Blue Planet Special

Legends of Thlothlopopka-hatchee

Fisheating Creek, flowing into Lake Okeechobee

What a beautiful name for an equally beautiful and pristine place. Thlothlopopka-hatchee originates with the Creek and means the creek where fish are eaten.

One of the first settlements here took place between 1000 and 500 B.C. Historians refer to these early residents as Belle Glade people. They built mounds and other earthworks, and etched out a living by netting fish, harvesting turtles, snakes and alligators. To locals, the creek was a canoe highway leading to nearby Lake Okeechobee. Big O meant additional resources and access to other settlements.

The Belle Glade people left some master art as well: Wooden sculptures, some life-size, of cats, a bear, foxes, eagles and wading birds. One carving depicted an otter with a fish in its mouth.