After many years of driving past Okefenokee Swamp I decided it was time to explore! And I am so glad that I did – what an interesting day I had. Okefenokee Swamp covers 700 square miles of South Georgia and North Florida. It has been managed as a National Wildlife Refuge since 1937, and is also designated a National Wilderness Area in 1974. It is recognized by the United Nations as a Wetlands of International Importance. There are 3 main entrances, and I began my day at the North entrance at Waycross, GA.
My visit began at the Okefenokee Heritage Center and I learned so much!! This part of Georgia was not settled until the 1830’s. A Utopian Community was begun in 1898 in Ruskin, 8 miles SW of Waycross, in what is now the National Wildlife Refuge. It didn’t last long , only until 1902, as making a living was hard. You can see the first piano in the area, and their communal bean pot, in the photos below.
Another part of life in this area is what is called Sacred Chord, which is singing unaccompanied in 4-part harmony. This was a part of frontier life in south Georgia from the earliest days, and continues on even today. You could come to a workshop and learn how if you wished!