Pirate Harbor is a laid-back bayou-like Florida Community featuring upland, canal and natural waterway properties. It is situated on the Eastern Shore of Charlotte Harbor, midway between Punta Gorda to the north and Pine Island to the south. It is about 12 miles by water from Boca Grande Pass, Charlotte Harbor’s gateway to the Gulf of Mexico.
This beautiful waterfront community is the result of the vision of Erich and Lydia Quast and two of their Connecticut friends. After searching Florida’s West Coast from Naples to Tampa Bay, they found this 260-acre Charlotte Harbor site. The land access, Burnt Store Road, was then a narrow dirt road.
Opposite the entrance to Pirate Harbor, the store, which had been burned down by Indians, had been rebuilt as a small general store.
Pirate Harbor was platted in April 1958. Work commenced to create the main channel to Charlotte Harbor, the canals and waterway properties and the roads to these properties. The community remained relatively undiscovered for a number of years. As lots were sold, gradually more houses were built. The building pace picked up during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. As of 2009 there are 185 developed lots in Pirate Harbor and 182 undeveloped lots, both waterfront and upland.
The relative age of houses is apparent from their elevation, which increased over the years due to changes in flood elevation code requirements. Houses build in the ‘60s are quite low to the ground; in the ‘70s around five feet higher and from about the mid-eighties to the present, many are built on wood or concrete pilings, 11 feet or higher above water level.
A central water system was introduced in the mid-eighties, main channel markers were installed in the late ‘80s, and the roads have now have been re-paved. A new central low-pressure wastewater system has been installed. Additional dredging has been done, with the dredging project continuing to be a work-in-progress.
There is a new dynamic in Pirate Harbor, energized by a number of new enthusiastic and talented homeowners, dedicated to improving and enhancing this beautiful waterfront community. The community enjoys the benefits of the property owners association whose membership is voluntary with no deed restrictions and several voluntary board members. They are charged with the duties of maintaining our lifestyle, and the continued betterment of the Pirate Harbor community.
Although, through the years, ownership of Pirate Harbor’s undeveloped lots passed into the hands of several developers, Erich and Lydia Quast remained committed to the betterment of Pirate Harbor. Since Erich’s death in 1995, Lydia carried on, until her death in 2001. She made a sizeable donation, in his memory, to the PHPOA to aid in insuring that the vision of its founders will continue into the future. A bronze plaque is featured on our entrance wall to honor Erich and Lydia’s dedication to Pirate Harbor.