Lake Okeechobee 1874,1974, 2074? SRL/IRL

Map from Fred Ober's 1874 expedition.
Map from Frederick Ober’s 1874 expedition.

(For even more insight watch this Time Flight Video by Todd Thurlow, “South Bay and Lake Okeechobee”)

Today we continue looking at parts of a 1974 text entitled: “Environments of South Florida, Present and Past,” by Patrick J. Gleason, lent to me by Dr Gary Goforth.

Today’s map of study was created by Frederick A. Ober.

Fred Ober was a man who once ran a shoe shop, but one day, with a dream in mind, literally “threw off his shoes.” He decided to go on an adventure and make something more exciting of his life. In 1974 he visited and documented our Lake Okeechobee and surrounding Everglades.

Our text ironically, looks at Lake Okeechobee 100 years after his visit–published in 1974.

To look at the map and see such notes as “commencement of cypress belt with sandy shore” along the east side; “custard apples, and marshy lands, —-sand beach on the south side”; and “palmetto ridge and Kissimmee Prairie in the north,” really take one to another world.

—A world that basically does not exist anymore.

We scraped it clean. We rearranged it. We built it out. We drained it. We diked it.  We planted seed. We erected houses. Maybe one day the young people will try to put some of it back. It must have been spectacular.

What will it look like in another 100 years? Will today’s Google map below appear as obsolete as Ober’s? What do you think? Is there a way to go back? Envision 2074.

….cover of text, 1974
south rim
south rim
Kissimmee River area north
Kissimmee River area, north
NE area of lake
NE area of lake
the lake up close
the lake up close
Today's Google map, 2016.
Today’s Google map, 2016.

Frederick Ober: (

5 thoughts on “Lake Okeechobee 1874,1974, 2074? SRL/IRL

  1. Very interesting, Jacqui. Ober was a real adventurer that saw a much different Lake Okeechobee than what we see today. Some pilots flying over the lake have been disorientated and thought they were over the ocean as it is such a large body of water.

  2. Thank you so much for saying—our old ecosystems could have led and fed the world— Maby there is a tiny glimmer of hope left

Leave a Reply