Along the Caloosahatchee River, which winds through citrus groves, farms, ranches, and mangroves lies the sleepy town of LaBelle. The town was founded in 1889 by Francis A Hendry, a scout and dispatch rider for the US Army during the Third Seminole War.
In the 1800's the river was the only major source of transportation for traders and pioneers. After the war ended the Caloosahatchee River brought many settlers, mostly cattle drovers and trappers. Harvery Firestone first experimented with planting goldenrod as a synthetic rubber source in LaBelle.
LaBelle's major industry was cattle and ranching until the late 1930's. Northern Florida's freezes drove many citrus growers south and by the 1980's over 100,000 acres of LaBelle's land was producing citrus.
LaBelle host the annual Swamp Cabbage Festival honoring the Florida state tree. Enjoy rides, the parade, music, a rodeo, and the swap buggies.
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