Step Back In Time:

Smallest Post Office:

Collier Seminole State Park:

A Trip Back in Time

Posted 2/16/2021

East Bound and Down

A drive through the Everglades is more than just alligators and bird watching. The history will take you back in time for a day trip you will never forget.

Headed down Tamiami Trail will lead straight to the Florida Everglades. Did you ever wonder why it’s called the ‘Tamiami Trail’? Because it was just that, a trail! Back in the 1920’s, a man by the name of Barron Collier built the trail for a way to get to the east coast of Florida. Mr. Collier built the trail in exchange for a chunk of land in Southwest Florida, we now know as Collier County. Once the trail was built, it was discovered that the long trail was surrounded by a lot of swamp land. That is when six service stations were built to provide rest to those traveling by. One of the stations was called Monroe Station, and was found on the corner of Tamiami Trail East and Loop Road. This historic building was built in the late 1920’s and provided food and gasoline to those passing through and even offered service to those vehicles in need. The building stood boarded up until it was burned down on April 9, 2016. Today, the parking lot is used for off-road vehicle parking.

A few miles west of Monroe Station, in Ochopee, the world’s smallest post office can be found. It was built in 1953 after a fire burned down the original post office. It was constructed of an old toolshed and served as the bus stop for the town as well. The small town of Ochopee was happy with the toolshed post office and decided to keep it. Today, the post office is still in service and is still the smallest in the nation.

Now we’ll travel down to Chokaloskee and back to 1906, and we run right into Ted Smallwood’s Store. The Smallwood Store served as a trading post for local pioneers. It sits on the water of the 10,000 islands. In 1990, Ted Smallwood’s Granddaughter reopened the store as a museum to capture the life of the hardworking settler of Southwest Florida.

The history lesson doesn’t stop there. The Everglades dates all the way back to the 17 and 1800’s when the Indians ruled the land. To this day, the Seminole and Miccosukee Indian tribes are still living in the swamp lands. Indian villages are available for tours and many museums have real Indian artifacts on display. A must see if visiting the area.

When it’s time for a rest, pull into Collier Seminole State Park, located back on Tamiami Trail. It’s the perfect place to sum up the time travel day trip. Collier Seminole State Park was an important part in the construction of Tamiami Trail as it served as a shelter for those working on building the new road. It also has a monument for the founder of Collier County and a tribute to the Indians that originally started it all.

Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole, and stop along the trail to catch a fish or two. Bring a camera to capture the moment and pack a lunch because McDonalds is unavailable in this neck of the woods.

Going Back to the Future Now,

Goldie Locks 

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