Names are an important part of creating character. Naples itself has been defined by being called "Naples" in a lot of our architecture. When you look around the town you can often pick up a bit of history garnered from the names of things. This is very notable when it comes to roads. I think most people that move to any new town/city are curious to see where the road names come from. We see people’s names on buildings, parks, community centers, roads and the like and many times it is the same name. In looking up these names most are found to be the “movers and shakers” and have a lot to do in the settling and growth of a town. Some of the major roads in Naples, Florida, are listed below:
- Radio Road was named after Naples' first radio station, WNOG, which had its transmission towers off Radio Road for nearly 30 years. Also interesting is that WNOG call letters were said to denote “Wonderful Naples on the Gulf”. WNOG has a connection to the names of a couple of other local thoroughfares.
- Goodlette-Frank road was named after two men; former Collier County Commissioner Dick Goodlette, who first was WNOG’s radio station’s general manager from 1954 to 1956, and Ed Frank, the developer of the original swamp buggy. Frank operated an early auto repair shop near where Goodlette-Frank meets U.S. 41 East.
- Airport-Pulling Road is named for John Pulling Sr., one of Collier County’s most prolific land investors. His name was tagged onto what once was simply called Airport Road.
- Barefoot Williams Road, off the East Trail, is named for the legendary Barefoot Williams, who once owned an oyster house at the end of that road and delivered shellfish to many local restaurants.
- Crayton Road, and Crayton Cove off Naples Bay, is named for E.W. “Ed” Crayton, who ran Naples in the early part of the century and founded the Naples Improvement Company. The former Ohio real estate executive served as chairman and president of the Town Council from 1923 until 1938.
- Fleischmann Boulevard, between Fleischmann Park and Coastland Center mall, is named for Julius K. Fleischmann Jr., a local investor and developer. He was the son of a former mayor of Cincinnati and the grandson of the man who founded Fleischmann Yeast. Fleischmann’s first project was along the Third Street South shopping area. In 1952, he revived and established Caribbean Gardens.
- Wiggins Pass Road, as well as the associated waterway and nearby state park, is named for Joe Wiggins, who operated a trading post and is the first homesteader on record there.
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Source: 2015 Journal Media Group.