It's true. You can wander to the ends of the Earth and always run into someone from back home. If not someone, something with a connection to home.

Imagine my surprise while walking in the neighborhood near the Airbnb I rented with my wife recently in Fort Myers, Florida, finding myself immersed in Rhode Island history.

My wife was born and raised in Rhode Island. We met in Rhode Island, and our two children were born in Rhode Island.

WFHN-FM/FUN 107 logo
Get our free mobile app

My wife recently launched (pun intended) Aerial New England, a drone photography business. You may have seen some of her photography in the pieces I and others write on these pages.

On a last-minute impulse, we booked a flight to Florida so she could display her work at the 20th annual New Bedford Day Celebration in North Fort Myers.

A Bit Of Providence, Rhode Island Lives In Ft. Myers, Florida
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

We spent two nights at an Airbnb on a street bordering the Dean Park Historic District. Providence Street and Rhode Island Avenue run through the heart of Dean Park.

A plaque posted at the entrance to Dean Park says, "In 1901, developer John Morgan Dean of Providence, Rhode Island, purchased 36 acres along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and the tidal basin of Billy Creek."

The plaque says, "In 1912, he began development of a unique neighborhood that included strict design standards, paved streets, sidewalks, buried utilities, and tropical landscaping."

How A Providence, Rhode Island Transformed Ft. Myers, Florida
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

John Morgan Dean was a furniture dealer in Providence, Rhode Island, before developing Dean Park, originally called Hyde Park. The land he transformed was swampy marshland when he bought it.

The Fort Myers City Council designated Dean Park a historic district in 1997. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Interior Department in 2013.

John Morgan Dean died in 1938.

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

LOOK: Stunning, historic hotels from every state and the stories behind them

Stacker curated this list of stunning, historic hotels from every state. To be considered for inclusion, the structure must be more than 50 years old. Many of the selected hotels are listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and several are purported to be haunted.

Gallery Credit: Erin Joslyn

LOOK: Explore the iconic buildings from every state

From colonial homesteads to mansions by the ocean, iconic buildings define every state in the country. Stacker compiled this list of notable examples from historic and government reports and news articles. 

Gallery Credit: Aine Givens


More From WFHN-FM/FUN 107