2645 Michigan Avenue

Cottage of Elizabeth M. “Bettye” Felton

This modest one-story cottage was constructed in 1950, according to Lee County tax records.  It replaced an earlier one-story bungalow that was built on the property in 1922 by James H. Ingram, who worked at the nearby Grocerteria on Royal Palm Avenue.  Mr. Ingram had purchased the vacant parcel on March 10, 1922, from Dean Development Company for $900, subject to a restriction that any home built on the property cost at least $3,000.  By December 1922, the house was completed, and Mr. Ingram ran an ad in the News-Press offering the house for sale, but there were no takers.  Eventually he and his wife, Ruth, sold the house in 1925 for $7,500.

In 1942, after many intervening owners, the 1922 bungalow was purchased by Elizabeth M. “Bettye” Felton, a Fort Myers real estate agent.  She lived next door at 2647 Michigan and purchased this property with a plan in mind:  She would also buy the vacant lot across the street at 2658 Michigan, then move the 1922 bungalow right across the street!  She did just that and, in fact, recorded both deeds on the same day, April 9, 1942,  By next July, the bungalow had been moved across the street and sold to Jesse and Mary Wert, who would live there until 1960.  Quite a real estate project!

This parcel remained vacant until approximately 1950, when this modest cottage was constructed on the site.  Miss Felton leased the house for a few years, then moved in herself in the mid-1950’s.  In recent years, the cottage has fallen into disrepair and, in October 2023, the City asked the Historic Preservation Commission to determine that the structure was “non-contributing” to the historic character of Dean Park Historic District and approve the demolition of the structure.

Earlier address:  1025 Michigan until 1926; 122 Michigan until 1955; Dean’s Subdivision, Lot G, Lot 9.