A Modern Frontier
by Jim Janosky
In 115 black-and-white photographs, Jim Janosky records the features and faces of Okeechobee, from Saturday night in downtown Pahokee to the great hurricane of '28, to the cane fields, preachers, county agents, beekeepers, and countless others who make up the region. His evocative, fact-filled essay presents one man's journey along this modern Florida frontier. 

A government study in 1847 described Okeechobee as a "wilderness of profound and wild solitude". Just sixty-five years later, fifty real estate companies in Chicago were selling property around the lake. The region boomed with fishermen, cowboys, and bootleggers, and Okeechobee City earned a reputation as the roughest town east of the Mississippi. 

In the '20s, nature struck: three successive years of heavy rains; a drought that dried out the organic soil so thoroughly that it caught fire; and hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 that decimated the countryside. With the Hoover Dike in place in the '30s and the pioneer spirit still strong, new communities developed from the reclaimed wetlands. Today the area is enmeshed in one of the most intense debates in the country between environmentalists and farmers.

Okeechobee: A Modern Frontier
A Modern Frontier
by Jim Janosky
University Press of Florida, 1997.
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