For decades after Western Expansion, South Florida was still a wilderness. Only once pioneers dredged canals and redirected the flow of Lake Okeechobee did this area become habitable. These once considered “useless” territories of marshes and swamps ultimately gave way to development and industry. On the southern tip of the lake lies Belle Glade, a small agricultural town that one might pass on a road trip today, just a couple of stoplights and it’s gone. It hides a rich history that leads to how we arrived here to Florida. In 2015, I moved to Belle Glade into a former rooming house apartment and soon after came across books by Lawrence E. Will and Zora Neale Hurston. Will painted a picture of the pioneers who developed the area through persistence and foresight, and for me, Hurston gave a voice to the workers who built the Glades with their bare hands. Their writing became my framework for exploring the past and looking at its contemporary parallels. In this time capsule, history is present. Roots run deep and the pioneer spirit can still be felt.
Self-published, first edition 2000 copies
172 pages, 87 color photographs, 10 black and white photographs
5.5 x 8.5 inches