• History of the Seminoles (courtesy of Dru J. Murray,History of Seminoles).A fierce, proud tribe of Florida, let neither three wars with the United States Army or the harsh Everglade swamps defeat them. The term "Seminole" is a derivative of "cimarron" which means "wild men" in Spanish. The original Seminoles were given this name because they were Indians who had escaped from slavery in the British-controlled northern colonies. When they came to Florida, they were not called Seminoles as they were actually Creeks, Indians of Muskogee derivation. The Muskogean tribes comprised the Mississipian culture which were temple-mound builders. Among the Muskogean tribes were the Creeks, Hitichis and Yamasees of Georgia, the Apalachees of Florida, the Alabamas and Mobiles of Alabama, and the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Houmas of Mississippi.MORE

  • Additional Seminole links:

Official Seminole Tribe siteSeminole History

History of the Florida Everglades: (Courtesy ofEvergladesonline.com)

In many ways the history of the Everglades is the story of Southwest Florida. Always a remote and demanding area, only a handful of white settlers lived along the banks of the Allen River (now the Barron River) and inside what are now the city limits, until Barron G. Collier made Everglades the headquarters for his Tamiami Trail road-building company in 1923.

The Calusa Indians had lived in the area even earlier, of course, and more than three centuries earlier had built a large shell mound on nearby Chokoloskee Island.

The families of John Weeks and William Smith Allen are believed to be the area's first permanent residents, settling along the Allen River just after the Civil War. They were farmers and had to eke out livings on the banks of the river, the only naturally high ground around. This was only 10% of the territory which is now Everglades City; the rest of the high ground today is the result of Collier's dredging operations in the 1920s.

The town's first transportation link to the outside world came when Collier built a railroad 14 miles from Deep Lake to the north, down to the Allen River, and eventually the town grew and became a shipping depot for produce.MORE

  • Additional Everglades links:

Florida Everglades History and CultureFlorida Everglades - A Native's Perspective

History of Collier County:

It's hard to talk about Collier County history and not mention its namesake, Memphis-born advertising millionaire Barron Gift Collier. Its creation in 1923 and early economic growth were closely tied to Collier's vision. (FromColliergov.net) With his fortune from streetcar advertising, Collier introduced paved roads, electric power, telegraphs and countless new businesses and homeowners to Florida's last frontier. The completion of the Tamiami Trail in 1928 also unlocked the region's enormous agricultural and resort potential. Florida's first commercial oil well was brought in at Sunniland in 1943, and Collier County's cypress logging industry flourished at Copeland well into the 1950's.MORE

Additional Collier County links:
Mr. Barron Gift Collier
Collier County Museums

William Hughes 2013