There will be a variety of thought-provoking presentations throughout the day, December 1, at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center Auditorium, 33000 Tamiami Trail East in Ochopee.
The Making of the “Big Cypress Swamp: the Western Everglades”
Elam Stoltzfus, Film Producer
Filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus will share a collection of stories, behind the scenes illustrations, a few tall tales and techniques used to create moving images from the swamp for his documentary that has been featured on public television stations nationally. This interactive discussion will be about art, environmental concerns and educational efforts to tell the Big Cypress Swamp story to the public.
Marjory and the Big Cypress
Marya Repko, Local Author
If it had not been for Marjory Stoneman Douglas, there would probably be a multi-lane highway and a high-speed railroad going through the Big Cypress – plus a new city and a mammoth airport. Learn more about this amazing environmentalist through an illustrated presentation by author and local historian Marya Repko.
The History of the Tamiami Trail
Bob DeGross, Chief of Interpretation, Big Cypress National Preserve
Today we look at the Tamiami Trail as a ribbon of asphalt from Marco to Miami as merely a road. When the road was completed in 1928, it was an engineering feat that opened up one of the last frontiers of the United States and forever changed South Florida.
Beer Worms, Square Grouper and Indians, Oh My!
Maureen Sullivan-Hartung, Local Historian and Author
Sullivan-Hartung’s fascination with Everglades City and nearby environs began in 1993, when she accepted a photographer’s position with the weekly Everglades Echo newspaper. Soon after arriving to the area she had the opportunity to explore with local legend Totch Brown, who opened her eyes to the beauty of the area and cinched her love affair with this Last Frontier. During the presentation she will relay some of the interesting stories about the area that she has discovered over the years.
Deaconess Harriet Bedell (1875-1969)
Marion Nicolay, Living History Re-enactor
Harriet Bedell was born in New York and worked as a teacher until she felt called to the missionary field. After training, in 1906, she went to Oklahoma and worked for several years among the Cheyenne, then to Alaska, where she worked with native peoples and stayed until 1932, soon after she moved to South Florida to work with the Miccosukee in the Everglades. Learn more about this unique woman’s life in the swamp through this first person re-enactment.