Cottage of Annie D. Allred

This small, 942-square-foot cottage faces Palm Avenue, but its legal address is 2770 Rhode Island Avenue and its large side yard extends all the way to that street.

On September 17, 1923, the lot was sold by Dean Development Company to Annie L. Allred of Lee County for $1,600, subject to a building restriction that any house built there cost at least $4,000.  Mrs. Allred was then the widow of Jerry Fielding Allred, a prominent Fort Myers jeweler.  She had an extensive career in real estate after Mr. Fielding’s death in 1927, and lived on Hendry Street for most of her life, rather than in this cottage.

The origin of the cottage is something of a mystery.  Although city tax records indicate the cottage was built in 1942, the 1930 Sanborn Insurance Company map show the existence of this dwelling at its current location near the rear alley.  And to complicate matters, the current owner has heard a story that the cottage was brought to its current location from Fort Myers Beach.  Moreover, Fort Myers city directories through the 1950’s do not reflect the existence of this cottage at a Rhode Island address or at a Palm Avenue address.

Ownership of the property was retained by Mrs. Allred until 1977, when her son and attorney-in-fact, James F. Allred, transferred it to her daughter Lorraine Allred Stephens for consideration of “love and affection.”  Mrs. Allred died on March 2, 1980, at age 93 and was buried in Fort Myers Cemetery.

Dean’s Subdivision, Block H, Lot 2.