We might think of “Fakahatchee” as a swamp with Ghost Orchids and Florida Panthers but to many local Gulf Coast families, it was the Fakahatchee Island that was important. In fact, it even had a school!
That was back in the early 1900s when farmers and fishermen had settled around Fakahatchee Bay, west of Chokoloskee, and scratched out a living. They grew fruits and veggies to sail to market in Key West. And, they fished. Salted mullet by the barrel brought in much-need funds.
What remains today is memories – and a cemetery, cisterns, a cow dip, and some wonderful unspoilt landscape with rare plants.
The Friends of Fakahatchee are repeating their successful Fakahatchee Coastal Cruise on Saturday, January 22. The event begins with a talk about the history of the area at the Everglades National Park Ranger Station in Everglades City at 3:00 p.m. Participants will then be ferried to the island by Everglades National Park Boat Tours. The event ends around 6:00 p.m. back in Everglades City where there are interesting restaurants in which to enjoy the area’s signature stone crabs and other delicacies.
This is a unique opportunity to learn about our outer islands and the communities that existed in olden times. It is also a chance to see a Ten Thousand Islands ecology that has not changed for over fifty years!
For information about the Fakahatchee Coastal Cruise, phone Marya at (239) 695-2905 or see www.orchidswamp.org and click on Events Schedule. Places are limited so please make your reservations by January 17.