LaBelle in Hendry County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Downtown LaBelle Historic District
In 1895, prominent landowner and cattleman Captain Francis A. Hendry (1833-1917) platted a townsite at LaBelle, which was first settled as a center for cattle and citrus industries. A post office, general store, school, and a church were eventually built, and LaBelle became the first town and commercial center in what became Hendry County. Although Hendry is credited with settling LaBelle, E.E. Goodno (1858-1936), who purchased Hendry’s former land holdings in 1903 and financed many of the town’s first improvements, is recognized as the “Father of LaBelle.” LaBelle’s historic business district extends along and near Bridge Street from the Caloosahatchee River south to Hickpockee Avenue. At one time, both sides of the street were lined with commercial establishments, some of which feature living accommodations on the second floor. Sadly, many early downtown buildings were destroyed in a 1928 fire, but some have survived, including the Poole Store (1911), First Bank of LaBelle (1925), and the Royal Poinciana/Newcomb Bakery (1911-1912 -– one of the buildings constructed for both commercial and residential use). The Downtown
Erected 2001 by City of LaBelle and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-446.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
Location. 26° 46.063′ N, 81° 26.235′ W. Marker is in LaBelle, Florida, in Hendry County. Marker is at the intersection of Bridge Street (State Road 29) and Park Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Bridge Street. The marker is located near the entrance to Barron Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Labelle FL 33935, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Honor The Dead By Serving The Living (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Thompson (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fort Denaud (approx. 4.8 miles away); Hurricane of 1928 (approx. 9 miles away); Alva Library-Owanita Chapel (approx. 11.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. The City Under the Oaks. LaBelle, "the belle of the Caloosahatchee," had its beginning as a settlement in the 1880s when the Caloosahatchee River began to play a part in Philadelphia entrepreneur Hamilton Disstons dream of Everglades Reclamation, and had the double advantage (Submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Swamp Cabbage Festival. The LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival is held every year on the last full weekend in February in LaBelle at Barron Park.
It is a local celebration (parade, music, food, entertainment) to honor the official state tree, the sabal (cabbage) palm, by eating it. The heart of the cabbage palm is prepared into swamp cabbage or fritters (each a southern Florida Cracker vegetable delicacy) and the focus of the celebration. So, if you've got a hankering for swamp cabbage or just want to see what it looks like... or taste it, then this festival is for you. (Submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 752 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.