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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
LaBelle in Hendry County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Downtown LaBelle Historic District

 
 
Downtown LaBelle Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
1. Downtown LaBelle Historic District Marker
Inscription.
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 LaBelle Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2001 by City of LaBelle and the Florida Department of State
Downtown LaBelle Historic District Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
2. Downtown LaBelle Historic District Marker (wide view)
Drawbridge carrying U.S. Highway 29 across the Caloosahatchee River is visible in the right-side background. Barron Park is visible in the left-side background.
. (Marker Number F-446.)
 
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. Touch for map. The marker is located near the entrance to Barron Park. Marker is in this post office area: Labelle FL 33935, United States of America.
 
Also see . . .
1. LaBelle, Florida. LaBelle is a city in and the county seat of Hendry County, Florida, United States. It was named for Laura and Belle Hendry, daughters of pioneer cattleman Francis A. Hendry. (Submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. 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 of being on the western edge of Captain Francis A. Hendry's vast ranch holdings in Monroe County. (Submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. 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
Barron Park Sign image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
3. Barron Park Sign
The Downtown LaBelle Historic District Marker is visible, edge-on, just beyond the right side of the Barron Park sign.
(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.) 

4. A Short History of LaBelle. 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 Disston’s dream of Everglades Reclamation, and had the double advantage of being on the western edge of Captain Francis A. Hendry’s vast ranch holdings in Monroe County. (Submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Welcome to LaBelle image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
4. Welcome to LaBelle
Welcome sign at the LaBelle City Wharf, on the Caloosahatchee River, across U.S. Highway 29 from the Downtown LaBelle Historic District marker.
Drawbridge Across Caloosahatchee River image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
5. Drawbridge Across Caloosahatchee River
LaBelle's downtown historic district begins at Park Avenue, just south of the drawbridge.
Downtown LaBelle Historic District image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
6. Downtown LaBelle Historic District
Giant Live Oak Trees image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
7. Giant Live Oak Trees
Giant Live Oak trees, covered with Spanish Moss, can be seen in Barron Park and throughout the city of LaBelle.
Hendry County CourtHouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
8. Hendry County CourtHouse
Downtown LaBelle's Hendry County Courthouse is one of the district's buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hendry County Courthouse (<i>front detail</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
9. Hendry County Courthouse (front detail)
Hendry County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 26, 2014
10. Hendry County Courthouse
National Register of Historic Places marker at the Hendry County Courthouse in LaBelle.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 536 times since then and 79 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.
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