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Cape Coral Living Magazine

Lynn Hall Memorial Park

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Lynn Hall Memorial Park is located on Ft. Myers Beach, just north of the foot of Matanzas Pass Bridge, next to "Times Square" in the heart of downtown. This lively Gulf-front park is conveniently located adjacent to shopping and restaurants. It features a licensed fishing pier with bait/gift shop, shelters with grills for picnicking (available on a first come first serve basis only), outdoor freshwater rinse off showers, restrooms with changing facilities and accessible beach access.

Amenities: Gulf beach, toilets, picnic tables, playground, pavilion, grill areas, food concessions, fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch, bike racks, parking lot.

Estero Island in the early years was called "Crescent Island" or "Ft. Myers Beach." It gained popularity with the opening of a wooden bridge in 1921, but the existing roads of that time made it difficult to get to island. After a hurricane in 1926 the bridge was torn down, a concrete one put in it's place and a new, more direct road was constructed, which eventually became known as San Carlos Boulevard. The road remains today, but the bridge was replaced a least one more time before the present "Sky Bridge" of today. With the replacement of the bridge, the addition of the new road and easier access the island became more popular for recreational activities.

In the 1930's a wooden fishing pier was constructed and the adjacent area was utilized for parking, picnicking, swimming and sunbathing with no amenities. These would later become to be known as the "Ft. Myers Beach Pier" and "Ft. Myers Beach Park." The wooden pier not only accommodated pedestrians, but some people used to drive their vehicles out on it. The difficulty came when they had to be backed all the way back off as it did not have the "T" or apron on the end as of today.

The County acquired the five acre facility in November of 1949. The area remained relatively unchanged until 1953. At that time the county built a bathhouse and had caretakers that lived at the park fulltime. The mid-1970's brought the new concrete pier of today with the "T" or apron on the end (dedicated in October of 1976) and the addition of a staffed "gatehouse" for paid parking for the first time at .25 cents per hour.

The name changes - Late one night in April of 1979 on a routine traffic stop inside the park, Deputy Lynn Hall, of the Lee County Sheriff's Department, approached a parked vehicle to ascertain why it was there. The vehicle contained a wanted fugitive, a struggle ensued, and the fugitive was able to get Officer Hall's weapon and use it on him, which lead to his death. The Sheriff's department made a request to the Board of County Commissioners in office at that time and a vote was passed to rename the park to "Lynn Hall Memorial Park" and was officially dedicated in memory of him in December of 1981.

The biggest changes came in the late-1980's, the gatehouse and bathhouse were razed. This allowed for the construction of a new bathhouse (still in place today), a blacktop parking lot with marked spaces and the addition of parking meters at .25 cents per 20 minutes. The Grand re-opening was held in June of 1989.

In May of 1991 a storm came through with very rough seas, which caused extensive damage. The wooden beach accesses were almost completely destroyed, parts of the sidewalks and roads were washed out and portions of the pier collapsed in to the water. The park was not restored, but repaired as is, due to changes in the laws governing coastal construction. The pier was also repaired, saw the addition of a new approach, along with an adjacent, new replacement beach access and was re-opened to the public in February of 1992. Other than a couple of beach re-nourishment projects, the park has remained relatively unchanged since that time.