The ironic thing about the Sanibel Historical Village & Museum (950 Dunlop Rd., 239/472-4648, www.sanibelmuseum.org , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wed.–Sat. Nov.–Apr., 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Wed.–Sat. May–mid-Aug., closed mid-Aug.–Oct., $5) is that the village is only about 20 years old. Although the eight buildings date from between 1898 and 1926, they were all at different places on the island until the 1980s, when they began to be relocated to this central location, refurbished, and opened as a historical attraction.
Despite the relatively young vintage of the “village,” the buildings themselves are quite interesting and include a blue kit house bought from the Sears Roebuck catalog for $2,200 in 1925, a gas station turned tearoom, a one-room schoolhouse, and a tiny post office.
There’s a small museum in the Rutland House with a collection of antiques and artifacts from the area, but the best way to get a feel for Sanibel ’s history is to go on one of the docent-guided tours of the village.