Osola: The Legend of the Mysterious Smoke of Wakulla, 1922

Osola: The Legend of the Mysterious Smoke of Wakulla, 1922


State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, 811-L849 01


An "epic poem" written by Tallahassee resident Reinette Long Hunt of the Grove. The poem tells the story of Osola, a boy born of a Wakulla water spirit and Indian Chief Wacissa. When Osola's dad goes to Pensacola, he asks Osola to keep a fire going so he will be able to find his way home using the smoke. Wanawachee, "on the hills above Wakulla," notices the smoke and asks her brother Chief Tallahassee to send his warriors to learn where the smoke is coming from. The warriors find Osola and Chief Tallahassee and Wanawachee travel to meet him. The legend is meant to explain the Wakulla Swamp Volcano.




Hunt, Reinette Long, 1873-1940


Pepper Printing Company (Gainesville, Fla.)




Florida Boom and Progressive Era (1890-1926)

General Note

For generations, people swore they could occasionally see a dark column of smoke rising up out of the forests southeast of Tallahassee. The legend became particularly popular in the late 19th century, when a variety of newspapers and magazines carried stories about the mysterious Wakulla Swamp Volcano and its possible explanations. Sightings of the volcano stopped after the 1886 Charleston Earthquake, which was felt across Middle Florida.