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Everglades Post Office is smallest in U,S.

Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at 8:18 PM

Not far from Joanie'a Blue Crab Shack (see my last blog), there sits a tiny building, which--it turns out--is the smallest post office in the United States.

The full description and history of the building is written on a nearby plaque:

The building was formerly an irrigation pipe shed belonging to J.T. Gaunt tomato farm. It was hurriedly pressed into service by postmaster Sydney Brown, after a disastrous night fire 1953 burned Ochopee, Florida's general store and post office. The present structure has been in continuous use ever since--as both a post office and a ticket station for Trailways bus lines--and still serves residents in a 3-county area, including delivery to Seminole and Miccosukee Indians living in the region. Daily business often includes requests from tourists and stamp collectors the world over for the famed Ochopee post mark. The property was acquired by the Wooten family in 1992.

There are several Indian villages along Highway 41 near the post office, and I was amazed to see buildings with unique thatched roofs. The villages appear to be surrounded by wooden privacy fences, but it would seem that they also serve to keep the alligators out.

Nearby Highway 75 is known as "Alligator Alley," but we saw several in the ditches along 41.

It is absolutely fascinating country!

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If you head north from there, you'll hit Immokalee, known in the old days on the CB as Wino Junction.

I spent a lot of time there doing stories on farm workers.


I don't know if Wheeler's Bar and the Million Dollar Log are still there, but it used to be a tourist attraction with T-shirts and everything. Well, to be honest, you had to be a special kind of tourist to end up there.

The log sat behind Wheelers and was usually occupied by career drinkers lined up like birds on a telephone line.

I heard at least two versions of how The Log got its name: (1) A million dollars worth of cheap wine had been consumed on that log or (2) Nobody ever drank there who hadn't been a millionaire in his previous life, married to a beautiful woman who did him wrong and took all his money.

You're right. It's fascinating country when you get away from the coasts, the mansions and the palm trees.

-- Posted by ksteinhoff on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 9:31 PM

Wow, Ken, if those are your poor-quality photos, I'd like to see the ones you sent to the engravers!

After reading your blog, I feel as if I've had the scales removed from my eyes. And, funny thing is, I obviously read this last year when you first posted, but I didn't make the connection.

Do you have experience with the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 7:57 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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