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Hendry Counties

 

Hendry County was named for a cattleman named Captain Francis A. Hendry, who first came to the Fort Myers area in 1854. Almost two decades later, he and his family moved into the small building at Fort Thompson, following the Seminole Wars. They kept cattle in the nearby forests, and Hendry became recognized as one of the most famous ranchers in south Florida. Also, Hendry brought improvements to settlements at Fort Myers; for example, he set up the first school in the town and paid its first teacher’s salary.

     
Hendry County
This website relates information about tourism in Hendry County.     visithendrycounty.com/
Clewiston Museum
Clewiston; 109 Central Ave and collocated with the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce; features displays about the area’s history and heritage including agriculture, Seminoles, the Number 5 British Flying Training School and more. Viewing of seashell and paleontology collections available by reservation. clewiston.org/museum.      clewiston.org/museum
LaBelle Heritage Museum
Downtown LaBelle; 150 Lee Street, south of FL 82; museum reflecting the history of a small town along the Caloosahatchee, housed in an historic pioneer home, with guided tours provided by volunteers. This building will soon be moved to another piece of city property, but now it is across from the city planning offices.
Captain Hendry House
512 Fraser Street in LaBelle - This was the home of the founder of LaBelle, and it is privately owned.
Historic Fort Denaud Bridge
Just west of LaBelle; This is a swing bridge (it swings to the side to allow for boat traffic to pass through), one of the very few left in the state. This area also was the location of a nineteenth century Army camp.
Ortona Indian Mounds
LaBelle - Called “Larry Luckey’s Ortona Indian Mound Park,” in honor of the man who worked to acquire and research this important site. Short interpretive trail with signs near several mounds possibly related to interior sites of the Calusa Indians. Three mounds are known to be there.
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
West of Copeland along SR 29 floridastateparks.org/fakahatcheestrand
Okeechobee
This is the giant lake in central Florida, which borders
Glades and Hendry counties, as well as others. Okeechobee is the Seminole word for "Big Water." The lake covers almost 700 square miles
of central Florida.
Ortona Cemetery
Along SR 78 just east of Ortona; This is an historic cemetery somewhat associated with the ancient mound site; it is reported that some local people continue to use this general area as a cemetery.
geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/
6173/cemortonaa-f
Harlem
This community located southeast of Clewiston was populated by temporary sugarcane harvesters in the 1920s. Most of these workers were African American men, and Harlem quickly turned into a year-round settlement, complete with a school (Harlem Academy). After desegregation, this school suffered in attendance. Recently though, the Harlem Academy Library was established. A Brown Sugar festival is held here each May. Several photographs and displays about the early days of this community are housed at the Clewiston Museum. Advertisements used to lure workers to the region emphasized the good fishing in the area, and some of these are also on display there.
LaBelle
The town was named after Civil War hero Captain Francis Hendry's daughters, Laura and Belle. There is an interesting historic district just north of SR 80. The historic district is in the 300 block of North Bridge Street
Ah Tha Thi Ki Museum
  Open since 1997, this museum is managed by the Seminole Tribe. The name of the museum means, “A place to remember, “or “I forgot, but now I remember,” or “a place to learn,” depending on the source you consult in the Seminole language. Displays about numerous traditions are located here, and a mile-long trail runs through the 60 acre property. Rare artifacts also are on display, and interested researchers may be able to gain access to museum collections upon request. This website is the official museum site, updated regularly as to event and exhibit information   www.ahtahthiki.com/
Billie Swamp Safari
 

Here, members of the Seminole Tribe provide guided tours of some of the extensive Big Cypress reservation lands (some 2,200 acres) owned by the tribe. This attraction is located about 40 miles south of Clewiston on C.R. 833 (1-800-949-6101)
www.seminoletours.com

Sugarland Tours
  This tour group is operated by the Clewiston Chamber of CommerceTours of Clewiston and Lake Okeechobee visits to sugarcane and citrus farms and processing centers. A guided tour includes lunch at the historic Clewiston Inn 109 Central Avenue, Clewiston (877) 693-4372 www.clewiston.org/sugarlandtours.htm
Lake Trafford
 

This site relates information for tourists at Lake Trafford, a 1500 acre lake located west of Immokalee and west of 29, along Lake Trafford Road. Information about the marina and available tours is provided here. www.laketrafford.com/

     
  Thanks to M. C. Bob Leonard, Professor of History, Hillsborough Community College for information from unofficial websites.
   
   
 
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