|Me inspecting a gas well at the Barataria Preserve while I worked for the National Park Service.|
Before Betsy’s brother Mark left us, we drug him to the end of HWY 29 which dumps you into a little town called Everglades City and in the midst of the vast expansive wilderness that is Everglades National Park. Mind you Mark is a “city boy” from Chicago. When he is not running the Maples Inn in Bar Harbor, Maine, he spends his winters in Chicago where he enjoys strolling down Michigan Avenue, visiting the theater, and admiring the city’s architecture. Needless to say, he was a good sport to accompany us to this unique place at the edge of the world.
|The store has a wax figure of Ted Smallwood.|
Our first stop was the Everglades National Park visitor center. This was a great place to book a sightseeing tour, but the visitor center left much to be desired. There wasn’t even an orientation movie and the exhibits were old and out-dated. (I would suggest trying out the other visitor centers especially Shark Valley that we heard was very nice.) We left the visitor center and continued down the road to the terminus which is Chokoloskee Island to see the historic Smallwood Store. When Betsy and Mark asked what was there, I replied that it was a historic trading post/store turned museum. They looked puzzled and not too excited.
|Inside the store was the town post office.|
|The Smallwood dining table (right forefront) was in the midst of the store which was open 24 hours a day.|
|Take your time going through the store - there is lots of stuff.|
|Betsy getting educated about the Smallwood business. Underneath the|
counter was angled inward so ladies hoop skirts would fit as they stood at the counter.
|Is that a washer and dryer?|
After the Smallwood Store adventure, we headed to the Museum of the Everglades to learn more about the history of the area followed by a walk around town. Many of the towns’ old historic buildings have been preserved and serve as restaurants, bed and breakfasts, the “rod and gun club,” and gift shops. We capped off our trip with a stop at the Everglades Seafood Depot which was offering all-you-can-eat boiled shrimp and salad. The shrimp were so sweet and delicious we filled multiple plates.
|The Museum of the Everglades is housed in a cute historical building that was the|
"Old Laundry Building" built in 1927.
|Inside the museum are exhibits, a gift shop, and informational movies.|
|The famous Rod and Gun club open for lodging, eating, and a place to dock your boat.|
|Town City Hall|
|The bank is now a bed and breakfast.|
|We just liked this sign.|