Estero, Florida
Estero is a census-designated place
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

 (CDP) in Lee County
Lee County, Florida
Lee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. Located in southwest Florida, the principal cities in the county are Fort Myers and Cape Coral...

, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. As of the 2010 census
United States Census, 2010
The Twenty-third United States Census, known as Census 2010 or the 2010 Census, is the current national census of the United States. National Census Day was April 1, 2010 and is the reference date used in enumerating individuals...

, the CDP population was 18,176. It is the home of Germain Arena
Germain Arena
Germain Arena is a 7,128-seat multi-purpose arena in Estero, Florida, United States.The arena was first named Everblades Arena in 1998 after the hockey team that played there. TECO Energy was the first company to obtain the naming rights to the building, changing the name to TECO Arena. In 2004,...

, which hosts the home games for the Florida Everblades
Florida Everblades
The Florida Everblades are an ECHL ice hockey team playing in the Southeast Division. The team is based in Estero, Florida and plays at Germain Arena . The team has existed since 1998...

The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey with teams scattered across the United States...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team and the Florida Firecats af2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

 arena football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

 team. Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University, also known as FGCU, is a coeducational public university located just south of the Southwest Florida International Airport in the South Fort Myers region of unincorporated Lee County, Florida, United States. The university belongs to the 11-campus State University...

 is also located just outside of the Estero Planning District in Fort Myers. It is known as a College Town
College town
A college town or university town is a community which is dominated by its university population...


Estero is part of the Cape Coral
Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral is a municipality located in Lee County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. Founded in 1957 and developed as a master-planned, pre-platted community, the city grew to a population of 154,305 by the year 2010. With an area of , Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and...

Fort Myers
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. Its population was 62,298 in the 2010 census, a 29.23 percent increase over the 2000 figure....

 Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Estero is located at 26°25′56"N 81°48′34"W (26.432237, -81.809447).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the CDP has a total area of 21.1 square miles (54.6 km²), of which, 21.1 square miles (54.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square mile (0.258998811 km²) of it (0.24%) is water.

Historically and culturally, the heart of Estero is the spring-fed Estero River
Estero River (Florida)
The Estero River is a waterway in south Lee County, Florida, near the census-designated place of Estero. It flows from east to west, emptying into Estero Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico.-General Information:Topography:...

, which flows to Estero Bay
Estero Bay (Florida)
Estero Bay, Florida, is an estuary located on the west coast of the state southeast of Fort Myers Beach. The bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, is long and very shallow, and covers about . Estero Bay is bordered on the west by a chain of barrier islands: Estero Island, Long Key, Lovers Key,...

. Some of the earliest European settlers of the area (notably the Alvarez, Fernandez, Johnson, and Soto families) were fishing families that lived on Mound Key
Mound Key Archeological State Park
Mound Key Archeological State Park is a Florida State Park, located in Estero Bay, near the mouth of the Estero River. One hundred and thirteen of the island's one hundred and twenty-five acres are managed by the park system...

, a mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

-ringed island that dominates Estero Bay. During the early 20th century, these families moved upriver to the settlement which came to be known as Estero. Estero is also the location of a utopian community called the Koreshan Unity
Koreshan Unity
The Koreshan Unity was a communal utopia formed by Cyrus Teed, who took the name "Koresh", the Hebrew version of his name Cyrus . The Koreshans followed Teed's beliefs, called Koreshanity....

, which is now preserved as the Koreshan State Historic Site
Koreshan State Historic Site
The Koreshan State Historic Site is a state park in Lee County, Florida located on U.S. Highway 41 at Corkscrew Road. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places...

. Until the 1970s, most settlement and development in Estero was near the river.

The only governing body exclusive to the community of Estero is the fire department. The fire department was created in 1964 and petitioned the State of Florida for Special District classification in 1976 (Florida State Statute 76-408). The boundaries of the Estero Fire Department are typically referred to as Estero. The borders of Estero include Estero Bay to the west; the city of Bonita Springs to the south; San Carlos Park
San Carlos Park, Florida
San Carlos Park is a census-designated place in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 16,317 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Cape Coral–Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 and Three Oaks
Three Oaks, Florida
Three Oaks is a census-designated place in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,255 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Cape Coral–Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 to the north; and Collier County to the east.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 9,503 people, 4,608 households, and 3,336 families residing in the CDP. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 450.7 people per square mile (174.1/km²). There were 7,345 housing units at an average density of 348.4/sq mi (134.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.43% White, 0.64% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.19% of the population.

There were 4,608 households out of which 10.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 2.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.31.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 9.2% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 14.1% from 25 to 44, 31.1% from 45 to 64, and 40.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $43,734, and the median income for a family was $51,227. Males had a median income of $38,886 versus $27,883 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the CDP was $30,521. About 1.9% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

Public Safety

Estero's fire protection is provided by Estero Fire Rescue. Founded in 1964, Estero Fire Rescue operates 4 fire stations and one administrative complex. In addition to fire protection, Estero Fire Rescue provides emergency medical services consisting of Advanced Life Support (ALS), vehicle extrication, hazardous materials mitigation, fire prevention and public education. Daily staffing includes members of Florida Task Force 6, a regional Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) capable of providing technical rescue for structural collapse, trench, high-angle rope, swift water/flood and confined space rescue.

Apparatus include 1 battalion chief, 2 engine companies, 2 ladder companies, 1 truck company, 1 rescue unit, 3 brush trucks, 1 water tanker and 1 air and light unit. 5 apparatus are staffed around the clock with 17 firefighters. All staffed apparatus are equipped with Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment and paramedics which provide quick emergency care.

Estero Fire Rescue is a State of Florida Independent Special District and is governed by a five member commission board. The Board of Fire Commissioners (BOFC) oversee the organization by setting policy and establishing an operating budget by collecting taxes based on property value assessments. In addition the BOFC is responsible for hiring a Fire Chief to manage the daily operations of the organization.


Estero was established and incorporated by the followers of Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed
Cyrus Teed
Cyrus Reed Teed was a U.S. eclectic physician and alchemist turned religious leader and messiah. In 1869, claiming divine inspiration, Dr...

, who proposed a theory of that we live on the inside of the Earth's outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth. This theory, which he called Koreshan Unity
Koreshan Unity
The Koreshan Unity was a communal utopia formed by Cyrus Teed, who took the name "Koresh", the Hebrew version of his name Cyrus . The Koreshans followed Teed's beliefs, called Koreshanity....

, drew followers to purchase and occupy a 320 acres (1.3 km²) tract in 1894. They were business-oriented and lived communally, prospering enough to found its own political party ("The Progressive Liberty Party") and incorporate the town in 1904 as Estero. The 1908 death of Dr. Teed (who claimed to be immortal) was a critical blow to the group's faith, whose membership dwindled into the 1960s. The Foundation remains as "The College of Life Foundation," which contributed (for example) at least $25,000 to the Gulf Shore Playhouse in or around 2007. The Koreshans' original tract is now owned by Florida as the Koreshan State Historic Site
Koreshan State Historic Site
The Koreshan State Historic Site is a state park in Lee County, Florida located on U.S. Highway 41 at Corkscrew Road. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places...


External links

Cultural Attractions

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