Collier's Cavalry: The Story of the Southwest Mounted Patrol
May 2, 2023 - July 15, 2023
When the Tamiami Trail opened to automobile traffic in April of 1928, it spanned over 100 miles of desolate sawgrass prairie and swampland. In order to protect tourists and other travelers crossing the Everglades by car, county founder Barron Collier established a small force of motorcycle police stationed at intervals across the length of Trail. The Southwest Mounted Patrol was not only the precursor to the Collier County Sheriff's Department, but also predated the Florida Highway Patrol by more than 10 years. This exhibit, featuring a vintage 1929 Harley-Davidson JD as its centerpiece, celebrates Collier County's groundbreaking contribution to law enforcement history and the role of the motorcycle in taming Florida's last frontier.