The Black History Baggage Car will be the first dedicated space to tell the Black history story in Collier County. Located at the Naples Depot Museum, the Black History Baggage Car will be dedicated to uplifting the voices of Collier County people of color by offering exhibits, storytelling, and artifacts.
The scope of the project will stabilize, rehabilitate, and renovate the Baggage Car to allow its adaptive reuse as an exhibit space. This will necessitate interior renovation including HVAC, electrical, new entrance doors, and new interior finishes; exterior work including an access platform with ADA ramping and railings; and site improvements such as a paver sidewalk to connect the new ramp to the Depot sidewalk, and parking lot restriping.
Once construction is complete, the Baggage Car can open with temporary or semi-permanent exhibits.
Topics might include exploring the roles of African Americans in the railroad industry; highlighting the lives of important Black community leaders such as Mother Perry, Cleveland Bass, and Herb Cambridge; and understanding the joys and struggles of the Black families who worked and lived in Dupont, Copeland, and Immokalee.
We hope to include an oral history booth to allow us to collect and share more people’s stories on site. As we open our conversations with the community and gather more material, we will work to craft permanent exhibits and programs that resonate with all audiences and reflect the community’s wishes.