The Florida Everglades....
Florida's Last Frontier














The Florida Everglades covers a vast portion of the southern half of the state. It stretches 100 miles south from Lake Okeecholee down through Cape Sable, Florida Bay and the inner Keys. It's comprised of swamps, mangrove forest and endless sawgrass.

The true meaning of the word Everglades is best explained by dividing the word in half. The second half comes from an old Anglo-Saxon term, gyde or glaced, meaning a bright, shinning, open space in the forest. The first part of the word promises an eternity of grass and shining water without limit.

The Florida Everglades offers a protective area for some fascinating animals and reptiles to flourish. One such animal is the sea cow or manatee, aquatic mammals which normally inhabit saltwater. During the winter months, when the Gulf waters and Atlantic ocean grows cold, they will enter the rivers and clear springs for warmth.

Their formidable size and weight can run up to 13 feet and 1300 pounds. Although their size is intimidating, the manatee is known as a timid animal with a mild disposition.

Everglades National Park Boat Tours

One of the most famous reptiles of the Florida Everglades is the alligator. Floating like a half-submerged log or lounging in the sun on the edge of a canal, no where is the alligator more at home than in the Everglades.

The alligator can be found in most of the bodies of water in the swamps of the Florida Everglades. It is a protected species in Florida, although there is a hunting season on the alligator, which is done on a lottery system to control the species.

Alligator tail is a long-time delicacy of the South Florida area. The meat is tender, juicy and low in cholesterol.

Click any of the Seven Stories below and Travel to Florida's Magnificent Everglades.

Florida's Magnificent Everglades - A small group of visitors clusters at the edge of a pond behind the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Everglades National Park. Two minutes of visiting the Everglades and the first gator had already been spotted. Try spotting a bear that fast in Yellowstone.

"CRACKER" The term stems from the early days when Florida cowboy cow cavalrymen, in lieu of the rope used by Texas cowboys, welded a bullwhip, 10 - 12 feet long made of braided leather, and when snapped over a cow's head, made a sharp"crack".
Thus was born the term "cracker"

Romancing the Swamp Local eco-tour provider wades into the Florida wild. Scared of the swamp? Intrigued by the swamp? Then explore the swamp. It will forever change you.

Everglades Stories - We’re trying to find ways to restore wetlands and to do it in a way that will really benefit the water quality when it finally does leave the land and also to store the water there and not sort of pipeline it straight into Lake Okeechobee and pipeline it into the everglades.

Everglades Cape Sable Through the Everglades to a shore about 20 miles to the west of Flamingo, called Cape Sable.and was said to have a pink beach literally made from shells, and also was habitat to the rare and elusive Cape Sable Sparrow, which we all wanted to see.

Little Everglades Ranch - The Little Everglades Ranch is a pioneer ranch establishing the First Santa Gertrudis herd of cattle in Florida. This breed was established to function in hot, humid and unfavorable environments. The Santa Gertrudis was developed by crossing Indian Brahman cattle with British Shorthorns and was first introduced to the Little Everglades Ranch from the King Ranch ~ Kingsville, Texas in the year 1941.

Miccosukee, Tribe of Indians of Florida

The Miccosukee are a Native American tribe living in Florida.

Miccosukee Seminole Nation

They are descendants of the Lower Chiaha, a Muskogee Creek tribe and have had centuries of relations with the Seminole but maintain a separate identity today, largely on linguistic grounds.

Unlike the Creek-speaking Seminole, they speak the Mikasuki language, another of the Muskogean languages.

Their original home was in the Tennessee Valley, but they later migrated to northern Florida during the 18th and 19th centuries, forming a major part of the Seminole tribe; they moved again to the Everglades after the Seminole Wars.

During this period they mixed heavily with the Creek-speaking Seminoles, but many of them maintained their Mikasuki language.

Miccosukee Seminole Nation for Kids

The Miccosukee people lived in settled villages of houses called chickees. Chickees were made of wood and plaster, and the roofs were thatched with palmetto fiber. As the Miccosukee tribe moved south into the Florida Everglades, they began building their houses on wooden stilts. This raised the floor two or three feet off the ground and protected their homes from flooding and swamp animals.

The tribe today occupies several reservations in southern Florida including Everglades City, principally the Miccosukee Indian Reservation. Some Seminoles are Miccosukee people.

Many Creek and Miccosukee people, along with some individuals from other southeastern tribes, joined together to create the powerful Seminole tribe. Most Miccosukee people joined the Seminoles, but others still consider themselves distinct.

The Miccosukee tribe has their own reservation, which is land that belongs to them and is legally under their control. Not all Miccosukee people live on this reservation, however.

Most Miccosukee people live on the two Seminole reservations in Oklahoma and Florida. Each of these three tribes has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida

The Seminole people are the descendents of the Creek people. The diversity of the Tribe is reflected in the fact that its members spoke seven languages- Muscogee, Hitchiti, Koasati, Alabama, Natchez, Yuchi and Shawnee.

Seminole Nation of Florida

The early history of the Creek people in Florida is not well understood.

The first Creek speaking people, settled at Chocuchattee (Red House) near present day Brooksville, Florida. This was some time around 1760. They were also cattlemen.

The Seminole population in Florida remained fairly small, around 1200, By 1823 the native population had increased three or four fold by the newcomers. This population of about five thousand was thrown together and subjected to the fiercest of all the wars.

For the next sixty years the small population of Seminoles would live on the fringes of society. They made livings as hunters, guides and sometimes, curiosities for the tourists.

Click Herre - You Tube - Seminole Cattle Drive Video

Cattle Drive You Tube

The reservation question divided the Florida native peoples into two camps. One group would become known as the Miccosukee Tribe of Seminole Indians of Florida. The area provided a safe haven for people who held traditional views.

The second group took the offer of the reservation lands and began a new way to sustain the Seminole culture. They used the reservations as preservation areas in which to maintain the customs, language and self government of the Tribe.

Today the Seminole casinos support a growing infrastructure for the Seminole community’s health and welfare, public safety, education and other services. The economic stability provided by gaming, combined with the cattle, citrus, and other business enterprises, has made the Seminole Tribe of Florida one of the most successful native business peoples in the United States today.

They employ more than 7,000 employees in their casinos, hotels and other enterprises and purchase more than $130.3 million in good and services yearly.

Everglades City and Chokolokee Island

The modern era started in 1922. By age 26, county founder Barron Collier made his first million selling advertising. and used his fortune to purchase the Storters. He invisioned a town that would enable him to complete what we now call the Tamiami Trail and to govern the new Collier County, most of which he owned.
Cholokoskee Store

Florida Everglades City History

In reading about the local history I came upon familiar names that I see daily, such as Collier Blvd, Collier County, Barron Collier Highschool, Goodelette-Frank, Airport-Pulling Road and others. The city was called "Everglades" but it might as well have been called "Collier". Streets were named after people associated with him, names such as Copeland, Goodlett, Pulling, Frank, Wiggins, etc, These names come alive in the history of Collier county.

By 1923 Barron Collier and David Graham Copeland had accomplished an amazing number of projects. They completed the Tamiami Trail, built a road and railway to Immokaleee and established a modern city. Florida Everglades City,(Above Established in 1906, the Smallwood Store & Trading Post served the area with a place to trade hides, furs, and farm produce; handle mail and to sell needed goods to the settlers. ) was a company town through and through. Except for the fish houses, the buildings were owned by Collier companies and most people living here were employed by Collier or the county.

In the 1950's the Collier heirs started to sell their interest in the area and Florida Everglades City was incorporated in 1953. The county seat moved to Naples in 1962. Everglades City Yep, that's me, Bill" and my photographer is "Pedro" taken the pictures. You might recognize him if you visited Fishing - Naples Pier where I was the photographer and he was the subject. His caption is
"Pedro with his prize Catfish, the shrimp was larger but he seems happy anyway.

More About Florida's Everglades and Yosemite California National Parks
Welcome to Yosemite California! This park is considered the crown jewel of the US National Parks system. It is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. It is one of the most popular places that people visit in the United States! It is ranked #92 in the world as the most sought after place for people to visit. Over 4 million people a year come to visit this wonderful park.