Latitude / Longitude:
26°31′N 82°0′W / 26.517°N 82.000°W / 26.517
3 ft (1 m)
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Punta Rassa is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Florida, United States. It is part of the Cape Coral–Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area. The location was named “Punta Rasca” (Spanish for “smooth or flat point” and later corrupted to “Punta Rassa”) by the Spanish Conquistadors in the mid-16th century, who unloaded cattle in the area.
Punta Rassa was a thriving cattle shipping town in the 1800s. Florida cattle would be loaded at the port onto ships destined for Cuba. It was one of the home bases for the “King of the Cracker Cowboys” Jake Summerlin, who by the time he was 40 was one of the wealthiest of the Florida cattle barons. The town of Punta Rassa was lined with wooden buildings, including a hotel and several bars, which were frequented by the many merchants and cattle sellers.
The population was 1,750 at the 2010 census.
A railroad line was built towards Punta Rassa in the early 1920s by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad as part of an effort by Seaboard president S. Davies Warfield to reestablish a deepwater port at Punta Rassa. The 8-mile line branched off the Seaboard’s main line, which ran along the west bank of the Ten Mile Canal, in South Fort Myers near where Six Mile Cypress Parkway crosses the canal. It ran through where Lakes Park currently sits, and then roughly paralleled what is now Summerlin Road, terminating just east of Punta Rassa at Truckland. Due to their financial state, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad discontinued all operations in the Fort Myers area in 1952. Despite never fully reaching Punta Rassa, the abandoned line is still referred to as Seaboard’s Punta Rassa Branch. An FPL transmission line currently sits on a portion of the Punta Rassa Branch’s former right of way just south of Summerlin Road.