When exploring the Punta Gorda area you will come across a name that is threaded throughout the community. The name is “Burnt Store”. At first the name seems very odd and indeed it is. My first visits to Punta Gorda to explore waterfront homes 22 years ago led to the discovery of:
Burnt Store Marina
Burnt Store Isles
Burnt Store Meadows
Burnt Store Lakes
Burnt Store Village
All of these “Burnt Store” neighborhoods are indeed quite nice and only two are waterfront neighborhoods. My first thoughts were why would you name anything after that. Sounds weird. So, after a few years here you will become comfortable with the name I assure you.
Many not from here associate the word “Burnt Store” only with the marina itself. Many of my waterfront property customers will express disinterest in Burnt Store when I mention this is a good neighborhood for sailboat waterfront access or overall a good boating location to have a home. This meaning they did not want to live in a gated community outside of town with HOA fees. At that point, I realize they are only aware of the “marina” and not familiar with Burnt Store Isles a sister neighborhood of Punta Gorda Isles and equally popular sailboat waterfront neighborhood.
So where does this peculiar name come from? You can google the topic and you will see several variations of the story. The very short version is that there was a trading post situated on the water 20 miles north of the Caloosahatchee River which puts it right about where the marina sits today. This was back in the early to mid-1800’s. There were several conflicts between the Caloosahatchee Indians and local settlers of the area. One of the final conflicts in this area is when the Indians burnt down the trading post located on the water’s edge. The road leading to the trading post became identified as “Burnt Store Road”. And there you have it!