While we’ve always known our cherished Island Inn has great history, it’s always exciting when we unveil new pieces to our quaint, beachfront puzzle. One of these most recent instances pertains to our Phister Cottage.

Benjamin H. (Ben) Phister and his wife Dee were long time guests of the Island Inn, and friends with the Inn’s founding family, the Matthews. The Phister’s were granted permission to build the cottage on the Inn’s grounds in 1939 and finished construction of the cottage in 1940. According to “Shorebirds and Seagrapes”, a book centered around the history of the Island Inn and Sanibel Island, the Phister’s later gifted the cottage to the Island Inn to add to their inventory, which accommodated some of Sanibel’s first visitors. The Matthew’s appropriately decided to maintain the cottage’s namesake, the Phister family, and it has been welcoming guests ever since. Mr. Phister and his brother, Albert B. Phister, owned a manufacturing company in Cincinnati, Ohio named Phister Manufacturing Co. They held many patents; their most well-known would become the modern Fire Extinguisher. When staying at the Island Inn in our Phister Cottage, guests have the opportunity to view an actual original Phister fire extinguisher, which is displayed in the cottage alongside copies of the Phister’s original patents.

Phister Fire Extinguisher on Display Inside our Phister Cottage

We encourage you to stay at our historic, Beachfront Inn & Hotel during your next Sanibel vacation to experience another slice of Sanibel Island & American history. Click the ‘Book Now’ button below to check availability and rates for Phister Cottage and our other rooms, suites & cottages.