Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "E" is for Everglades City

Everglades City is located in Collier County,Florida; see the red dot on the map below?

Originally owned by W.S. Allen, a fur trader, this lodge (below) was purchased In 1864, by George T. Storter for $800. Mr. Storter was the founder of the town Everglade. Mr. Storter started The Rod and Gun Club (below) in 1864, Mr. Baron Gift Collier bought it in 1922 and by that time it was built completely of pecky-cypress (the wood that is practically impervious to termites and rot).

The Rod and Gun Club has been visited by Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and such notables as Hemingway, Mick Jagger and Burt Reynolds. 

Times change and after sitting in neglect for 12 years, Mr. Martin J. Brown and family purchased it in 1972 and turned the establishment into what it is today.
Fancy for being built on mosquito infested swamp land huh?
The town grew as a result of dredging done back in 1923 by Baron Gift Collier. Dredging also helped to control mosquitos. Baron Collier utilized the town as his headquarters for his Tamiami Trail road-building company. The Tamiami Trail is the road that connects Tampa Florida to Miami Florida. (see map above)

This building was originally built in the 20’s to serve as a Laundry for the road builders. It is now the Museum. Make this your first stop.

This is the City Hall, originally built in 1927....

and this is what it looked like (side view) after hurricane Wilma came through.

This was the Bank of Everglades which is now the Spa-fari B&B
Everglades Community Church established 1926

This abandoned train Depot..... now the Seafood Depot

The community that grew on this land included a trolley, hospital and clinic, movie house, library, railroad depot, common garage for autos and two hotels. Today there is a lot of commercial fishing, shrimping, sponge fishing, and stone crabbing, but I’d say it gets its popularity for being a "Gateway to the Everglades."

The Everglades is the mother of big swamps! A subtropical wetlands.
Journalist and environmentalist, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, refers to the Everglades as "The River of Grass."  Water leaving Lake Okeechobee in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long.
 One might ask “Why would I want to go there?”

Well, there are literally thousands (between 10,000 and 12,000) of islands within a day's paddle from Everglades City.

You can book tours out through the islands but a lot of people Kayak the Everglades and some even camp in Chickees. A Chickee in the National Park is an elevated 10' x 12' wooden platform with a roof and a walkway that leads to a self-contained toilet.


A real Chickee is a palmetto thatch over a bald cypress log frame and was adopted for use by Seminole Indians during the Second and Third Seminole War. Before that they lived in log cabins.

The Seminole people are the descendants 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. If you want to know more about the Seminole Indians I have provided a link here:


Well I guess there are a few things to see in Everglades City but one thing is for sure… will see a lot of these!

Click here to return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday:
 off on my tangent
Thanks for the visit! ~Ames

P.S. Sorry about these lines. I can't figure out how to get rid of them. Also....
Another docent that I sit with at our local museum just told me about a book titled Killing Mr. Watson, an outlaw and suspected murderer of more than 50 people
Nearby in in Chockoloskee, the Smallwood General Store still stands. It is now a museum.
 Apparently this store has a large role in local history as it is the site where Ed Watson was killed. The area residents, tiring of Watson's ways, all shot him in front of the store as he stepped off his boat. The account is detailed in Peter Matthiessen's well-researched historical fiction, Killing Mr. Watson, 1990.
Have you read it?
Hummm….I am going to see if I can check this book out of our library.


Anonymous said...

Very inviting photos and the story is interesting.

Jo said...

fabulous Ames ... i think i will visit the everglades from the comfort of my couch. I am terrified of gators ....

anitamombanita said...

Keep the tour coming, Ames!

Cathy said...

Thanks for rekindling some very fond memories of Florida. Definitely my favorite state.

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Very interesting post, Ames! You did lots of research....Thanks for sharing. Looks like a great place to visit!

Deb said...

Very interesting stuff but I think I'll stick with the beaches of Florida. Too many gators down there. It sounds like Mr. Watson got what he deserved!

Judie said...

The Everglades really are an ecological wonder. Who knew that there were so many mosquitos in one place at one time??? I love the architecture down there, however, and it's well worth the case of "Off" it would take in order to explore the entire area.

Another good post, Ames.


anitamombanita said...

Ames, thanks for the rainbows: I've never seen so many rainbows and such brilliant ones as I've see in Patagonia...all the time!! :)

storybeader said...

great history! And love all the photos. Love that aerial shot! Thanks! {:-Deb

Jackie/Jake said...

Great tour of the Everglades, I haven't been there in a very long time.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I am definitely going to read it! I spent a lot of time in the Everglades when I lived in Florida. It is a truly amazing place.

Thanks for the great tour!


RMW said...

Thanks for the tour, Ames. In elementary school, I needed to choose a state to write a report on. I chose Florida. Always wanted to visit, still do, and the Everglades are a must when/if I'm there.

PS Miss you (my fault). =)
Be well!

Anonymous said...

We drove through a portion of the everglades en route to Key West a few months ago but did not get to Everglades City. We will have to make it a point to do that next time around.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a great post! More places I would like to visit! I hope you're doing OK with all of this rain. So far it hasn't been too bad here in Central FL...hope we don't get anything bad! I'm having a giveaway...stop by soon!

cj Schlottman said...


I love this little history and all of the photos. Your style continues to be fluid and a delight to read.


Andy David said...

Nice photos. The only thing I know about the Everglades is what I see on the tv...alligators galore!
Thanks for the history.

Emotions Of Poetry

Jenny said...

I've never been there and I always thought you would get eaten up by skeetos if you ventured in that direction.

I picture just swamps and moss and alligator eyeballs and swarms and swarms of blood sucking bugs.

It looks a lot prettier than that!

Thanks for an excellent link for the letter "E".