The Gasparilla Legend
There is a local legend about a Pirate named Gasparilla who made Southwest Florida his home base in the early 1800's. This pirate, as legend has it, operated out Charlotte Harbour and attacked shipping throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Straits and the Carribean. He supposedly buried treasure all over Southwest Florida before killing himself to avoid capture by an American Anti-Piracy Fleet. Great story right?
Unfortunately it seems, that's exactly all it is, a story. There is no documented proof that there ever was a Gasparilla. The Naval logs from the period, in particular from the anti-piracy fleets never mention Gasparilla the pirate.
Additional proof refuting the existence of this pirate is from the Bernard Romans 1773 map of Charlotte Harbor. Gasparilla Island , according to the stories, was named after Gasparilla the pirate. Clearly marked on the Romans map is Gasparilla island. Jose Gaspar (Gasparilla) would have still been an infant at the time, so the Island could not have been named after him. In Bernard Romans published material about the area he mentions no pirates, only Indians and wreckers.
Seminole War Forts
There are supposed to be several Seminole War era forts in Collier County. I have a book that lists these forts but the Latitude and Longitude supplied are just rough estimates. It is likely that these sites are lost due to land development.