In the 1920s, developer Harry Rawls and his partner saw an opportunity to create a subdivision in Fort Myers FL. Back then this area was called “Rawlsville” because of all the raw land that still needed development.
The partners were able to purchase large tracts of land at low prices from farmers who could no longer afford to maintain them during the Great Depression. They divided up their tract into small parcels, which they sold for as little as $100 each. These parcels became Rainbow Groves, one of many neighborhoods in Fort Myers FL today.
As time went on more people moved here due to its close proximity with downtown Ft. Myers and being so close to I-75.
The original parcel map for Rainbow Groves is on display at the Lee County History Museum in downtown Fort Myers FL and has been since 1989 when it was donated by Harry Rawls’ daughter-in law, Ruth Rawls Davis. The museum remains open to this day and is a treasure trove of information about life in Southwest Florida over the last century or so.