Belle Glade is the largest city within the 2,862,00-acre subtropical Everglades in the heartland of Florida. Originally known as Hillsboro, Belle Glade was incorporated in 1928 with a population of less than 500. The earliest known inhabitants of the Belle Glade area were the Calusa Indians. Their prehistoric habitation and burial mounds are located just west of Belle Glade in Chosen which is known by many as the "Indian Mound." These sites were excavated by the Smithsonian Institution during the early 1930's and later by archaeologists from the Florida State Museum in Gainesville.The Seminole Indians generally associated with this part of Florida are descendants of tribes from Georgia and Alabama who moved further and further south as white men pushed for expansion and development of new lands. It was the Seminole who gave the lake region the name of "Okeechobeeland," meaning Land of Big Water.
Florida became a territory in 1821 and a state of the union in 1845. Although there was a boom in land sales in this area, many of the purchasers were disillusioned with drainage problems most of the land reverted back to the state. by 1912, construction had begun on three major canals for controlling Lake Okeechobee's floodwaters. Canals completed in 1913 were the Hillsboro, the North New River, and the Miami Canal.
One of the colorful versions concerning the naming of the community tells that a blackboard was placed in a hotel lobby where suggestions could be written on the
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