Starting in 1896 Ted Smallwood carried the mail by sailboat between Chokoloskee and Marco via Everglades [City]. In 1897 he married and settled down on Chokoloskee Island. He hunted alligators, cut buttonwood (for charcoal), fished and raised tomatoes. In 1906 he became postmaster for Chokoloskee and opened a general store which housed the postoffice. He remained postmaster until he retired in 1941. His daughter succeeded him as postmaster.
Ted Smallwood died in 1951, but his daughters kept the store open until 1982.Ted Smallwood's Store was placed on theNational Registry of Historic Places in 1974. His granddaughter has opened the store as a museum. Here it is today just as it was when it closed in 1982.