"What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet." - a famous quote from the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet.
On Oct. 19, 1900, Robert Glover and his wife, Elisabeth, of Hillsborough County, sold 19 acres of land on Pine Island to Henry and Minta Martin for $100. That property is located in the northwest part of our island and was known back then as Batty's Landing, so named after William Batty, who purchased 142 acres here in 1885. At the time, the Martins acquired their property there were 30 to 40 other people living in the area.
The nearest Post Office for the Martins and their neighbors was over 12 miles away in St. James City. This was an all-day journey there and back if by walking, and only slightly shorter time by horseback. In an attempt to open a Post Office closer to them, Minta Martin made an application to the U.S. government to establish a Post Office on a portion of the land they had purchased from the Glovers.
Two of the fish shacks located off Pine Island.
In the application she suggested a number of names for it including "Pre," in honor of the race of people who dwelt there before the American Indians; "Sisal," for the hemp that grew wild on the local shell mounds; "Myrtle, Mastie, Rubber;" and the name of "Garmal-gamey," for the growth that was taking place at Batty's Landing at the time. This was all according to a document found in the safe at the Pineland Post Office in the 1980s.
The government granted Minta her request for that Post Office and selected the name for it from the first suggestion on her application, Pineland. If we ask the residents of Pineland today "what's in a name," I am sure they are thankful they are not living in Garmalgamey, Fla.
That is your Museum of the Islands This Month in History
For more history of Pine Island visit us Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We are conveniently located next to the library.