December 22, 2021 – The Bailey Store and its owner, the Johnson Family, has had a long tradition supporting Sanibel and its history. This year the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village has put together a lavish display in each of the buildings. The story of the historical usage of each of the buildings is set forth on the trees and timelines throughout the Village, a treasure trove of memories.
“The Village is extremely grateful to the Johnsons, who have generously donated the Bailey’s Store’s collection of ornaments,” said Emilie Alfino, Executive Director. These ornaments are currently displayed in Shore Haven, the first building in the Historical Village.
“I had the opportunity recently to meet with Richard Johnson of the Bailey General Store to discuss the creation of the Bailey’s ornament collection and how each ornament is an icon portraying some significant aspect of the Bailey store’s history, which has always been run as a family-owned business,” said Celina Kersh Monte-Sano, Historical Village Board Member.
The idea for starting the collection came from Pat Kiely, a long-time ornament collector herself, who has worked alongside the Johnson family at the store for years, and still does. She oversees the selection and creation of each new ornament yearly, which began in 2009. The whole Johnson family gets involved in the final selection of the ornament image each year. The ornaments are unique and are manufactured for Bailey’s by a company called Charleston Mint. They are made of solid brass and then gold plated. There is a limited production of each ornament, which is numbered and comes with its own certification of authenticity as well as a written explanation of its historical significance. There are some ornaments still available from past years for sale at Bailey’s: the clock at the exit of the current Bailey’s store, a new shopping cart that was chosen for its eco friendliness, and the 150-year anniversary of the Island Store on Captiva.
The 2021 ornament is a replica of the Island Cinema’s marquee saying, “Thanks for rolling with us all these years.” The long-term plan of the Johnson family is to continue the tradition of selling this limited collection of ornaments each year.