The Calusa Indians dominated the barrier islands off the coast of Florida for nearly 2,000 years, thriving on the islands' abundant natural resources. This all changed when gold-hungry Spaniards discovered their island paradise and after a series of battles ensued, the entire population was nearly wiped out.

Many years later, this barrier island became a popular refuge from the turbulent sea for swashbuckling pirates like Jose Gaspar. It was a popular refuge to repair war-torn ships and a place to imprison beautiful women, thus the island was named Captiva. The barrier islands to the north were named after Jose Gaspar - Gasparilla and Little Gasparilla.

North Captiva Island and Captiva Island were once a continuous stretch of beach. In a 1921 hurricane, Redfish Pass was created and the two were separated.

During the 1960s, approximately 10 homes were constructed and six subdivisions were planned out. Three canals were also dredged, originating from points around the perimeter of what is now Safety Harbor.

By the mid 1970s, nearly 50 homes were constructed on the northern tip of the island from the gulf to the bay. It was obvious that North Captiva Island was destined to follow the path of the highly developed barrier islands to the north and south. With a potential build-out of 4,500 homes, the charming island ambience would surely be lost.

However, the state of Florida acquired six parcels of land in 1975 totaling over 350 acres - almost two thirds of the entire island. This timely acquisition was made under the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, and was a swift and direct move to preserve this resource from the over-development that has impacted most of Florida. Today, there are just under 400 homes and about 50 year-round residents on North Captiva Island with an anticipated total build-out of approximately 600 homes.

North Captiva Island has a very active civic association and the members are making every effort to ensure that the island's natural beauty is protected and that growth is kept in balance with the environment. The members are also actively engaged in protecting the island's many creatures, some of which are endangered.