More LaBelle Info / Port LaBelle Info / Map of LaBelle and Hendry County, Fl. Statistics
Lehigh Acres in eastern Lee county is a rapidly growing planned community of more than 100 square miles and is home to about 30,000 residents offering lakes, ponds, and 175 miles of canals. Originally the Lucky Lee Ranch it was developed in the 1950's and has grown much since the opening of interstate 75 which made Lehigh easily accessible. Map of Lehigh Acres / Lee County, Fl. Statistics
Methodist Church is the oldest church in the county, founded in 1886, and Alva has the oldest library in southwest Florida which now also serves as the Alva Historical Museum and is open on Saturdays from 2 to 4 PM. West of Alva is the southernmost grape vineyard in the U.S., where wine is made and is open for visitors 3 miles west on SR 80. View a map of Alva.
Moore Haven also hosts the Chalo Nitka Festival and Frontier Days the 1st weekend each March with a parade, entertainment, and a rodeo. Map of Moore Haven / Town Street Map / Glades County, Fl. Statistics
Lakeport, in northern Glades county along with northwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee was started in 1913 by Gene Sebring, originally as the Lakeport Colony. A dock was constructed on Lake Okeechobee and freight and mail was received while produce, fish, fur, and skins were shipped out. Several Belgian families settled in Lakeport along a road called Belguim Avenue, but now more often referred to as Snake Pens Road.
Until the 1960s, hogs were a major source of income until they were declared a game animal by the state. Lakeport became the "fish capital" of Florida when the railroad reached the city of Okeechobee, allowing shipping to northern states. The fish in the lake in the early days consisted of catfish, gar, shad, blue gills and crappie, and bass. Due to large-scale seine netting in the early years, bass are the predominent species left, making Lake Okeechobee the "Bass Capitol" of the world.
Nearby Buckhead Ridge has developed into a retirement community, one of the largest in Glades County. More Buckhead Ridge Info
Clewiston, in eastern Hendry county on the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee, is "America's Sweetest City" and developed during the 1920's. It is Hendry counties largest town. Sugar is the prime agricultural crop and the the city is the home of the U. S. Sugar Corp. Citrus is also an important crop in this rural lifestyle community. The Sugar Festival is held each April. Map of Clewiston / City Street Map / More Clewiston Info / Sugar Festival
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Felda in southern Hendry county is a small rural community 20 miles south of LaBelle on SR29. It is the "third" community of Hendry County along with LaBelle, the county seat, and Clewiston, the largest city in the county.
This community was located in Lee County until 1923 when Hendry County was established. Felda is named so by using the first three letters of Felix Taylor's name, and the last two letters of his wife Ida's name. Both are buried in the Felda cemetery. Felix died in 1935 and Ida in 1927. Felix was the postmaster of Felda.
The Felda Cemetery is located adjacent to the Primitive Baptist Church just west of Highway 29 at Church Road. The cemetery is 15 miles south of LaBelle and 10 miles north of Immokalee.
One of the "quietest" locations in Hendry county in on Church Road, far from busy highways and vehicle noise.
Buddy Taylor runs "Gator Hammock" and manufactures popular cooking seasonings sauces in Felda. Also in the area is an RV Park owned by a local celebrity country singer.
Palmdale in Glades county is a very small town on U.S. 27 with a post office and a general store that is a popular stop with travelers. Originally settled in 1901 by the Florida Fruit Farm. The railroad was extended to the area in 1917 from Sebring along with a bridge over Fisheating Creek. Cattle were once shipped by rail from the railroad station.
Located nearby are the Fisheating Creek Campgrounds, the Cypress Knee Museum and Gatorama. The Cypress Knee Museum, is located where the original railroad camp was established along the creek. See Local Attractions for descriptions of these points of interest. Also see Map of Palmdale
Muse, in southwestern Glades county was largely homesteaded in the early days of the 20th century. It was originally named Meuse, and on some maps today is spelled Muce. Heirs of many of the original settlers still own land obtained through U.S. Government patents.
Bee Branch and Jack's Branch are two small streams that course through the area. The-one acre Muse Cemetery on Old Muse Road was started by Martha Altman as a private cemetery and her son Hoyt Altman donated the cemetery to the county in the 1980s. Martha died in 1937 and Hoyt in 1987.
During the Great Depression the area lost it's school, post office, and much of it's population. The area was primarily a farming and moonshine making community.
Mac's General Store once provided service to the community but was closed several years ago although the building still remains.
The beauty of the natural woodland has attracted many newcomers, building homes in this rural section of the county. The community has its own volunteer fire department and has an active community association, meeting monthly at a county owned building on Loblolly Bay Road, also know as County Road 720.
Ortona, in southern Glades county along the northern shore of the Caloosahatchee River, was named by Jerome Attanasio, a businessman from LaBelle naming his 360 acre subdivision after his birthplace in Italy. He planted grapes in 1924, and hoped to attract grape growers to his development.
Ortona was the location of an early railroad bridge, now replaced by the 1936 Corps of Engineers Ortona Locks, and a handsome park and small RV campground on the south side of the river. Ortona is the location of the county's 32-acre cemetery where casulties of early century hurricanes and influenza epidemics were buried. Near the cemetery are the Ortona Indian mounds and a small county park. The mounds have been excavated, but no artifacts have been found. A Cane Grinding Festival is held each February in Ortona,a fund raiser for the volunteer fire department, celebrating the traditional way sugar cane was ground to produce syrup and molasses.