Monroe Station Revisited

Monroe Station in 1933
Monroe Station
Monroe Station
(added 2000 Historic Register - Building - #00000427)
Junction of Tamiami Trail and Loop Road., Ochopee

Monroe Station served as a way point for people using US 41 to cross the Big Cypress Swamp, Miami to Naples or the other way. Built in 1925, it was used as a way station until 1949. Motor cycle patrols would be sent out to look for wayward motorists. Later on, it was the only place you could get gas or something to eat when crossing Florida at the lower end of the state. During the early 70's, it was the only place to get gas, a cup of coffee, a repair or use a telephone in that area of the Big Cypress Swamp. The property was used for many years, as a place to park and store Swamp Buggies, (now known as ORVs).

There were three structures like Monroe Station along US 41. One of these three structures was chosen for restoration, but it blew down in a hurricane years ago. Monroe Station  has been designated on the
National Register of Historic Places, year 2000.

The Webb's, (a.k.a. Frieda, Dixie and Nick), owned Monroe Station, before the forming of the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Webb's Monroe Station Early 1970s

After the Government created the Big Cypress Preserve, Joe and Susie Lord the next owners were forced to remove the gas tanks, for reasons of pollution prevention and this lead to Monroe Station not being profitable anymore.

Lord's Monroe Station later 1970s to 1980s

Monroe Station was also featured in a movie called "Gone Fishin" released in 1997, some of the cast, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover, Rosanne Arquette, Willie Nelson and others. link to movie This seems quite an indignity for a building under the NPS's care and on the Historic Register. It was reportedly not a very good movie.

Monroe Station as a movie set 1997

Monroe Station as a movie set 1997

The Big Cypress National Preserve took over ownership and like other properties it has taken over, stopped doing any maintenance on it. For a while it rented out space for ORV storage, but now it has stopped that.

Monroe Station under NPS's care 2004

Monroe Station under Hurricane Wilma's care 2005

Monroe Station in May 2006

What will the future bring to Monroe Station? Plans call for it to be used as a ORV tow vehicle parking area in the future. A government grant was designated for its restoration. I hope it will return to its Traditional Uses!

Return to Home Page            Story by Steve
from information and pictures provided by Spence Fischer
January 09, 2007