Piner’s Seafood Company

In the early 1940s Louis Piner and his wife Mary moved to St. James City from North Carolina.  He fished commercially for a time, and then moved his family to Matlacha and established the Piner Seafood Company.  Here is where the crabs were cooked in large vats of boiling water, cooled and picked clean of the meat.  Women would sit at long stainless steel tables all day tediously picking every scrap of crab meat, which was then trucked to Fort Myers.  During the company’s height, they employed approximately 150 women and girls for this work.

Women Cleaning Shellfish at Piners

Credit this Photo Museum of the Islands

A picture of the outside of their building.

Piner's Building

Credit this Photo Museum of the Islands

Piner also bought 200 acres of mangrove at the end of Maria Drive for less than $500.  He dug a canal from the Pine Island Sound area and built a stilted fish house by the shore so the crabbers could bring in their catch. This area became known as Piner’s Point and where the commercial crabbers sold their harvests to Piner’s Seafood Company.

When the Sanibel Causeway was built in the early 1960s, the scalloping diminished, just as Louis Piner predicted it would.

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