Marya Repko who does a lot of writing and publishes a small newspaper in Everglades City has published two new books. They are by ECity Publishing and can be found on http://www.ECity-Publishing.com
Hopefully I can read them both this weekend.
The first one is "Angel of the Swamp, Deaconess Harriet Dedell in the Everglades." Deaconess Bedell came down to southwest Florida in the 1930s. The Seminoles at that time were very bad off economically, and she did a lot to help provide better medical care and raise their standard of living. She established a market fot Seminole crafts by letting them sell their crafts and patchwork clothing. She touched the lives of many local residents during a time when life was hard in southwest Florida. Her work was so famous that she is being canonized by the Episcopal Church.
"A Brief History of the Fakahatchee." Fakahatchee is the name of an island, river, bay, strand swamp, and now the largest preserve and park in the state of Florida. The history goes from the times when people lived in the islands when life was difficult and dangerous. Then Barron Collier built the Tamiami Trail, and Everglades City started to become a boom town. Farming, citrus groves, and logging for many years almost erradicated the pristine wilderness. Development of Golden Gate tried to turn the area into the largest housing development in the country, and sold one acre lots to people around the world. But a grassroots movement of people in Miami and Naples pushed for the preservation of Fakahatchee Strand. Now Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is the largest state park in the State of Florida.
Overall it is a very good history of the surrounding area.
Maybe one day someone will give the correct translation of the meaning of the word Fakahatchee. It doesn't mean muddy river--looking at the water it can easily be seen that it is clear. It doesn't mean forked or crooked river. Most of the rivers in Florida are all that way. And the strand is pretty straight. Maybe they should ask the Seminoles instead. I looked at various words in one of my Muskogee dictonaries, asked one of the local Seminoles, and got it right.