Georgia Historical Site: Okefenokee Swamp

Essay by cheat4dastarsJunior High, 8th gradeA+, February 2006

download word file, 2 pages 4.5

The Okefenokee Swamp is located in Georgia and has played a major part in state's history. Many people have lived in the swamp, from the Indians to the White settlers. People have tried to drain it and cut down the trees but it still exists today. We need to take care of this precious gift to make sure it lasts for many others to enjoy.

The late Archaic, Mississippian, and Woodland Indians occupied the Okefenokee between 500 and 1200 AD. They constructed sand mounds in the swamp. Then the Spanish came in and built Spanish Missions in or near the swamp. They called the swamp Laguna de Oconi. In the latter part of the 18th century, the Creek Indians used the swamp as a hunting ground. White settlers started settling on the edges of the swamp in 1805.

Some time after the white settlers moved in, railroads were built near the Okefenokee.

In 1889, the government sold the property to the Suwanee Canal Company who tried to drain the swamp for 3 years but were unsuccessful. Other companies came in and logged in the swamp until roughly 1942.

As early as 1918, efforts were being made to preserve the swamp. However, it wasn't until 1929 that an organization became successful. In 1937 the government purchased the property which had belonged to a lumber company. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge and facilities were developed. Everybody who lived in the swamp was told they could no longer kill the bears and wildcats. As a result, all swamp dwellers were gone by 1958. Over the years the government added more land to the refuge and changed the name to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Okefenokee Swamp has an abundance of animals. There are black bears, white-tailed deer, otters, water moccasins,