Ole Indian Trading Post
and Museum - Chokoloskee Florida
On the western edge of the Everglades and deep in the heart of the 10,000 Islands, Chokoloskee
Island has been called one of Florida's last frontiers. Here at Historic Smallwood Store you will
learn the story of the pioneers and settlers who tamed this vast wilderness.
Human habitation of Chokoloskee Island began approximately 2,000 years ago when a mound building
people began altering the landscape with mounds and canals. Subsequent influxes of Native
Americans expanded the mounds and fished, hunted and farmed the rich fertile soil. Moving south
from conflict in North Florida and Georgia, the Seminole Indians were the last native peoples to
make the Everglades their home.
White settlement in Chokoloskee Bay began near the end of the nineteenth century. Plume, hide,
and fur hunters were the first to visit. They were quickly followed by families who combined seasonal
hunting, fishing, and farming to make a living like their native predecessors.
TED SMALLWOOD (Photograph of Ted Smallwood and Chief Charlie Tigertail, 1928)
Settlement brought a need for goods and mail and that need was met by the Smallwood Store.
Established in 1906, this Trading Post served a remote area, buying hides, furs and farm produce
and providing the goods required.
Ted Smallwood's store was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It remained
open and active until 1982. When the doors were shut, 90% of the original goods remained in the
store. In the last few years Ted's granddaughter has reopened the store as a museum, and today it
serves as a time capsule of Florida pioneer history. The center section of the building remains as
Ted would have known it.
The hide room has been turned into exhibit space, telling the history of the pioneers of southwest Florida.
Come take a walk back in time. Experience the unique history of the 10,000 Islands.
HISTORIC SMALLWOOD STORE
CLICK HERE for more information...
Pictures and Information provided by Ted Smallwood's Store, Inc.