden opportunity for real estate development because of this prime location. The Rosens founded the Gulf American Corporation to develop the area and used a unique strategy to create an unbelievably large amount of waterfront property to maximize real estate profits–the canals. Over four hundred miles of canals were dug, even though the land that comprises Cape Coral, originally known as Red Fish Point, is only 115 square miles. Cape Coral is said to have more canals than any other city in the world.
Thanks to the development efforts of the Rosens, the city grew at a remarkable pace and was promoted like no other. Free plane rides were used to introduce potential buyers to the land, and community features like a yacht club, pier, country club, and the famous Rose Garden were added to increase the draw for potential settlers, most of whom came from northern states. Less than eight years after the Rosens set out to develop the city, a two lane bridge was opened, making the city more accessible. The city was incorporated in August of 1970.
The city is roughly 90 miles south of Sarasota and is the principal city in the Cape Coral, Fort Myers area of Florida. By land mass, the city is the third largest in the state and is home to over 150,000 people.