History of Pine Island
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The history of recorded Pine Island as we know it can be broken up into two distinct time slots. Before the white man and after the white man. PineIsland.Net has, and will continue to research this important information about our island home and it's roots. We respect this land , its' heritage and its' natural beauty. If you are a potential visitor to our island we urge you remember that the indians leveled no forests, killed only what they ate and polluted nothing. We hope you also strive to err on the side of nature and keep harmony with more than just your human neighbors.
When the indians ruled Pine Island

The history of Pine Island is dated by among other things, observing pottery, tools, and shell artifacts known to be of that period. The recorded history of Pine Island is about 8000 b.c. to 750 b.c., known as the Archaic Period.

Archaic Period (8000 b.c. to 750 b.c.) — During the Post Glacial period, the sea level rose and diminished Florida’s land base, and the climate began to change. By 5000 years ago, cypress swamps and hardwood forests characteristic of subtropical terrain began to develop. The people of this period increasingly relied on shellfish and other coastal resources, as well as expanded hunting, fishing, and plant gathering. From the Early Archaic Period to the Late Archaic Period, advances were made in the shaping and use of tools and pottery. Remnants of the tools and pottery are valuable in dating these sites.

The Glades Period (ca. 750 b.c. to a.d. 1500) The Glades I, II, and III periods are dated and characterized by pottery types. During the Glades II and III periods, evidences of a thriving trade network is evidenced by a variety of exotic resources, such as lithic tools and ornaments. Historic Contact Period (ca. a.d. 1500 to a.d. 1750)
In 1513, Ponce de Leon "discovers" Florida and encounters the Calusa Indians. At the time of Spanish contact the Europeans met a thriving population of at least five separate tribes: the Tequesta in southeast Florida, the Calusa in the southwest, and the Jeaga and Ais along the east coast north of the Tequesta, and the Mayaimi near Lake Okeechobee.







The Calusa maintained political dominance over these groups. It has been estimated that there were approximately 20,000 Indians in South Florida when the Spanish arrived. The Calusa were a large tribe or confederation of tribes on the west coast of Florida and in the Florida Keys. They depended upon fish, shellfish, and roots for their food. De Leon and Spanish explorers who followed him received a hostile reception, which may suggest that the Calusa had had earlier contacts with whites which had gone badly. The Calusa killed de Leon in 1521. The gold the Spanish found among the Calusa probably came from Spanish shipwrecks. The Calusa seem to have developed a trading network which included Cuba, and a portion of them left Florida for Cuba in the 1760s at about the time the British took control of the area.

Opinions vary as to the fate of the remainder. The Calusa were sometimes called Choctaw, but the Choctaw were a wholly different group which was removed to Oklahoma in 1831-35. Most of the Calusa seem to have disappeared from Florida by the end of the Seminole War in 1842. Either they had gone to Cuba or been killed.
By 1763 when the English gained control of Florida, that population had been reduced to several hundred, which were reported to have migrated to Cuba with the Spanish (Romans 1962).

Credits for the above material and/or sites of island historical significance are listed below


As the white man rules Pine Island
Historic Period (ca. a.d. 1750 to a.d. 1930) There is little information on any pre-19th century activities in the area south of Lake Ockeechobee. With the demise of indigenous people in South Florida, and white settlement occurring to the north, increasing migrations of indian peoples moved southward for hunting and settling. The Creeks and proto-Seminoles were in the area as early as the eighteenth century. During the Seminole Wars (1817-18, 1835-42, 1855-58) independent bands of Florida Indians established themselves in the Everglades to avoid removal from Florida.
We will be expanding our history section in the future to include:
  • Pine Island through the eyes of the elderly
  • Pine Island through the eyes of a commercial fisherman
  • You Decide: The Net Ban...A first person commentary from two very opposite points of view.
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