Everglades was first recorded by Spanish cartographers who had not sen the land. Between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida, they name the area Laguna del Espirito Santo, meaning “Lake of the Holy Spirit.” Without being explored, it was featured on maps for decades.

John Gerard de Brahm, a British surveyor, in 1773 mapped the Florida coast. He called the area “River of Glades.” Later, both Marjory Stoneman Douglas and linguist Wallace McMullen suggested that cartographers substituted “Ever” for “River.”

In 1811, writer John Grant Forbes wrote that in the Southern points, the Indians were represented as impenetrable. On the other hand, the British, which included surveyors, wreckers, and coasters did not explore beyond the borders of the sea coast, and mouths of rivers due to lack of means.

On a map in 1823 “Everglades” first appeared. Although as late as 1851, “Ever Glades” did appear on a map. The Seminoles called it Pahokee, meaning “Grassy Water.” In 1839 on a U. S. military map, it was labeled “Pa-hai-okee.” During the Second Seminole Warm, it was called “Ever Glades.”

In 1947, the government set aside 1.5 million acres of protected land. This represented only a small fraction of its original size. From that point forward it was known as “Everglades National Park.” This was a slow process and was accomplished with the support of people like Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Ernest F. Coe, and many other conservationists, scientists and other advocates.

Geographers Ary J. Lamme and Raymond K. Oldawoski in a 2007 survey found that the “Glades” had emerged as a distinct vernacular region of Florida. The Everglades now comprises of the interior areas and the southernmost Gulf Coast of South Florida. Through conservation efforts, it remains one of the most sparsely populated areas of the state.

The Everglades now consist of multiple towns: South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee, Canal Point, Sand Cut, Clewiston, Moore Haven, Lake Harbor, Davie, Parts of Miami, Weston, Parts of Fort Lauderdale, Immokalee, Naples, and Everglades City.

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