Glades County

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Glades County, Florida, wears its history like a patchwork quilt, woven from diverse threads. Long before European contact, indigenous peoples thrived in the region’s prairies, pinelands, and the fringes of the Everglades. Warfare and European diseases tragically depopulated these communities. However, the 18th century saw a new wave of inhabitants arrive. Creek and other tribes migrated from Georgia, while escaped slaves and shipwreck survivors formed maroon communities, sometimes gaining freedom from the Spanish in exchange for military service. These groups intermingled, forming the foundations of the Seminole Nation.

In 1921, Glades County emerged from DeSoto County, christened after the vast Everglades ecosystem, although most of the county itself consists of prairies and pinelands. Despite the name, the connection to the Seminoles remains strong. The Brighton Reservation lies within the county borders, and the Chalo Nitka Festival, one of Florida’s oldest recurring celebrations, honors the shared history and enduring friendship between the Glades County community and the Seminole people.

Today, Glades County embraces its unique heritage. Visitors can explore the rich Seminoles traditions, delve into the history of agriculture and ranching that shaped the county, or simply soak up the beauty of the natural landscape. Whether you seek a glimpse into the past or a connection with the present, Glades County offers a story waiting to be discovered.

12,234 (2021)
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