Ralph Hammond, District Supervisor,
Historical Records Survey
State Archives Survey.
HISTORY OF GLADES COUNTY FLORIDA
Glades County was created from DeSoto County in 1921, and lies directly west of Lake Okeechobee. Although it takes its name from the Everglades, only a small portion of the county is in the Everglades proper. The lands of the county are mostly of the prairie type, interspersed with pine lands, hammock lands and cypress growths. Total area of county, 453,888 acres, and total number of acres in farms, 23,295, with 3,945 acres in actual cultivation. A portion of the Caloosahatchee Valley is in this county, and the general location of Glades County offers advantages for frost protection in winter and for the growing of winter vegetables. Around Moore Haven some remarkable records of production in truck farming have been made, and there are other points in the county where demonstrations of the agricultural possibilities of these lands have been made. Truck vegetables, sugar cane and citrus fruit are the leading crops grown, and with continued progress in drainage work there are excellent prospects for increased production of these crops. Produce men come here in season and buy local crops for cash.
Cattle raising has for years been of considerable importance in this section, and much development is expected as drainage work goes forward and lands become available for the raising of forage crops. A number of pure-bred Brahma bulls have been imported for breeding with the native cattle. There are a few dairies and conditions are very favorable for a marked increase in dairying. There are numerous hives of bees in the wooded portions of the county, and they feed upon the palmetto blossoms and produce honey of a high quality.
Glades County has been unfortunate in that much of her land has not been drained and portions of it have been exploited in the past and sold out in small holdings to persons unfamiliar with local conditions. Now that the way has been opened for providing water control, legitimate and rational development of farm lands in both large and small tracts will follow.
Glades County has good railroad service and considerable mileage of hard-surfaced and improved highways. Much improvement in transportation conditions has been effected in recent years.
The county has a large frontage on Lake Okeechobee and on the Caloosahatchee Canal, thus providing it with inland water advantages and transportation opportunities. There is much industrial fishing. Four large fish houses own their equipment, operate crews of fishermen on Lake Okeechobee, pack, ice and ship fish from September 1st until spring.