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AMORY MEMORIAL CHAPEL

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HISTORY

Shiloh Baptist Church, known today as Amory Memorial Chapel, is located near Port Boca Grande Lighthouse in Gasparilla Island State Park. It was built in 1959 by Louise and Roger Amory for the Black community who lived on Gasparilla Island. Tarpon Pass Estates, the housing area for many of the Black community, was located in what is now the parking lot of the chapel. The Black community lived there from about 1960 until 1981. Many left in 1979 after the phosphate loading facility closed down. The others left in 1981 after a series of floods condemned the existing homes and sent the remaining community to Englewood and other off-island towns.

 

In 1996 the chapel, which had stood vacant and unused for more than a decade, was restored with funds from GICIA, the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, Lee County Historic Preservation Board, The Venice Foundation and BIPS. In 1998, Barrier Island Parks Society (BIPS), which operates Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum, took over the administration of rentals of the chapel for meetings and events. Their office is located on the west side of the chapel.