Hard to believe, but you can actually travel to a spot on Shingle Creek where you can’t hear the traffic, there are no more empty plastic bottles floating downstream, and the cypress are tall and covered with moss. It’s at a moment when you hear the scream of an osprey flying overhead, that you can almost imagine pre-tourist Central Florida.
Below is a general timeline. For more information, there are historical museums to visit and explore reference material.
What would it have been like along Shingle Creek 100, 1000 or even 10,000 years ago? The earliest references to any history go back to between 7000 and 500 B.C.
7000-500 B.C. – When the Hunters Creek subdivision was under development in 1987, an archeology team from Rollins College unearthed the remains of stone tools used by prehistoric people next to Shingle Creek. The tools were dated to between 7000 B.C. and 500 B.C. and were probably used by these hunters to scrape the meat from deer hides and to punch holes in leather. (Robison 1995). How amazing is that!
There’s a big gap in the history of Central Florida between 500 B.C. to 1500’s when the Spanish arrived and very little to be said specific to Shingle Creek but following are some highlights of general Florida history.
1776-1783 After the American Revolution, Spain regained control of Florida from Britain as part of the Treaty of Paris
1817-1818 First Seminole War
1821 Spain ceded Florida to the US
1835-1842 Second Seminole War – US tried to get Seminoles to give up Florida lands and move west.
1855-1858 Third Seminole War reduced Seminole population to about 200
The first settlement near Shingle Creek was on the east side near a military route used during the Seminole Wars that ran from Sanford to Tampa . Shingle Creek got its name from the saw mill in the settlement which made shingles from the cypress trees. (Robbins, Becky. 1994)
Late 1840’s – the Yates family opened a trading post near the mill which became known as Yates Ford.
1856 – The Overstreet family purchased the first piece of land form the state of Florida following the Civil War.
Late 1870’s – Harrigan Patrick delivered mail from Orlando through Shingle Creek to Bartow. It was noted that there were all kinds of birds and the woods were alive with animals. (Robinson, Jim, 2003)
1873 Pioneer settlement of Shingle Creek, home of a cypress mill and the first Post Office.
1884 – The train ran from Tampa to Kissimmee to Sanford.
Early 1900’s – The Bronson family built a citrus packing house and a cattle butchering pen west of the creek and south of HWY 192 .
The railroads opened central Florida inland to further settlement. There was no river access between the St. Johns River and the Kissimmee River.
1920’s Shingle Creek was channelized to improve drainge from upstream and adjacent properties.
1920-40’s Cypress and hardwood harvesting
1960’s The main channel of Shingle Creek was channelized north of the current Florida Turnpike in response to severe flooding.
1970 – 1986 Orange County sewage treatment plant on McCleod Road discharged secondary treated effluent into the creek.
1981 Save Our Rivers established to acquire environmentally sensitive land.
1997 First Shingle Creek Conceptual Management Plan published (Van Horn, Mia. 1997)
2002 Herpetological Survey (Exum, J. H. 2004)
2009 Shingle Creek Regional Park opened