Florida History is the surveys in the Everglades and within the Big Cypress Swamp indicate the presence of at least several hundred archeological sites within the interior of south Florida.
Some of these sites proved to be substantial, and suggest more than just marginal or short-term use.
Based on current data, it also appears that the sawgrass plains region south of Lake Okeechobee, now the Everglades Agricultural Area, was a transitional area used for canoe travel and small encampments by many tribes.
The exceptions are earthwork complexes, some of which are known to be located on the western edge of the Everglades.
These sites show a strong affiliation with the Belle Glade Area on the shores of Lake Okeechobee.
At the end of the nineteenth century the south Florida coast was still largely wilderness, one of the last coastal regions east of the Mississippi to be settled.
Only three small communities Chokoloskee, Cape Sable and Flamingo existed along the coast of what is now Everglades National Park.
Early mariners knew about Cape Sable, located west of Flamingo as it appeared on their maps. It was here in 1838 that Dr. Henry Perrine was given a grant of land. Unfortunately his plans for a settlement did not materialize due to his untimely death at the hands of Indians.
Another plan for settlement was proposed by Surgeon General Thomas Lawson who explored the Cape in 1838 for the U.S. government.
The harmful side effects of dredging and draining were apparent early in this century. In 1928 landscape architect Ernest Coe began a concentrated effort to designate a "Tropical Everglades National Park."
His persistence paid off when he and others persuaded Congress to designate the Everglades as a national park in 1934. It took park supporters another 13 years to acquire land and secure funding.
In 1947, Marjory Stone man Douglas would publish The Everglades : River of Grass, a work that would come to greatly influence the public perception of the oft-misunderstood region.