Okefenokee Swamper Daniel Lee on Billy’s Island

Daniel Lee’s grave on Billy’s Island in the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

Excerpt from the 1926 History of the Okefenokee Swamp by AS McQueen and Hamp Mizell:

“Years ago an adventurous pioneer by the name of Dan Lee settled on Billy’s Island, erected a rough log cabin and for years made his living by the primitive means of hunting, fishing and trapping. When Dan Lee and his bride entered the Swamp, the only thing to disturb them was the occasional scream of the panther, the only vicious animal in the Swamp, but both lived to hear the scream of the steam locomotive supplant the scream of the panther, and their little home was broken up.”

Tombstone of Osker Cribbs, a child of a swamper, pioneer and settler on Billy`s Island in the Okefenokee Swamp in the early 1900`s in Georgia. Died 1908. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.


      1. That palm has not always been there. I use to go with my Dad to check on the cemetery when I was young. He was one of the few that had a key to the lock on the gate of the fence that surrounded the cemetery. I might even have pictures from the last time we went together.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for writing! It is an honor to hear from you and your first-hand knowledge. I have stood there looking at the headstones and wondering about the Lee family and others that once lived in the Okefenokee. My only knowledge comes from books, so it is a pleasure to receive your comments (and I’d love to hear more!).

        As to the palm, there are about three medium sized palms within the fenced cemetery. A little further south is a stand of taller palms. Perhaps the ones in the cemetery seeded from those. I came across this in a 1926 printing of “Mammals of the Okefinokee” by Francis Harper. On page 254 he writes, “Nearly every settler’s home is shaded by live-oaks (Quercus virginiana) or Chinaberry Trees (Melia Azedarach); and in some cases, as at Traders Hill and elsewhere, there are great oaks (of an undetermined species). Several cabbage palmettos (Sabal palmetto) and an orange tree (Citrus sp.) were long ago introduced for ornament on Billy’s Island; and a couple of sycamores (Platanaus occidentalis) may have become established there in a similar manner.”

        Please write or comment any time! I am no Okefenokee expert, but totally enamored of the habitat and learning of its former inhabitants.
        Sincerely, William


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