Florida Historian Cesar Becerra Documents Florida's Last Logging Boom at Museum on October 5.
When most of America had switched to chainsaws, the loggers of South Florida were doing things the old fashioned way; cross cut saws, steam powered mills and locomotives and the raw sweat of hardy men . . . inside the last frontier . . . toiling dangerously as they took down the last of the giant Cypress and Virgin Pine Trees in the Southern United States in the Big Cypress/ Everglades Logging Operations the Saturday Evening Post had called the most dangerous job in the country in 1958.
Cesar Becerra is a South Florida historian who focuses most of his time and efforts on the human history of the Everglades. He is the past publisher of a Miami based newsletter "The Everglade Magazine" and portrays several characters in living history presentations, most of which center on the Everglades. He was introduced to LaBelle years ago by his long time friend Waddy Thompson and was fortunate enough to have interviewed such foresters as R. E. "Bob" Byrd, probably remembered by local residents as being an official of Alico, Inc. rather than as a forester who came to the area in the late 1940s when Atlantic Land & Improvement Company decided to move its operations to Hendry County . He will be bringing digital pdf versions of his book and will also have spiral-bound hard copies it available for sale. His last book, "Robert Is Here", focuses on edge of the 'Glades farmer Robert Moehling who used to harvest tomatoes inside the boundaries of Everglades National Park. "Robert Is Here" has become famous to both residents and visitors to "Deep South Miami-Dade" over the years and draws crowds on weekends when it is open.
Cesar Becerra has paddled, poled, hiked and trekked across the 'glades for nearly 20 years and is a veteran hiker of the Appalachian Trail and has walked over 13 consecutive summers from Key West to Phoenix, Arizona. He is also a veteran road warrior and drove to each the 49 North American Continent's United States in his beloved Chevy Malibu station wagon during the calendar year of 1999.
LaBelle Heritage Museum's October 5th Program Meeting will be held in the 1905 Aiken/Rider House in the museum complex at 360 North Bridge Street with the program to begin at 7 o'clock. Visitors are reminded that the Aiken/Rider House is not handicap accessible at the current time but that ADA/OSHA compliant access is planned for our next major project. Limited parking is available at the museum itself, and Rene Curtis Pratt always opens the Curtis Honey Company lot immediately across Bridge Street to those attending museum evening activities.