Okeechobee County, 


A Pictorial History--Page 11

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Hoover_Dike_Poster.jpg (53046 bytes)Construction on the Herbert Hoover Dike began in 1930 under the direction of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with an estimated cost of $7 million to complete the first phase.  Work on this project reached its peak during 1935 and was completed in late 1938.  

Aerial_View_Dike_Pahokee.jpg (35375 bytes)In October of 1934 the Okeechobee News reported that 25 miles of levees had been completed on the south side of the lake and that some 66 miles from Lakeport in Glades County to Port Myakka were about 40 percent completed.  There were 38 dredges working around the clock on this project and the south side was estimated to be finished by mid 1935.  

Early_Dredge_Hoover_Dike.jpg (29595 bytes)In September 1935, the newspaper reported that the north shore levee around Okeechobee City would be completed by 1937, with wing levees along the east bank of the Kissimmee River and the west bank of Nubbin Slough.

taylorcreeklocksconst.JPG (78758 bytes)When I moved here as a small boy in 1938, we rented rooms at the Freeze Apartments which was located just east of the First Baptist Church. Also renting rooms at this same apartment house were employees of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.  I can  remember the finishing touches that they were putting on the Taylor Creek Locks at that time.   

lockconstworkers.JPG (61436 bytes) In fact I went to school with Donald and Beverly Mack whose father was an employee of the Corp of Engineers on the Dike Construction.  Donald was a friend, and went on to be one of Okeechobee Cityís Mayors.  In this Picture are some of the local Okeechobee Men who helped build the Taylor Creek Locks.  Can you Name any of them?   

Upthegrove_BeachA1916.jpg (64908 bytes)In the 1960ís the dike was finally extended to completely encircle the lake.  When the dike was first built the portion on the north side of the lake only covered the shoreline from Nubbin Sough to the Kissimmee River.  There was open water from the Kissimmee River to the dike at Sportsman Village near Lakeport on the west, and from Nubbin Slough to the St. Lucie Canal on the east.  In the 1940ís my father use to take me fishing at both Upthegrove Beach, and Buckhead Ridge.  We would wade and fish and you could see your feet in waste deep water.  The bottom was white sand in both places.  Now these same locations if you could get to them, are waste deep in muck and mire.  I am sickened by what has happened to this pristine lake in just over sixty years.  Most of this destruction and degradation was caused by the poor management of  S.F.W.M.D.  

See Tommy Markham's Hurricane Pictures

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Okeechobee Hurricane Pictures 1926 - 1928  

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