NAME: Okeelanta
COUNTY: Palm Beach
CLIMATE: hot most of the year, mild to cold in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: anytime, summer will be hot though
COMMENTS: No current residents or town remains. In Palm Beach County, take US27 to the intersection of 827 Hillsboro Canal Rd. This is Okeelanta. The only indication you have reached the town is the large sugar processing plant nearby.
REMAINS: Sugarcane fields, no buildings or structures
Okeelanta was a planned community, started in 1913 by Thomas Will and ostensibly owned and operated under the business name Okeelanta Corporation. The name itself was derived from a combination of Okeechobee and Atlantic. It was meant to become a model example of how the Everglades could be made into successful farming land. Early settlers included R.A. Little, S.A. Hughes, Herman Walker and Lawrence Will. Despite many problems such as floods, freezes, wild animals and mosquitos, by 1920 Okeelanta had 200 residents, a school and town hall. Irish potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, and eggplant were grown and shipped out. After surviving more problems thru the 1920s, Okeelanta was flooded and destroyed by the Hurricane of 1928. Thomas Will attempted to rebuild and re-start the community, however due to lack of financial backing The Okeelanta Corporation soon declared bankruptcy and the town was finished. Submitted by: Jim Pike

Okeelanta townsite, with sugar processing plant in the background
Courtesy Jim Pike

sign at sugar processing plant, only reference to town name
Courtesy Jim Pike

Okeelanta stationary 1915 (no references to any poultry farms found in research) Courtesy Everglades Digital Library

Okeelanta informational piece, 1915.  Courtesy of the Everglades Digital Library

Okeelanta map, 1915.  "New Okeelanta" was the actual settlement.  The original Okeelanta listed on the map existed only on paper.  Courtesy Everglades Digital Library