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The Everglades were seen in the early 1900s as "waste land." But some, such as Jennings, believed that the area housed valuable farmland - if it was drained of its water.
He began a decades-long process of draining the Everglades to expose that land, which also cleared the way for the development and urbanization of South Florida.
Jennings served as Florida governor from 1901 to 1905. His successors followed his drainage policies.
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Reclamation was the term used for the "recovery" of farm land by draining the water out of the Everglades.
Pictured is the Miami River beside a human-made drainage canal.
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Back row from l to r: Sherman Bryan Jennings (governor's son), former governor William S. Jennings (1901-1905), William Jennings, Bryan, and May Mann Jennings.
Man in front left holding white hat: Tom Watson; 6th man wearing boller hat and goatee: Richard Bolles; 11th man with long beard: Hugh Taylor Burch.
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For more on sugar cane and the Everglades, see the film clip from Everglades Harvest.
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Over 50% of the Everglades was drained in the first half of the 20th Century.
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Aside from its role in Florida agriculture, by the 1920s, the Everglades was also a force in the popular culture.
The composer of the picture sheet music was Leslie Overbey.
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Cattle ranching has been practiced in Florida since the 1500s.
With its flat topography and abundant grasses, the Everglades and surrounding lands have long been utilized by ranchers.
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The town of Everglades was founded by Baron Collier, who hoped developers and newcomers would settle in the recently drained land of the Everglades.
He also promoted the building of roads and other methods of transportation to and through the Everglades.
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One of the most touted transportation innovations was the Tamiami Trail, designed to connect Miami and the East Coast with Fort Myers and the West Coast.
The road, funded by several parties including Collier and the State of Florida, bisected the Everglades. It was a 30-foot high earthen structure that altered the natural flow of the Everglades.
The Trail Blazers were the first to drive through the unfinished road as a way to promote the trail.
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The trail blazers drove seven model T Fords, a commissary truck, and a new Elcar. Only the Model Ts survived the expedition.
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This was a second and more widely used roadway through the Everglades.
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