May 25, 2022

Smallwood Store, Est 1906, Southwest Florida Historic Site

Smallwood Store, Est 1906, Southwest Florida Historic Site, Chokoloskee Island, Everglades City, Florida

On the western edge of the Everglades and deep in the heart of the 10,000 Islands, Chokoloskee Island has been called one of Florida’s last frontiers. At the Historic Smallwood Store you will learn the story of the pioneers who tamed this vast wilderness. Human Habitation of Chokoloskee Island began approximately 2,000 years ago when a mound dwelling people began altering the landscape with mounds and canals.

The canals were about 15 feet wide, 3 feet to 6 feet deep, and were used by the Calusa for traveling in dugout canoes until the mid-1700s, when the tribe disappeared from Florida. Subsequent influxes of Native Americans expanded the mounds and they fished, hunted and farmed the rich fertile soil.

Moving south from conflict in North Florida and Georgia, the Seminole Indians were the last native peoples to make the Everglades their home. White settlements in the Chokoloskee Bay Area began near the end of the 19th century. Plume, hide and fur hunters as well as archaeologist were the first to visit. They were quickly followed by families who combined seasonal hunting, fishing and farming to make a living like their native predecessors.

For the complete story, visit: Smallwood Store, Est 1906, Southwest Florida Historic Site

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