In 1885 four enthusiastic developers from Maine created the "St. James Company" for, among other endeavors, "the development of Pine Island" and the "building of a large city on said Pine Island",
according to their Articles of Incorporation. Toward this end they built the beautiful, three-story, 50 room San Carlos Hotel in St. James-on-the-Gulf (as St. James City was previously known). The
original San Carlos Hotel hosted such notable Americans as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvie Firestone and Theodore Roosevelt. Though the San Carlos Hotel did not last past the early 1900's, it
helped put Pine Island "on the map" for some of America's more influential people of those decades.
The site once so majestically occupied by the famous San Carlos Hotel is today occupied by...you guessed it... the SHANGRI-LA MOBILE HOME PARK! Now that might sound a bit anti-climactic for a grand hotel, but just think... what a great heritage for a little trailer park!
(Historic information from "The Eagles View of Greater Pine Island",Vol. V, No. 2, Fall 1992, p. 8, by P.T. Board)