Everglades City, Florida

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"Everglades, Florida" redirects here. For the wetland area, see Everglades. For the National Park, see Everglades National Park.
Everglades City[1]
Bank of Everglades Building
Bank of Everglades Building
Location in Collier County and the state of Florida
Location in Collier County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 25°51′32″N 81°23′5″W / 25.85889°N 81.38472°W / 25.85889; -81.38472Coordinates: 25°51′32″N 81°23′5″W / 25.85889°N 81.38472°W / 25.85889; -81.38472
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Collier
 • Total 1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)
 • Land 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 400
 • Density 333.3/sq mi (129/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 12-21425[2]

Everglades City (formerly known as Everglades[1]) is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 400.[3] It is part of the NaplesMarco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Gulf Coast Visitor Center for Everglades National Park is in Everglades City.[4]


Everglades City is located at 25°51′32″N 81°23′05″W / 25.858768°N 81.384715°W / 25.858768; -81.384715.[5]

It is at the mouth of the Barron River, on Chokoloskee Bay. Chokoloskee Bay is about ten miles (16 km) long and 2 miles (3.2 km) wide, and runs southeast to northwest along the mainland of Collier County. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands.[6] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2). 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (21.01%) is water.

Everglades City has a tropical savannah climate which consists of warm dry winters and hot humid summers with heavy rain.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 479 people, 230 households, and 154 families residing in the city. The population density was 513.2 inhabitants per square mile (198.9/km2). There were 345 housing units at an average density of 369.6 per square mile (143.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.45% White, 0.84% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 1.46% from other races, and 0.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.97% of the population.

There were 230 households out of which 13.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 3.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. Of all households, 27.0% were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.50.

In the city the population was spread out with 11.9% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 19.0% from 25 to 44, 30.5% from 45 to 64, and 34.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 25 years. For every 100 females there were 104.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,667, and the median income for a family was $38,929. Males had a median income of $32,083 versus $22,222 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,535. About 6.1% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or older.


The area around Chokoloskee Bay, including the site of Everglades City, was occupied for thousands of years by Native Americans of the Glades culture, who were absorbed by the Calusa shortly before the arrival of Europeans in the New World, but by the time Florida was transferred from Spain to the United States in 1821, the area was uninhabited. A legend says that Seminoles planted potatoes along what is now the Barron River during the Seminole Wars, in the vicinity of the present Everglades City.[7]

American settlement began after the Civil War, when Union sympathizers who had farmed on Cape Sable to supply Key West during the war, moved up the west coast of the peninsula. The first permanent settler was William Smith Allen, who arrived on the banks of Potato Creek (later renamed the Allen River) in 1873. After Allen retired to Key West in 1889, George W. Storter, Jr. became the principal landowner in the area. Storter gained fame for his sugar cane crops. He opened a trading post in 1892, and gained a post office, called "Everglade", in 1895. Storter also began entertaining northern tourists who came to Everglade by yacht in the winter to hunt and fish. His house eventually grew into the Rod and Gun Club, visited by United States Presidents and other notables.[8][9]

The first school in Everglade was organized in 1893. The school moved into a new building in 1895, but the building was destroyed by a tornado later in the year. The next school building was washed away by the 1910 hurricane. A Methodist circuit rider began visiting Everglade in 1888, and a Methodist minister became resident the next year, but he left after four years. After that Everglade was occasionally visited by itinerant preachers of various denominations.[10]

In 1922 Barron Collier began buying large areas of land in what was then southern Lee County. In 1923 the Florida legislature created Collier County from Lee County, with the county seat at Everglade. The town was incorporated the same year as "Everglades" (adding the "s"). The town consisted of only a dozen families at the time, but some northern sportsmen had established winter homes there.[11]

The Tamiami Trail, which crossed Collier's domain, passed five miles north of Everglades City. While construction was proceeding on the Trail (it was completed in 1929), Collier pushed construction of what became State Road 29 from Everglades City to Immokalee, providing the town with its first land connection to the rest of the state.[12]

In 1965, the state legislature changed the name to Everglades City.[1]

Drug history[edit]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Everglades City and its adjoining island, Chokoloskee, were centers of marijuana smuggling. The dense mangroves that surrounded the area and its remote location provided a perfect environment for marijuana drug smugglers to drop their bales. The cargo was delivered from boats and airplanes to be picked up by drug dealers on the ground and distributed throughout the United States. It also helped that there was an isolated airstrip available to the drug dealers. Many of the local residents became involved in these operations.[13] It was abruptly halted during the administration of President Ronald Reagan in the mid-late 1980s, as part of the War on Drugs.

Historic buildings[edit]

Historic buildings in Everglades City include the Old Collier County Courthouse, Bank of Everglades Building, and Everglades Laundry (now the Museum of the Everglades).


  • Holy Family Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • Everglades Community Church


  • Becket School
  • Everglades City School



  1. ^ a b c An Act relating to the city of Everglades, Collier county, name; amending chapter 29068, Laws of Florida, 1953, by adding section 1A to change the name of said municipality to Everglades City, Act No. 1524 of 1965
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  4. ^ "Gulf Coast Visitor Center". National Park Service. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ Tebeau 1968:5
  7. ^ Tebeau. p. 28.
  8. ^ Tebeau. pp. 28–33.
  9. ^ Liefermann.
  10. ^ Tebeau. pp. 33–5.
  11. ^ Tebeau. pp. 33, 35.
  12. ^ Carter. p. 80.
  13. ^ Miami Herald. "The Town That Dope Built" December 16, 1990.
  • Tebeau, Charlton W. (1968). Man in the Everglades. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]